Longtime folk favorite Cat Stevens to tour U.S. in December. First concerts since 1976.
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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/19/2014 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
In the Seventies, "Buddha in the Chocolate Box" by Cat Stevens was never far from any working turntable. Stevens, a troubadour of the times sang such standards as "Cat's Cradle." He left the music world in 1976 concurrent with his conversion to Islam. Stevens now says he plans a six-city concert tour in North America this December.
In today's forbidding political climate, with the U.S. fighting Islamic State militants in the Middle East, Cat Stevens said he didn't expect his Muslim faith to be an issue when he goes on the road in the U.S.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Stevens is releasing a blues album late next month produced by Rick Rubin and titled "Tell 'Em I'm Gone." Stevens is using that stage name along with Yusuf, the name he took when he converted. The voice behind such hits as "Wild World," "Morning Has Broken" and "Peace Train" has returned to secular music during the past decade. He's only made a handful of semi-public and television appearances in the US.
"I've been a bit slow in coming around to the United States, but there were so many people asking me to do that, that I just felt an obligation," Stevens said in a telephone interview from Dubai, his most frequent place of residence.
The title for the tour, "Peace Train . Late Again," refers to the singer's unhurried music career. Only six dates are scheduled so far, starting the first of December in Toronto and hitting Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Stevens said he frequently received feedback on Facebook asking him to perform more and that it made him feel guilty "because I'm not doing as much as they want me to do. Then again, I'm 66 years old, and I do take things in my stride."
Inducted into the rock hall this spring in Brooklyn, Stevens said he had a lot of hesitation about getting back into the music business.
"That's something I ran away from a long time ago," he said. "But that's not to say the music business is the same as making music. When I finally reconciled my questions about the issue - where it should be in my life - by that time, I had something to say. I wouldn't be writing songs if I didn't have something to say."
In today's forbidding political climate, with the U.S. fighting Islamic State militants in the Middle East, Stevens said he didn't expect his faith to be an issue when he goes on the road in this country.
"I'm afraid that a lot of things that people believe about Islam are totally different from the religion that most of us recognize," he said. "I was really fortunate that I got to know Islam before it became a headline."
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