CatSong Festival: 40+ Artists (ft. Dave Matthews, Haim, More) to Cover Yusuf/Cat Stevens in Special 12/5 Live Stream Event


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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This coming Friday, Dec. 4, legendary singer/songwriter Yusuf/Cat Stevens will commemorate the 50th anniversaries of his crucial 1970 albums Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For the Tillerman with special reissues that were announced recently.

Click here to pre-order the Tea for the Tillerman Super Deluxe Edition from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order the Tea for the Tillerman Deluxe CD Edition from our Rock Cellar Store

In celebration of the reissues and Yusuf/Cat Stevens’s impeccable songwriting legacy, more than 40 artists will contribute to CatSong Festival, a special live stream event scheduled for Dec. 5 on Stevens’s YouTube channel. Among those participating in CatSong are Dave Matthews, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Jack Johnson, HAIM, Passenger, Andy Allo, James Morrison, Imelda May, Feist, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Matt Sweeney, Ron Sexsmith, Eliane Correa & Fedzilla, Hamza Namira, Ariel Posen, Mimi Naja, Vintage Trouble, The Brothers Landreth feat. Murray Pulver, Mary Spender, Mollie Marriott, Jason Kerrison, Matt Costa, Sad13, Ruby Waters & Debbie Bechamp, Braison Cyrus, Cinzia & The Eclipse, Mark Diamond, The Lucky 13s, Laura Sheeran & Brian Bolger, Bonnie Laughton Kora, Noah Kahan, Parker Gispert, The Heartstrings Project, Leoni Jane Kennedy and more.

Per a news release:

The CatSong festival will see participation from artists across a wide range of different musical backgrounds and at various stages of their careers, representing the unity and spirit of inclusion that is an essential aspect of Yusuf’s message of peace. The remarkable quality and sincerity of the performances that make up this project shows how profoundly Yusuf’s influence is felt at all levels in the industry; from those just starting out on their musical journey to those who have become legends in their own right and at all points in between.

“It’s great to see and hear these covers of my songs given new life,” said Yusuf/Cat Stevens in a statement about CatSong Festival. “There’s no better honor for a songwriter than to have his songs performed by talented musicians with such love and sincerity. Thank you.”

As for the new reissues, the 50th anniversary edition of Tea for the Tillerman follows September’s Tea for the Tillerman² reimagining of the original record (which Yusuf/Cat Stevens spoke with us about in a feature interview available at this link).

More on the Tea for the Tillerman reissue, per a news release:

The Tea for the Tillerman Super Deluxe box set features a new 2020 remaster, also completed at Abbey Road Studios and overseen by original album producer Paul Samwell-Smith, and mix, of the original 1970 Island Records multitrack master tape, overseen by Yusuf and engineer David Hefti. The 2020 Mix also appears on the 1LP format which is exclusive to this box set. CD3 features the newly released Tea for the Tillerman² – Yusuf has chosen to include it here in order to present the most complete edition of the original album, showing how these songs are as pertinent today as they were when written over 50 years ago. CD4 includes demos, outtakes and alternate versions, including two previously unreleased tracks (“Can This Be Love?,” “It’s So Good,” “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out,” and “Don’t Be Shy”), while CD5 features 25 live performances – 5 previously unreleased tracks recorded Live At The Troubadour, 4 previously unreleased live performances from the December 8, 1970 show at Fillmore East, and 6 previously unreleased live from British, French and German TV performances over 1970/71. The box set also includes the previously unreleased “Can This Be Love?;” originally scheduled to appear on the album, the song was written by Cat along with “Father and Son” for a proposed musical project “Revolussia” in 1969.

The Super Deluxe box set is rounded out with a Blu-ray featuring HD 24bit/96khz audio of the 2020 Mix, as well as 8 previously unreleased live TV performances, 7 tracks performed live at KCNET studios, Los Angeles, and the official “Father and Son” video. Also housed in a card envelope within the box is a “Pick Up A Good Book” bookmark, a Yusuf / Cat Stevens designed “Miles From Nowhere” print, a reproduction handwritten lyric sheet for “Miles From Nowhere,” a fold-out “Live From The Troubadour 1970” poster, and a Tea for the Tillerman sticker.

As for Mona Bone Jakon, that album will also be made available in lavish Deluxe Edition formats.

Click here to pre-order the Mona Bone Jakon Super Deluxe Edition from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order the Mona Bone Jakon Deluxe CD Edition from our Rock Cellar Store

More on the deluxe revisiting of Mone Bone Jakon coming soon from Yusuf/Cat Stevens, per a news release:

50 years on, the songs on Mona Bone Jakon still sound as fresh as the day they were recorded. Presented here in a new 2020 remastered version on CD, and a new 2020 Mix by David Hefti on CD and LP, the Super Deluxe Edition also includes an exclusive third CD of previously unreleased demos, and a fourth CD featuring 18 live performances from 1970/71. The 2020 remaster was completed at Abbey Road Studios, and was overseen by original album producer, Paul Samwell-Smith.

This 50th anniversary set is completed with a live 12” etched vinyl EP of the rare audience recording of “Live At Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival” from August, 1970, and with a Blu-ray disc featuring the original promo video of “Lady D’Arbanville,” plus eight live TV performances, and the HD audio of the new Mona Bone Jakon 2020 Mix. There’s also a selection of memorabilia including the Island Records press kit, two Island press photos, a replica 1970 Plumpton Jazz and Blues flyer, a Cat Stevens tour sticker and “dustbin” greetings card and pop art print in a card envelope.


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