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In Conversation with The Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian

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What do you get when you cross one of America’s greatest songwriters with an extraordinary guitarist? A hint: “Do You Believe in Magic?” The title of just one of John Sebastian’s numerous timeless hits, written for his chart-topping band the Lovin’ Spoonful, says it all. One of the Spoonful’s biggest fans, Arlen Roth, the guitar maestro known for his studio and touring work with such artists as Simon & Garfunkel and John Prine, popped the question to Sebastian: Why not make an album together? In the tradition of Roth’s acclaimed reimagining of the songs of S&G (Subway Walls & Tenement Halls) and the Rolling Stones (Paint It Black: Acoustic Stones), John Sebastian and Arlen Roth Explore the Spoonful Songbook was born. This time out, though, says Roth, “It’s a true collaboration, something I’ve never really done to this extent.”