De interviews naar aanleiding van de nieuwe cd blijven binnendruppelen. Deze is van Reuters.

Newman’s biggest fans have always characterized him as a distinctively American songwriter in the tradition of Irving Berlin or George & Ira Gershwin, and the starkness of presentation on the new album highlights that quality.

“I think that’s what Robert Hurwitz felt might happen,” Newman says. “Not necessarily that the album will happen in record stores or sweep the country, but he wanted me to be seen as a member of that fraternity.”

Of course, Newman is too modest to put himself in that class.

“You can sing Gershwin. My stuff is kind of tough,” he says. “I don’t really feel I’m up there. Lyrically, I’m a different thing. My love songs, like ‘Marie,’ are as close as I get to mainstream, and I don’t do many of them.”

In addition to preparing for his return to the road — a U.S. tour starts Sept. 19 in Boston — Newman is writing songs for an album of new material on Nonesuch. “If they don’t drop me,” he says. “It would be so hip if they did that — dropped me after they put out ‘Vol. 1.’ I’d almost enjoy that.”

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