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Paul Simon

The great adventurer: Paul Simon is as polished — and restless — as always at the Hollywood Bowl

The great adventurer: Paul Simon is as polished — and restless — as always at the Hollywood Bowl

There must be 50 ways to play “Homeward Bound,” and Wednesday night, Paul Simon demonstrated two of them.

Standing onstage at the Hollywood Bowl, the pop pioneer began the song — one of his oldest — as a stripped-down acoustic ditty, not far from the way it started out when Simon sang it half a century ago on a hit single with Art Garfunkel. Then, as he was joined by members of his nine-man band, Simon gradually transformed it into a loping country tune, like something Willie Nelson might have cut in the late 1970s.

Simon was singing about longing for the comforts of familiarity. But the music was showing...

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