Elvis Costello's New York Soul

The New York Times: Wendell Jamieson: September 28th 2016: Photo By Geordie Wood

He grew up in England, but this veteran troubadour has a long history with the five boroughs. Now he’s back.

Elvis Costello first saw Manhattan when he was 23. This was late 1977. He and his band, the Attractions, were coming down from New Haven on their first tour of the United States when the skyscrapers came into view.
“It was really like a jolt of adrenaline — it’s such a mythic skyline,” he said. “I’d only experienced that a few other times in my career. Another was when I first saw Shanghai: You feel like you’d been shot out of a rocket to another planet.”

Now he’s in his early 60s and sitting in a booth in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel on West 44th Street, seeming quite at home. He knows a bit about the place, too. He laments that the Oak Room, the cabaret where his wife, Diana Krall, had once performed, is gone and jokingly wonders whether Dorothy Parker could have afforded one of the suites that now bear her name ($424 a night).

Mr. Costello was in New York for a few days after playing the Newport Folk Festival in July. He’ll be back for three shows this fall — one Oct. 1 at Town Hall featuring his solo DeTour show, in which he ranges around his catalog, and the others on Nov. 6 and 7 at the Beacon Theater with his band the Imposters, focusing on his 1982 album, “Imperial Bedroom.”

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