In the age of the playlist, a stirring defense of the album’s artistic merit by way of Al Stewart

Al Stewart performing his encore at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, May 19 (My photo)

From my vantage point, posted up against a wall toward the back of the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, which I’d side-stepped into for a respite from a typically blustery city day in May, I peered past a sea of tables filled with couples happily nodding along to one of the great musicians of our time.