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Jeff Larson Shares Song-By-Song For Tim Hardin Tribute EP


03-17-2023

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Jeff Larson EP cover art
EP cover art

(SRO) Veteran singer-songwriter Jeff Larson has shared a track by track commentary for his brand new six-song tribute EP to the late iconic singer and songwriter Tim Hardin, entitled "It'll Never Happen Again".

The EP, was produced, arranged and mixed by Beckley and features "Reason to Believe," It'll Never Happen Again," "If I Were A Carpenter," Don't Make Promises," "Misty Roses," and "How Can We Hang On To A Dream." LARSON (on lead vocals and acoustic guitar) is musically joined by Beckley (piano, acoustic and electric guitars, organ, accordion, strings bass, drums) and an array of fine musicians including Joachim Cooder (electric mbira, drums, percussion) and Matt Combs (mandola, fiddle). The EP was recorded at studios in Sydney, Australia and Southern California.

Larson is now working on his next solo album, his first since 2014. It's due in the fall of 2023. Check out the song by song comments for the new EP below:

1. Reason To Believe: When selecting songs for the EP, it was hard not to cover some obvious ones. Reason to Believe, like other Tim Hardin songs, is more well known as recordings by other artists, in this case, Rod Stewart's 1993 version. It's a song that is "in the air" and familiar to many. I think the goal in covering a song like this is just to associate the lyric to a relationship I had experienced and go from there.

2. It'll Never Happen Again: As I mentioned, Gerry produced the EP and this was the first song he suggested I cover. Six months had passed before I sang the song. I had done an acoustic demo and played around with various mics, but didn't really get too far in. One evening I was working with an old Telefunken tube mic and that's when it felt right - right up close. From there it was like many of these songs in that it took only a handful of takes to lock in. Without being trite, it has to come from the heart - you have to get yourself "there" and hope it comes through. Like most of the songs on the EP, it's a very direct and honest human emotion, and I did get lost in it ... "always the rain around my eyes" ... It's just a beautiful piece of songwriting. I love the production approach Gerry did on the track.

3. If I Were A Carpenter: Best known as a cover by Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash & June Carter, and others, it has some great imagery. I thought it would be perceived as a little outdated, but I was wrong. Insecurity of the man, in this case, to be worthy of the Lady. It's a relationship and an honorable song that way. Joachim Cooder added his touch on drums, percussion, and electric mbira, and Brian Eichelberger of the Beach Boys band helped with harmonies.

4. Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep: This is a little anthem and self-explanatory. I love the fact that he could do these types of songs short and to the point and cover so much ground. They stick with you like an anthem, and to me, it works well as a song and message in this EP song cycle. It has been said, Tim Hardin never overstayed his welcome with his songs. This one is the perfect example of that.

5. Misty Roses: I shamefully did not have much experience in hearing this song before we started this project. It's really a standard and was not hard to attach myself to it. I think this was just one or two takes on the lead vocal and I only remember closing my eyes and singing in my own space.

6. How Can We Hang On to a Dream: This was the last song approached and is basically me and an acoustic guitar trying to get the essence of the song down in a sparse way. There's some slight embellishment as it carries on, but the thought was to end the EP with a quiet reflection. The song has a sense of despair throughout, but it's a relatable emotion in the life of a relationship.

Watch the video for the album's first single "Reason To Believe," featuring a performance by Larson that's combined with archival imagery of Hardin, below:

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