JEFF LARSON—the veteran singer-songwriter from the San Francisco Bay area now living in Southern California—has today (February 8) unveiled the video for “Reason To Believe.” It’s the newly released lead single from IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN, his six-song tribute EP to the late iconic singer and songwriter Tim Hardin. The EP, featuring all Hardin originals, was produced by Gerry Beckley of America and is due out March 17 as the first release on new Nashville-based label Melody Place. Watch the Tom Bevins-directed video, featuring a performance by LARSON that’s combined with archival imagery of Hardin, HERE, and listen to “Reason To Believe” HERE.
“When selecting songs for the EP,” explains LARSON, 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.”
IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN was produced, arranged and mixed by Beckley and features the above-mentioned single “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.
“Tim Hardin’s work deserves all the attention that comes around,” asserts LARSON. “This EP scratches the surface. There are others I could see approaching at some point: ‘Part of the Wind,’ ‘Black Sheep Boy,’ ‘Speak Like a Child,’ etc. A troubled soul with words that are often brutally honest, heartfelt with longing, and music full of engaging melodies.”
LARSON says the project started with the song “It’ll Never Happen Again,” a cover suggested by Beckley in late 2021. “We work together often, but mostly on our own individual songs. This cover worked out well for both of us. Over the years, there have been many songwriters whom I’ve dug into their body of work. For whatever reason, Tim Hardin wasn’t one of them until we decided to explore a more focused project. At the outset, it was obvious that something had clicked in singing and playing his music. Why certain songs work and draw you in is a bit of a mystery, but I feel there is a connection between the melancholy of my voice and his. That and some of the subject matter and mood of his songs.
“As I have since explored Hardin’s catalog, the variety of music genres he covers is also something I admire. I’m not a purist by any stretch. There is a sound I cling to more than others, but it ranges at times. By all accounts, Tim Hardin was hard to define that way–I suppose he is best known as a folk artist, but he could easily drift into Jazz, Blues, County, etc. That’s refreshing and relatable to my own work.”
LARSON is now working on his next solo album, his first since 2014. It’s due in the fall of 2023.
The from IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN track listing is:
1. Reason To Believe
2. It'll Never Happen Again
3. If I Were A Carpenter
4. Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep
5. Misty Roses
6. How Can We Hang On to a Dream
ABOUT JEFF LARSON:
JEFF LARSON is a veteran singer-songwriter from the San Francisco Bay area. Musically, Jeff got his start under the wing of producer Elliot Mazer (Neil Young, The Band) playing in clubs and venues throughout the Bay area. As a native Californian, the influences are obviously present and reach from the golden era of L.A.’s Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter scene to the Bay area’s musical heritage and the tension between the two. While remaining a solo artist, he’s collaborated with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of America, Chicago’s Robert Lamm, John Blakeley of The Sandals, and Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin, among others. His prolific body of work created over the years has been released by various means and labels with licensing opportunities with JVC Victor Japan, Universal / Rhino, BMG and others from The Netherlands to Japan. “Larson’s earnest vocals and unwaveringly engaging folk-rock-country songs have an alluring feel,” wrote the San Jose Mercury News in 2011 about his album The World Over. “Larson’s warm, wonderful songs will grab you immediately and just get better with each subsequent listening. Every one of the 10 numbers here proves to be an individual gem.