FM: MITCH SCHNEIDER/ANDREA FAULK/SRO PR
THE VETERAN SINGER AND SONGWRITER ALSO
SHARES SONG-BY-SONG COMMENTS ABOUT EACH TRACK
“‘It’ll Never Happen Again’ reinterprets Hardin’s timeless and personal songs with grace and elegance, with one veteran singer-songwriter paying subtle and deeply-felt tribute to another.”
—THE SECOND DISC, 2/23/23
JEFF LARSON—the veteran singer-songwriter from the San Francisco Bay area now living in Southern California—tomorrow (March 17) will release 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 LARSON’s first release on Nashville-based label Melody Place. LARSON has also shared below a song-by-song comments about each track on the EP.
The latest and second single “If I Were A Carpenter” was premiered by Rock And Roll Globe which told readers to “…give his stunning take on a Tim Hardin standard a listen.”
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, HERE.
IT’LL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN 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.
‘IT’LL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN’
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.
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.”
Jeff Larson; Photo credit: Patrick Fore