LISTEN: Jeff Larson Sings Tim Hardin

“If I Were A Carpenter” included on forthcoming tribute EP out March 17th

Jeff Larson (Image: Patrick Fore)

West Coast veteran singer-songwriter Jeff Larson is back with an EP of Tim Hardin tunes in tribute to the iconic troubadour. 

Produced by America’s Gerry Beckley, this six-song set–entitled It’ll Never Happen Again–finds the current Southern Californian selecting a combination of deep cuts and some of Hardin’s most well-covered hits as a means of keeping the legend’s legacy strong in the 21st Century. 

“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.” 

Joining Larson in the studio for the EP includes 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.”

Jeff Larson It’ll Never Happen Again: A Tim Hardin Tribute, Melody Place 2023

Rock & Roll Globe is proud to premiere Larson’s version of one of Hardin’s most covered songs, “If I Were A Carpenter,” today on the site. 

“Best known as a cover by Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash & June Carter, and others, it has some great imagery,” he says of the tune.  “I thought it would be perceived as a little outdated, but I was wrong.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.”

It’ll Never Happen Again will be released on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. Larson is currently putting the finishing touches on his first new solo LP in six years for a tentative Fall 2023 release. 

In the meantime, give his stunning take on a Tim Hardin standard a listen below. 


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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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