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JEFF LARSON

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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.

 

In 2014, Jeff expanded his musical activity to include audio production. This turned out to be a natural step; he’d been a recording artist in various studios since the age of 15 and later worked in technology in the Silicon Valley. These worlds would collide in the modern recording process. Since then, he worked on several archival albums and some new recordings by America. He engineered and edited archival projects for legacy acts such as The Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (UMG), Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and currently, new solo efforts by Jack Tempchin and Gerry Beckley.  Jeff is the Producer of the upcoming (2023) America release Live from the Hollywood Bowl 1975 on Sun Records.

 

In 2021, longtime friend Gerry Beckley approached Jeff to record a cover of the Tim Hardin song "It'll Never Happen Again.” This initial effort spawned an additional five Hardin covers and resulted in a six-song EP, It'll Never Happen Again, due in early 2023.   A new solo album is also in the works, his first since 2014, out in the fall of 2023 on new Nashville-based label Melody Place.

 

It'll Never Happen Again was produced, arranged and mixed by Gerry Beckley and features first 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.

 

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Select Discography

 

As Engineer, Editing, Mixing, Producer:

  • America - Goodbye Summer 1971 - Secret Records (Vinyl, CD, Digital), (November 2022). Role: Producer

  • Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2018) / Label: Universal / Capitol / Role: Audio Editing and Engineering (BPI Award SILVER)

  • BPI Award - GOLD: Roy Orbison “Unchained Melodies” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2019) / Label: Universal / Capitol / Role: Audio Editing and Engineering

  • BPI Award - GOLD: Buddy Holly “True Love Ways” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2019) / Label: Universal / Capitol / Role: Audio Editing and Engineering 

  • Jeffrey Foskett / VOICES (2019) / Label: BMG /Role: Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Lead and Backing Vocals

  • America / The Collection & Golden Hits (2018) / Label: Rhino / Warner / Role: Audio Editing, Compiled by

  • Gregory Porter “Still Rising” 2021(Verve/Blue Note/UMG) - Song: Raining in My Heart - Engineering

  • America “Alternates & Rarities” on Vinyl - Rhino/Warner Music (April 23, 2022 - Record Store Day) Role: Edited, Compiled

  • Gerry Beckley / Five Mile Road (2019) / Label: Blue Elan / Role: Producer

  • America 50th “Half Century” 8 CD, 1 DVD Box Set (2020) / Gonzo Multimedia

  • Gerry Beckley - “Aurora”, June 2022 - Role: Co-Producer, Lead and Backing Vocals, Engineering

  • America - Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1975, Spring-Summer 2023. 20 song full concert, full band, George Martin Orchestra. Vinyl, CD, Digital.  Sun Records 2023.  Role: Producer

 

As Artist / Songwriter

  • Fragile Sunrise (2002) / Label: JVC Victor

  • Heart of the Valley (2008) / Label: HumanNature / Vivid Sound – Japan

  • Close Circle (2014) / Label: Vivid Sound Japan

  • Yesterday’s Dream (2016) Jeff Larson with John Blakeley of The Sandals

  • Jeff Larson with Jeddrah (Schmit) / New Moon (2019) / Label: Vivid Sound Japan

 

Compilations (Featured Artist)

  • KFOG Radio – Local Scenes 12 & 15 / Tracks: Ghost of San Miguel, Approaching Midnight

  • California Groove IV / Warner Music / Rhino (France / U.S.)  / Track: Faraway Girl, Album Box Set

  • AOR Breeze Series (Japan) – Various artists – JVC Victor / Track: Half Moon Bay

  • California Groove VI / Warner Music / Rhino (France / U.S.)  / Track: Rain Soaked Cloud w/America 

 

 

Select Reviews

 

“They don’t often make new records anymore like Yesterday’s Dream, a brilliant throwback to the golden era of singer-songwriters. Vocalist Jeff Larson evokes the fragile authenticity of the greats and unsung twang scholar John Blakeley of the Endless Summer soundtrack lights up the spare, supple tracks on this haunting, compelling, altogether intoxicating debut.”

-- Joel Selvin, S.F. Music Critic (2016)

 

“The Northern California singer/songwriter/guitarist delivers one of his finest albums with The World Over. Larson’s earnest vocals and unwaveringly engaging folk-rock-country songs have an alluring feel... 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.”

-- San Jose Mercury News (2011)

 

“Borrowing some of what was best of the L.A. singer-songwriter scene, Jeff Larson emphasizes his artistic side with catchy songs and Valley-meets-Laurel Canyon sensibilities. Start Here: ‘Minus Marci,’ ‘Heart Of The Valley’  and ‘One Lit Window.’”

-- Huffington Post (2011)

 

“Here, Larson devotes himself to interpreting a set of new songs from Beckley, giving them richly sensitive readings that evoke America's 70's heyday while still sounding contemporary and faithful to Larson's own work. It's a tricky move but it's performed with considerable grace here, largely because everybody involved plays with a light, easy touch that brings out Beckley's rich melodicism. What Larson winds up with is a record that feels classically Californian in its spirit and sound, yet its appeal extends far beyond the West Coast as its sweet, mellow tunes have an appeal that transcends geography or even time, as this winds up straddling the past and present quite fetchingly.”

-- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide (2008)

 

"Larson obviously has a lot on his mind, and he's able to express it in literate, lyrical ways that require repeated listening."

-- Performing Songwriter (1998)

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