Jeff Larson | Heart of the Valley

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America Gerry Beckley Poco

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Pop: California Pop Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Heart of the Valley

by Jeff Larson

Jeff Larson's Heart Of The Valley features 11 new songs produced by Gerry Beckley (America). A classic pop album in both style and substance. Special guests include Dewey Bunnell, Rusty Young, Rich Campbell, Jeff Foskett, and others.
Genre: Pop: California Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heart of the Valley
4:07 $0.99
2. Sudden Soldier
4:03 $0.99
3. Airport Smiles
1:07 $0.99
4. Minus Marci
4:03 $0.99
5. Calling
3:46 $0.99
6. One Way Ticket
3:48 $0.99
7. Five Mile Road
3:57 $0.99
8. Southern Girl
4:26 $0.99
9. Two People At Once
4:19 $0.99
10. Wishing Well
4:05 $0.99
11. One Lit Window
3:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Jeff Larson's Heart Of The Valley features 11 new songs produced by Gerry Beckley (America). A classic pop album in both style and substance. Special guests include Dewey Bunnell, Rusty Young, Rich Campbell, Jeff Foskett, among others.

The Huffington Post
Borrowing some of what was best of the L.A. singer-songwriter scene, Jeff Larson's new album Heart Of The Valley--produced by America's Gerry Beckley--doesn't try to change what made popster Jeff Larson popular, but 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".

M Music & Musicians
Over the past decade or so, Jeff Larson's consistent string of smart, hooky and alluringly accessible albums have borne clear references to the Southern California sound of the mid-to-late '70's. So it seems fitting that for the lovely and evocative Heart Of The Valley he has collaborated with America's Gerry Beckley and welcomes appearances from soft-rock stalwarts including America's other half, Dewey Bunnell, Poco pedal steel player Rusty Young and Brian Wilson associate Jeff Foskett. The America signature is immediate and unavoidable, given that Beckley penned the majority of the songs, produced the sessions and contributes the lion's share of the instrumental duties -- guitar, keyboards, bass, accordian, percussion and programming among them. Consequently, the album basks in a hazy supple sheen that helps ballads like the title track (Heart of the Valley), "Airport Calling", "Southern Girl" and Five Mile Road" to invite an instant embrace. Credit Larson's radiant vocals with accentuating the appeal, giving this set potential placement on adult-oriented radio - or for that matter, any arena where beautiful balladry, well-crafted compositions and studio savvy still have an opportunity to shine. -- Lee Zimmerman

All Music Guide
The cover shot of the 101 creeping through the San Fernando Valley is a visual indication of the sunkissed Southern Californian soft-rock on Jeff Larson’s Heart of the Valley. Larson achieves that vibe with the assistance of Gerry Beckley, one of the architects of the sound during his days with America. Heart of the Valley isn’t a strict collaboration and it’s something of a departure for singer/songwriter Larson, who usually pens his own material. Here, Larson devotes himself to interpreting a set of new songs from Beckley, giving them richly sensitive readings that evoke America’s ‘70s 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



to write a review

Nancy Holtz

A Very Heartfelt Magical Collaboration!
Hi I've been hitting the replay on this cd since it has arrived. I knew at the first mention of Gerry Beckley (America) and Jeff Larson getting together and putting together this new cd, that it was going to be a Magical Masterpiece for sure. Getting to hear these songs in their entirety was like spending comfortable time with a friend. It is very hard for me to pick a favorite on this set of songs. Each and everyone of them have a unique well rounded blend of Gerry & Jeff and a touch of new magic. The lead song Heart of the Valley is full of rich acoustics and smooth piano accompanyment, add from the heart harmonizing vocals and lyrics, and this completes this sincere gem. This song settles in your bones quickly and you will find yourself humming along with the haunting outro inspired by Neil Finn (Crowded House) and brought to life nicely vocally by Jeff Foskett. I can hear a nice hint of Timothy B Schmit in Jeff's vocals on this song. Sudden Soldier captures me right from the get go, once again we are treated to a well blended rich acoustics, drums, and keyboard wizardry. I love, Jeff & Gerry's vocals, harmonizing and the way this song climaxes in a rocking way. Matt Beckley's touch of magic producing this is right on. The right back at you magic that is going on between Gerry & Jeff will carry you on to each song and will have you wanting more. Airport Smiles is a gentle blurr, even though it is short, it is packed full of the heartfelt magic between Gerry & Jeff, Jeff's neat added Airport clip sets the setting nicely. Minus Marci is a shinning, toe tapping gem, this song needs to find it's place in a movie soundtrack or tv show. It would make a real nice live show, jammin treat as well. Calling is filled with Gerry's sentimental ballad side, as well as his love for orchestrated backing, I also love how Jeff's vocals bring this sentimental gem to a nice visual blurr. I love how the trombone and euphonium add a soft sensual blurr to complete this in a much appreciated way. Ryland Steele (was in Matt Beckley's group TEA) adds his drum style to round it off in a new way. I also love the way the acoustics and piano play back and forth to each other in the middle bridge of this song. Next up is One Way Ticket and this song has won me completely, I love the freshness of it. I love knowing that Gerry's son Matt Beckley added his magical touch in producing this new rockin gem. This song has it all, rich, rocking acoustics, harmonizing that takes you a level higher and I have no problem hitting the replay on this song. I would have loved to be in the recording studio watching this gem unfold. Jeff shines brightly on Five Mile Road, his way with fitting his vocals to each song is very evident on this song, it gives that hauntingly mesmorizing blurr, that I sooo love to hear in Jeff's songs. Rusty Young of Poco adds a nice touch with the steel guitar. Southern Girl shines every sooo brightly, Jeff's bluegrass, country edge side is accompanied nicely by Dewey Bunnell's (America), you will love humming along with the harmonizing vocals and rustic acoustics. It is sooo easy to hear all the heartfelt collaboration going on in these songs. Jeff's way with Two People at Once captures you in a heartbeat. Simply Jeff and Gerry shining their softest sentimental sides. The lyrics in this capture my curiousity. I simply love this song. The harmonizing part in this song carries you back to the early days of the Beach Boys sound and makes you wish you could turn time back and be a part of that time era once more. Wishing Well is filled with the magic that I have always loved about Gerry's way with lyrics, as well as Jeff's individual lyric and vocal style. I feel that they have connected 100 percent on this song. One Lit Window is the perfect magic to end this new cd. The softness of this song spells out the collaborated magic that has become realization in the completion of this Gerry \ Jeff Heart of the Valley cd. Thanks Gerry for the new gems,it's always a pleasure to be treated to your Kiss of Life way with your love for music. It's nice knowing that Gerry & Jeff wrote 2 of the songs together on this cd, Minus Marci, and One Lit Window. I have been a long time fan of America's,Gerry Beckley's solo works, as well as Jeff Larson's works, and I will always look forward to new cds coming our way. Congratulations to Gerry, Jeff and Hank Linderman, Matt Beckley, and all that are a part of this new gem. I gladly recommend this cd to all! My Life Highway is sooo much richer because of having this music to accompany my days and nights. Shine On Jeff & Gerry!

G Scharg

Larson knocks another one out of the park!
As a long time fan of Larson, I had my doubts about this change of producers, from Hank Linderman (#1 Independent Producer) of his last five albums, to Gerry Beckley (America), no slouch either, but more of a writer/performer reputation. How wrong I was. This album has a flow to it you expect from a classic America or other 70's album. Larson shows more emotion in his vocals, and we miss his acoustic guitar work, but Beckley more than fills the gap here. There's a reason this album is #1 in this genre. For the uninitiated, buy this release, then work your way back about seven years...