jefflarson

Beautiful musical pastels…

With the acoustic guitar at the forefront of his sound, Jeff Larson has released two acoustic rock CD´s, “Upper Story Landing” (ITS 002, 1995) and the recent “Beggars” (ITS 004, 1997). Larson born and raised in Northern California (near San Fransisco), has spent the better part of the last six years working as a solo acoustic performer opening for such atcs as singer/songwriter John Stewart (Daydream Believer, Runaway Train), the pop group America, and Tonio K. Larson also performs 50-60 dates a year including a weekly spot in the San Fransisco bay area.

In addition he has toured the last three years in Northern Europe in support of his CD projects. In 1997 a change was building – Larson released a 3 song CD sampler titled “Leaving California” which he hoped would gain the attention to turn his musical landscape around. It did….

With the new CD “Watercolor Sky” (New Surf LTD, NC 98-4803) released september 1998, Larson returned completly to his pop-rock influences. Teaming up with West Coast musicians and producers Jeffrey Foskett and Gary Griffin (former touring/recording Beach Boys), Watercolor Sky represents Jeff Larson´s take on the “California Sound”. West Coast imagery, jangly guitars, and very present harmony vocals.

The folloing words is written by John Holcomb (AMPLIFIER).

Jeff Larson’s Watercolor Sky was one of my favorite albums of 1998. Residing at the other end of the continuum from “heavy guitar pop” like Cheap Trick and the Shazam, Larson and co-producers Jeffrey Foskett and Gary Griffin created a record full of beautiful musical pastels, strongly emphasizing melody and musicianship.

Larson’s influences are not dissimilar from other artists who ply their trade in the pop genre, although one band in particular made Larson sit up and take notice during his formative years.

“The records that really caught me were by America in the later 70s, specifically their Hearts to Harbor albums,” says Larson. “Very melodic songs full of imagery that took you places. I started to play (and write) about 1977. The Hearts album specifically was the first I bought because it contained the song “Daisy Jane,” which really made me want to write songs and sing. In general, though, I listened to all pop music that was melodic and painted pictures through the music and lyrics. The feel has always been key.”

Larson’s recording career began with a couple of solo tracks done for a label based in the Netherlands; he toured northern Europe as a solo act. Then the spirit of Brian Wilson looked upon him.

“I made the decision that I needed a producer who would be sympathetic to the material and fit what I was trying to get across musically and lyrically,” says Larson. “I started listening to the Beach Boys very heavily about four years ago; that led to me picking up some publications related to them. Enter Jeffrey Foskett? I picked up his Thru My Window CD, which pretty much became a soundtrack for the summer of ’97. I had just finished a three-song sampler (demo) CD in the direction I wanted to go. The production was sparse, but the songs were there. I sent it out to many in various circles I was interested in; needless to say it got to Jeffrey and a few months later I did “Nothing but Air” and “Shades” with (him) and Gary (Griffin) producing.”

“Nothing but Air” is a spectacular tune that featured one of 1998’s most memorable melodies and choruses. Larson suggests that he didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “It was?one of those songs I wrote in about an hour,” he admits. “I wrote it for my wife and was pleased with the outcome since it reflects something further along in a relationship and not only the infatuation at the start. Its main point is how life is made lighter by the effect of someone to where there’s freedom to move. In my case (that meant)?being a songwriter, musician, etc. and (having) that support behind my actions-something I had not had previously? More than any other song, “Nothing but Air” signifies the music and mood change I wanted for this project and fittingly opens the disc.”

The recording of another track allowed Larson to meet the influential Gerry Beckley, author of the Watercolor Sky track, “Annabelle.” “Gerry is a good friend of Jeffrey’s; (they) have sung on each other’s projects in the past. As I understand it, ‘Annabelle’ was a song written between Gerry’s solo CD Van Go Gan and the upcoming America album [since released as Human Nature-ed.], and was unreleased. I was considering doing an older tune of America’s as a cover and somewhere in a conversation between Jeffrey and Gerry, ‘Annabelle’ was suggested. I flew down to Los Angeles and we met at a Starbucks where I was basically handed the lyrics, track, and a demo to learn the song. I’ve been influenced by (Beckley’s) work ever since I picked up an instrument so it was an obvious thrill to sing and record this song.”

Perhaps Watercolor Sky’s most intriguing song is “King of Summer.” Larson suggests that there is one one-and-only “king.” “The king of summer is a reference to Brian Wilson/Beach Boys-the effect of that music and its ability to move and actually bring you out from somewhere to a better place,” says Larson. “‘King of Summer’ is a celebration in a way.”

As is the entire contents of Watercolor Sky. A beautiful record to put on early in the morning or late at night, it is one of those all-too-rare records that grows on the listener with each listen.

John Holcomb
February 8, 1999

Discography

Elua Aloha “Deluxe Edition”

Vivid Sound 2018

Tracks: Feeling Just the Way I Do (Over You), Need a Little Summer, Windblown Mind, Girl with Uke, You Remind Me of the Sun, All Bets Are Off, Hazy Sunshine, The Word Go, Frontier Village, She Has to Know by Now, Shadows of the Canyon & Satellite Sky.

Musicians on the Elua Aloha album: Jeff Larson, Jeffrey Foskett, Henry Kapono, Gerry Beckley, Jason Scheff, Jeff Pevar and others.

Elua Aloha

New Surf Limited 2018

Tracks: Feeling Just the Way I Do (Over You), Need a Little Summer, Windblown Mind, Girl with Uke, You Remind Me of the Sun, All Bets Are Off, Hazy Sunshine, The Word Go, Frontier Village, She Has to Know by Now, Shadows of the Canyon, Satellite Sky & World I’m In.

Musicians on the Elua Aloha album: Jeff Larson, Jeffrey Foskett, Henry Kapono, Gerry Beckley, Jason Scheff, Jeff Pevar and others

Watercolor Sky “Anniversary Edition”

Feral Cat Records 2017

Tracks: Nothing But Air, Annabelle, Definite Blonde, Shades, Song For Renee, Coast, Plain To See (I´m Gone), Touch Of June, King Of Summer, Summer Fades, Girl with Uke (Previously Unreleased) (Bonus Tracks) & Plain to See (Original Guitar/Vocal Demo) (Bonus Tracks).

Musicians on the Watercolor Sky “Anniversary Edition” album: Jeff Larson, Jeffrey Foskett, Bob Gothar, Gary Griffin, Gerry Beckley & Hank Linderman.

Heart Of The Valley

Vivid Sound 2016

Tracks: Heart Of The Valley, Sudden Soldier, Airport Smiles (Part 1), Minus Marci, Calling, One Way Ticket, Five Mile Road, Southern Girl, Two People At Once, Wishing Well, One Lit Window, Once A Day (Bonus Tracks), Why I Lost You (Bonus Tracks), Southern Girl (Alt. Acoustic Mix) (Bonus Tracks), Airport Smiles (Full Version) (Bonus Tracks) & Two People (Bridge Vocals) (Bonus Tracks).

Musicians on the Heart Of The Valley album: Jeff Larson and others.

Best Of Jeff Larson

Vivid Sound 2015

Tracks: Hand Me Down, You Remind Me of the Sun, Heart of the Valley, Ghosts of San Miguel, Where Is Indio CA, Minus Marci, Approaching Midnight, Carol Ann, Monday Clouds Tuesday Rain, Hapless Sky, Calling, Southaways, Changing Colors, Your Way Back Home, Once A Day, Half Moon Bay, Play Through, Hazy Sunshine & Windblown Mind.

Musicians on the Best Of album: Jeff Larson and others.

Close Circle

NCompass Music 2014

Tracks: Rescue, Following The Echoes, Every Hour On The Hour, Even When The Rain Comes, Goodbye Ocean Street Beaches, Rain Soaked Cloud (featuring America), Always The Mystery, How Long Running, Arizona Again, The Lay Of The Land, Every Hour On The Hour (Alternate Acoustic Mix)

Musicians on the Close Cirle album: Jeff Larson, Jeff Pevar, Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell), Jeddrah, Randell Kirsch, Jeffrey Foskett and others.

Leaves

Red Bell Recordings 2013

Tracks: Good Good Morning, Frontier Village, Postcard From Here, World I´m In, The Satellite Sky & If Wishes Were Horses.

Musicians on the Leaves album: Jeff Larson and others.

The World Over

Red Bell Recordings 2012

Tracks: Your Way Back Home, Approaching Midnight, Midhaven Getaway, Monday Clouds Tuesday Rain, One Good Lie, This Morning In Amsterdam, See It Fall, Point Of Rising, In Time & Reason To Be Near You.

Musicians on the The World Over album: Jeff Larson and others.

House Concert

NCompass Music 2011

Tracks: I Don´t Mind The Rain, Hey!, Hapless Sky, Ghost Of San Miquel, February Passing Though, One Good Lie, See It Fall, You Remind Me Of The Sun, Approaching Midnight & Under The Weather.

Musicians on the House Concert album: Jeff Larson, Hank Linderman & Jeddrah Smith.

Heart Of The Valley

Human Nature Records 2009

Tracks: Heart Of The Valley, Sudden Soldier, Airport Smiles, Minus Marci, Calling, One Way Ticket, Five Mile Road, Southern Girl, Two People At Once, Wishing Well & One Lit Window.

Musicians on the Heart Of The Valley album: Jeff Larson and others.

Left Of A Dream

Jeff Larson Music 2008

Tracks: Wake Up, Anywhere She Goes, Ghost Of San Miguel, Red To Rust, Threat Of Rain, Where Is Indio CA, Karen, Whereabouts Unknown, California Rail, Presiding Over Ruins, Easy On Me, Child´s Play, San Miguel Reprise & Be Here Anyway.

Musicians on the Swimming In The Make Believe album: Jeff Larson and others.

New Antiques

Jeff Larson Music 2007

Tracks: Hapless Sky, Waiting For The Mail, Carbon, Morning ´Til Noon, At The Depot, I Don´t Mind The Rain, Coldwinds, Force Of A Smile, Morris Air, This Frequency & Coffe At Midnight.

Musicians on the New Antiques album: Jeff Larson and others.

Swimming In The Make Believe

JVC Victor 2006

Tracks: You Remind Me On The Sun, Play Through, A Faraway Girl, Southaways, I′ll Be Gone, Summer Fades, Hand Me Down, Something Of Magritte, Under The Weather, Rain On Me  In The Rain, She Has To Know By Now, Leaving California, (When You) Christmas Fades (Bonus Track) & A Better Day (w/Gerry Beckley, b-mix) (Bonus Track).

Musicians on the Swimming In The Make Believe album: Jeff Larson, Jeffrey Foskett, Randell Kirsch, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Bob Ramsey, Dave Raven, Ryland Steen, Robert Lamm & Dewey Bunnell.

Swimming In The Make Believe

New Surf Records 2006

Tracks: You Remind Me On The Sun, Play Through, A Faraway Girl, Southaways, I′ll Be Gone, Summer Fades, Hand Me Down, Something Of Magritte, Under The Weather, Rain On Me  In The Rain, She Has To Know By Now, Leaving California & Summer Fades (Alternate Version) (Hidden Track).

Musicians on the Swimming In The Make Believe album: Jeff Larson, Jeffrey Foskett, Randell Kirsch, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Bob Ramsey, Dave Raven, Ryland Steen, Robert Lamm & Dewey Bunnell.

Two Part Confessional

New Surf Records 2006

Tracks: Looking At December, Maybe Cascade Idaho, A Better Day, The Way Outside, Play Through & Only Green.

Musicians on the Two Part Confessional album: Jeff Larson, Gerry Beckley and others.

Sepia

JVC Victor Entertainment 2004

Tracks: Windblown Mind, What About My Dreams, Cryin’, Getting Into Yesterday, Seeing Red, Suburban Lawns, Hazy Sunshine, Nothing On You, Broken Heart Smile, Blur, Never Enough Time & Getting Into Yesterday (Acoustic – Bonus).

Musicians on the Fragile Sunrise album: Jeff Larson, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, Gary Griffin, Stuart Smith, Erik Andrews, Jeff Foskett & Randell Kirsch.

Sepia

New Surf Records 2004

Tracks: Windblown Mind, What About My Dreams, Cryin’, Getting Into Yesterday, Seeing Red, Suburban Lawns, Hazy Sunshine, Nothing On You, Broken Heart Smile, Blur, Never Enough Time & Getting Into Yesterday (Acoustic Mix).

Musicians on the Fragile Sunrise album: Jeff Larson, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, Gary Griffin, Stuart Smith, Erik Andrews, Jeff Foskett & Randell Kirsch.

Fragile Sunrise

New Surf Records 2003

Tracks: Place Where I Belong, Watershed Girl, Norman, Faraway Mary, Halfmoon Bay, Another Slight Addiction, Changing Colors, Sparkle To It, Heavy Rain, Some Ancient Memory, Filed Of May & Norman.

Musicians on the Fragile Sunrise album: Jeff Larson, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Gary Griffin, Steve (Big Jim) Arnold, Erik (Uncle Bad) Andrews, Maurice Gainen, Dewey Bunnell, Timothy B. Schmit, Randell Kirsch & Michael Campion.

Fragile Sunrise

Victor Records 2002

Tracks: Place Where I Belong, Watershed Girl, Norman, Faraway Mary, Halfmoon Bay, Another Slight Addiction, Changing Colors, Sparkle To It, Heavy Rain, Some Ancient Memory, Filed Of May, Norman -Producers Commentary (Bonus Track), Rocket (Bonus Track) & Heavy Rain – instrumental (Bonus Track).

Musicians on the Fragile Sunrise album: Jeff Larson, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Gary Griffin, Steve (Big Jim) Arnold, Erik (Uncle Bad) Andrews, Maurice Gainen, Dewey Bunnell, Timothy B. Schmit, Randell Kirsch & Michael Campion.

Fragile Sunrise

Magic Records 2002

Tracks: Place Where I Belong, Watershed Girl, Norman, Faraway Mary, Halfmoon Bay, Another Slight Addiction, Changing Colors, Sparkle To It, Heavy Rain, Some Ancient Memory, Filed Of May, Norman -Producers Commentary (Bonus Track), Rocket (Bonus Track), Heavy Rain – instrumental (Bonus Track) & Place – Harmony (Bonus Track).

Musicians on the Fragile Sunrise album: Jeff Larson, Hank Linderman, Gerry Beckley, Gary Griffin, Steve (Big Jim) Arnold, Erik (Uncle Bad) Andrews, Maurice Gainen, Dewey Bunnell, Timothy B. Schmit, Randell Kirsch & Michael Campion.

Complete Works 1998/2000

Magic Records 2002

Tracks: CD1: Hey, Carol Ann, Sarah’s Song, Valentine Note, Lot To Learn (Blue Pacific), Room For Summer, Lauren, Postcard, The Word Go, Goes Without Saying, Her Heart, All The Sudden Cool, Lauren (orchestral reprise), Nothing But Air, Annabelle, Definite Blonde, Shades, Song For Renee, Coast, Another Highway Song & I´m Gone. CD2: Touch Of June, King Of Summer, Room For Summer (alt. version), Carol Ann (vocal/guitar mix), Gray Wave (unreleased), Everything Is Fine (unreleased demo), Coast (vocal only), Traditional Longboard (unreleased), Postcard From Here (alternative acoustic mix), When She Comes Around (unreleased demo), Coastal Moon (unreleased), Girl With Uke (unreleased), With Uke (snippet), Plain To See (track only), Shades (original demo), Golden Summers (dutch single), Summer Means Fun (unreleased), Summer Means Fun (vocal only / unreleased), You Just Don´t Know (Touch of june – intro), Changing Colors (« Blueflower » mix unreleased), Nothing But Air (track only) & Shades (vocal only).

Musicians on the Complete Works 1998/2000 album: Jeff Larson and others.

Room For Summer

New Surf Records 2000

Tracks: Hey, Carol Ann, Sarah’s Song, Valentine Note, Lot To Learn (Blue Pacific), Room For Summer, Lauren, Postcard, The Word Go, Goes Without Saying, Her Heart, All The Sudden Cool, Lauren (orchestral reprise), Carol Ann (vocal/guitar mix), & Room For Summer (alt. version).

Musicians on the Room For Summer album: Jeff Larson and others.

Nothing But Air

Dayfaze Records 1999

Tracks: Nothing But Air, Definite Blonde & Goes Without Saying (bonus track).

Musicians on the Nothing But Air album: Jeff Larson & others.

Watercolor Sky

New Surf Ltd. Records 1998

Tracks: Nothing But Air, Annabelle, Definite Blonde, Shades, Song For Renee, Coast, Another Highway Song, I´m Gone, Touch Of June & King Of Summer.

Musicians on the Watercolor Sky album: Jeff Larson, Jeffrey Foskett, Bob Gothar, Gary Griffin, Gerry Beckley & Hank Linderman.

Leaving California

NCompass Music 1997

Tracks: Shades, Another Highway Song & Leaving California.

Musicians on the Leaving California album: Jeff Larson and others.

Beggars

It Stinks! Records 1997

Tracks: Ancient Memory, Halo´s In The Coliseum, This Morning In Amsterdam, Backwinds, Wake The Phonix, Coffee At Midnight, Go Down, Arizona Smile, Handwritten Letter, Far Away Girl, Blur The Line, Poppies By Monet, Death In The City & Where Aslan Prevails.

Musicians on the Upper Story Landing album: Jeff Larson, Jim McCarty, Treena Dee, Bobby Black, John Earp, Kyla Bates, Dan Molina, Kurt Foster. Clovis A. Lewis, Jeanelle Rusmisel & Susan Foule.

Upper Story Landing

It Stinks! Records 1995

Tracks: Northern Pacific, Shallowlands, Point Of Rising, Van Gogh And Gauguin, Rain On Me, California Rail, Renaissance Man, Unsettled Ways, Changing Colors, Just The Wind, Ahead Of The Darkness, Broken Fallen World, Name Of Change, Seeing Red, In The Round, Waiting & At The Depot.

Musicians on the Upper Story Landing album: Jeff Larson, John Earp, Treena Dee, Kurt Foster, Russ Hodges & John Ringleman.

Personal Sketches

Bug And Bear Music 1982

Tracks: Come Into My Life, Drifted Far, Communicate My Heart, David, Talkin´ About Love, Good Good Morning, Carry On Dancing, Baby Blue And Jesus Too & Growing In Jesus.

Musicians on the Personal Sketches album: Jeff Larson, Clive Worsley & Dave Elder.

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