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