Imagine a virtual living room filled with ringing guitars, velvet-toned singing, and sure-handed playing as you experience the warm-grained musical journey that is Jeff Larson s The World Over. This set of ten original songs washes over you in melodic waves, pulsing with strong emotions and genuine feeling. There is a special quality to Larson s music that listeners can trust. Anyone seeking respite from the often jarring clamor of day-to-day life in the 21st century can find safe harbor throughout this album. With a painterly eye for detail, Larson tells stories with themes of searching and finding, losing and longing, capturing everyday life through a clear-eyed lens, journeying near and far, ultimately leading, from song to song, to wherever listeners call home. The music on The World Over is enriched by such top-flight vocalists as Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of the band America, Jeddrah Schmit, the daughter of Eagles bassist/singer Timothy B. Schmit, and Jeffrey Foskett, music director and part of the Brian Wilson Band. The way Bunnell and Schmit, in particular, blend with Larson s crystal-clear vocals in shimmering harmony makes you smile and sway with the sound. Album co-producer Hank Linderman s stirring electric guitar lines span a kaleidoscope of sonic colors that arc across the landscape of Larson s songs. World music string-man extraordinaire Bob Brozman also brings unique instrumental elements to the mix that deepen certain textures that span genres and stretch into different cultures. Fluidly flowing from chiming acoustic ballads to Latino-laced folk to cantering pop-rockers, these songs weave together beautifully.
The World Over was produced by Larson and Linderman, with the exception of This Morning in Amsterdam, which was co-produced by Gerry Beckley, and part of I Like It Better Here: Music From Home, a 2010 compilation that also included tracks from Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and Jack Tempchin, among others. This Morning in Amsterdam, an atmospheric, dream-like song, was my first introduction to Larson and his music, and it is also featured on this album. What struck me then and I hear again now is a true sense of melody, awareness and insight. Larson is a musician who has that rare ability to transform life experiences into music that engages, intrigues and resonates. Tune into The World Over and it will transport you.
Dave Zimmer, author of Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Biography