Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A CLASSIC LIVE ALBUM ? A TIMELESS SONGWRITER
Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Live albums have always been a tricky business for performers - even the best of them can have an `off' night, and it could easily coincide with a scheduled recording...and if the performance happens to be first-rate, there could be problems with the recording process itself. In the case of this recording, from 1968, Tim and his band are in fine form - and the recording...well, considering the era in which it was made, we should feel pretty lucky that it came out as good as it did. Released here in its entirety - four of the tracks here were left off the original LP release for length considerations, to keep it from being a more expensive item - the listener is allowed to hear one of the greatest songwriters of his era performing a wide selection of his works.Hardin's songs were covered by other artists - Bobby Darin had a moderate hit with `If I were a carpenter', and also recorded several other Hardin songs. Rod Stewart had a huge hit with `Reason to believe', and dozens of other turned to Hardin's fine writing, recognizing his gifts for melody and words - but Tim's own versions always struck the most resonant chord in me. He recorded several studio albums in his too-short career (he died in 1980), but this live album, to me, will always be the place I turn to hear the `real', unadulterated Tim Hardin.The musicians along for this ride are stellar - and they are a big part of what makes this recording so successful. All of them have strong roots in jazz, and are respected players - Warren Bernhardt (piano, clavinet), Daniel Hankin (guitar), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone), Eddie Gomez (acoustic bass), and Donald MacDonald (drums). Their accompaniment is sensitive and thoughtful, never overpowering the singer and his songs. Hardin, thus taking the spotlight, accompanies himself on acoustic guitar, playing piano on only `Lenny's tune'. It's hard to tell from the performance how much the band actually rehearsed - guys like these can `wing it' and make it sound like they've been playing the material for years.Hardin seems relaxed but inspired, performing here at New York City's Town Hall - a venerable venue - before a very appreciative crowd. The audience is obviously very familiar with his songs - several times, they break into applause at the opening bars, recognizing them almost immediately. It must have been a wonderful feeling for Tim to feel the appreciation coming from the crowd.All of his `hits' - he never had one himself, but many of his songs are familiar - are here: `Lady came from Baltimore', `Reason to believe', `Misty roses', `You upset the grace of living when you lie', Don't make promises', and of course `If I were a carpenter'. The lesser-known songs are just as entertaining and beautiful as the more widely-heard ones - especially `Tribute to Hank Williams' and one that he introduces to the crowd as `a new one', `Lenny's tune', a thoughtful and heartfelt tribute to Lenny Bruce.The songs range from upbeat to easygoing, almost meditative numbers - but each and every one is a perfect representation of the amazing talent that was Tim Hardin. This recording is an invaluable document - and every bit as relevant today as it was 35 years ago."
Michael S. Smith | Dansville, NY United States | 06/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tim was one of our national treasures (if not just a little wiggy) - his sense of rhythm & his uncanny abilty to pick the pockets of the blues singers he loved without distracting from the song was just so very sweet. This release - the only concert recording semi-available - is the stuff desert island discs are made of: a singular voice and an inimitable performance.
By the way, Tim's guitar is almost certainly one of his infamous "cheapo's" (based on the rather twangy "G" string)which he would buy for a gig, then sell for drugs afterwards - as I said before, Timmy was one wiggy genius (The "twang" is not a distraction, it only adds to the ambience). You may need to hunt a bit for this one - but you will be pleased to own Tim Hardin In Concert."