Various Artists - Reason To Believe: The Songs Of Tim Hardin

Heartfelt salutes to a great singer-songwriter

The term “musician’s
musician” may be a tad
overused, but it’s fitting for
the late Hardin, whose work
has always been celebrated
more by other performers
than the broader public.
Such diverse names as
Johnny Cash, The Four Tops,
Paul Weller, Scott Walker
and Echo & The Bunnymen have all covered his songs
and, if you count Reason
To Believe as a double
A-side with Maggie May,
he has a worldwide chart-topper
to his name courtesy
of Rod Stewart.

That most famous of his
songs is tackled here by Brit
alt.folkies The Sand Band,
so it’s clear this tribute
album isn’t awash with high-profile
A-listers like those
mentioned above. Not that
that’s a bad thing, as every
act answering the call here
still approaches their task
with reverence and affection.
Mark Lanegan brings earthy
yearning to Red Balloon,
Okkervill River add delicately
ambient brush strokes to It’ll
Never Happen Again and
Smoke Fairies turn If I Were
A Carpenter into a sinister
swamp blues.

Full Time Hobby, the label
that also put together 2006’s
Dream Brother, a collection
of Tim and Jeff Buckley
covers, admirably give their
contributors a free rein and
the opportunity to stamp their
own identity on the material.
At one end of the spectrum
that means Snorri Helgason
is sparsely faithful to the
gentle Misty Roses, while The
Phoenix Foundation imbue
Don’t Make Promises with
post-psych otherworldliness.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Full Time Hobby | FT 100 CD

Reviewed by Terry Staunton
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