Legendary folk singer Tim Hardin who coined such classics as “If I Were a Carpenter” is the latest artist to be honoured with a new tribute album featuring a host of well respected artists. His influence was and still is huge, he inspired artists such as Johnny Cash, Paul Weller, Rod Stewart, Echo and the Bunnymen, Scott Walker and Nico to name but a few and this latest tribute album titled Reason To Believe – The Songs of Tim Hardin feature covers a wide ranging roster of artists including Mark Lanegan, Hannah Peel, Diagrams, The Magnetic North, Alela Diane, Smoke Fairies and more.
The album will be released on Full Time Hobby (28th January 2013) who also released the tribute album Dream Brother: The Songs of Tim and Jeff Buckley back in 2006. Co-owner Nigel Adams said “So many people’s entry point to Tim has been through cover versions. It felt fitting to bring his songs up to date with contemporary artists approaching his music with the hope listeners would then go beyond the well known and dig into some of the wealth of songs he wrote and recorded”.
Some of the covers are closer to the original sound than others with the likes of The Sand Band making subtle changes to Reason to Believe with added sonic depth and instruments such as pedal steel which works really well. As you’d hope with any tribute album each artist lends their own interpretation and some make bigger strides than others in their interpretations. The Smoke Fairies offer a more dark and introspective take on If I Were a Carpenter and Part of the Wind, originally a piano led track, gets the electronic treatment of bleeps and soft synths from Diagrams…the effect is pleasing, giving an altogether brighter feel but still maintaining that original emotion and intent.
The Magnetic North take the original swinging It’s Hard To Believe In Love For Long down the brooding folktronica route highlighting again why this album works so well. The covers offer a modern musical context to the lyrics…inevitable over the passage of time with changes in musical palate. Modern interpretation will for some, especially newcomers, bring a greater connection and relevance to Hardin’s music. Some may stop there but our guess is that many will go on to explore that legacy which is what this album also sets out to achieve.
This is a fitting tribute and will be a great way of introducing new fans to Tim Hardin as well as entertaining those familiar with his work.