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Home Is Where You Find It

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Album Review

Eddie Hardin had been a member of the Spencer Davis Group and made records with fellow Davis bandmate Pete York that were slightly more progressive than that group's recordings. On his first solo album, 1971's Home Is Where You Find It, Hardin sticks to very traditional singer/songwriter territory, laying down a strong mix of ballads, rockers, and string-laden pop tunes and coming up with something not a million miles away from Elton John territory. There is also a McCartney-esque feel on some of the quieter songs like "Let Me Comfort You." In fact, the record is truly a hidden gem that stacks up well next to the best work by either of those legends. It may lack any hits, but it is fully realized and satisfying. With the help of York and another Davis refugee, Ray Fenwick, who lends some fine guitar work and co-wrote many of the songs, Hardin creates a very intimate and organic sound based around his piano and warm, straightforward vocals. The rockers are fine, "Driving" certainly lives up to its title, and the straight-ahead ballads like "Sunshine" and "We Can Give It a Try" are truly lovely, sounding like the Band with no literary pretensions. Where the record really flies is on songs like "Strange People" and "My Soul's Awoken" when the group is augmented by strings, adding some timely grandeur and drama and lifting the record to a different level. Perhaps best of all is "California Sun," with a unique harpsichord-led arrangement and a sweet as sunshine melody. Eddie Hardin is not a well-known name, but on the strength of Home Is Where You Find It, he should be. Certainly any fan of Elton John, Paul McCartney, Traffic, or non-soft rock singer/songwriters of the '70s should consider seeking this album out. [In 2004 RPM made it easy to discover the album's charms by reissuing it with the addition of three bonus tracks: both sides of the excellent 1972 single Hardin and Fenwick recorded as Jake and a previously unreleased version of the album's title track, also by Hardin and Fenwick.]

Home Is Where You Find It, Eddie Hardin
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