Larry Jon Wilson came to the party late. When he arrived in Nashville, he had already spent ten years in corporate America. He did not start playing guitar until the age of 30, but five years later he released his debut, New Beginnings, following it with Let Me Sing My Song To You (BEWITH 053LP, 2018). A revelation among the hipsters and critics of Nashville, Larry Jon was immediately embraced as part of the mid-’70s “outlaw country movement” that eschewed slick production in favor of a raw, gritty approach. When a film crew came to document this burgeoning sound, they made straight for Larry Jon’s door. He was a singer and writer of intensely private, painfully moving tales of southern life. With his deep, papa-bear voice, funky southern groove, and richly evocative narratives of rural Georgia, Larry Jon was a unique stylist but his gutsy, greasy sound did not translate into sales. Too funky for the country crowd, too heartfelt for pop radio, he fell between the cracks. New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song To You are so similar they play like two halves of a double album, showcasing his unique mix of country, folk, soul and swampy blues. Driven by a crack rhythm section that included Elvis guitarist Reggie Young, New Beginnings is a rich, literate record. Anyone with even a passing interest in the union between soul and country music will be able to tell they’ve located solid gold as soon as Larry Jon’s deep baritone utters the first appreciative “mm-hmm” a few bars into the opening “Ohoopee River Bottomland”, a fat-bottomed swamp-funk account of hard times in the city and country alike. Funny, nostalgic, sad, wistful, righteously pissed-off: New Beginnings is country-influenced American songwriting at its finest, from the feverish country-got-soul groove pulsating behind the weary sigh of “Through The Eyes of Children” to the elemental lament “Things Ain’t What It Used to Be (and Probably Never Was)”, a country standard that somehow got away. The audio comes from the original analog tape transfers and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. The same care has been taken with the striking cover art; Larry’s close friend Jeb Loy Nicholscontributed liner notes. Edition of 500. Carefully reproduced original art. Remastered from original tape transfers.