Mimi Fariņa & Tom Jans:
A&M Records (SP 4310) Fall 1971
Re-issued on CD in 2013
Produced by Michael Jackson
Engineer: Henry Lewy
Cover photo: Jim Marshall
On this album Mimi finally returned to the spotlight from the silence that followed Richard's death. Although she only had one writing credit with Richard ("Miles") and an arranging credit for "Dog Blue," on Take Heart Mimi emerged as a strong songwriter with four original songs and three more co-written with Tom Jans. One of the most appealing elements of Mimi and Tom's musical collaboration was how well they blended their voices. Mimi and Richard had often arranged their harmonies in fourths and fifths for the dulcimer. This is part of what created their striking and unique sound, but on Take Heart Mimi and Tom sang more soothing harmonies in thirds, and a warm, intimate mood bathes the songs. We are also treated to some beautiful guitar playing from both performers, especially on the instrumental, "After the Sugar Harvest," a brilliant dual-guitar reverie that recalls the old Richard & Mimi duets but nevertheless has its own unique sound. "In the Quiet Morning," Mimi's requiem for Janis Joplin, came to be her most famous song. It was recorded by Joan Baez shortly afterwards, and decades later by 10,000 Maniacs and Holly Near. Mimi came to regard Take Heart as her best work. Although it doesn't have the bold originality of her work with Richard Fariņa, it has a warmth and humanity that is perhaps closer to the core of her artistic vision.
Mimi and Tom Jans released two singles: "Letter to Jesus"/"Madman" (AM1302) and "Good God, I'm Feeling Fine" (AM1339), a Tom Jans song not included on the album. The single featured the song in stereo on one side and mono on the other.
Mimi and Tom Jans premiered at the Big Sur Festival in 1970, toured the U.S. in England in 1971, and appeared on the Dick Cavett show. They split up in 1972. Tom Jans went on to a solo career in the mid-seventies, playing in more of a rock style. He died following an auto accident in 1984. In 2013 Take Heart was reissued together with Tom Jans' first solo album on one CD.
Tom Jans: Guitars, Vocals
Mimi Fariņa: Guitars, Vocals
Craig Doerge: Piano, Organ, Electric Piano
Jim Keltner: Drums, Percussion
Leland Sklar: Bass Guitar
Emil Richards: Percussion, Tamboura
Edgar Lustgarten: Cello
Russ Kunkel: Drums
Sneaky Pete Kleinow: Pedal Steel Guitar
Produced by Michael Jackson. (wtf?)
Cover photo by Jim Marshall.