Jeffrey Halford and the Healers "Broken Chord" (Shoeless 2008)
Superior roadhouse rock and roll
Jeffrey Halford is one of those roadhouse blues-rockers of which America seems to have an inexhaustible supply. In his late forties, he’s been playing since his teens and is now six albums in to a career of criss-crossing America with his band playing here, there and everywhere. You already know what he sounds like and you’ve heard someone like him a hundred times before, but what raises Halford up from the masses is his writing.
For starters, on “Ninth Ward” and “Louisiana Man” he lambasts in brutally direct language those responsible for ignoring the plight of America’s poor and fouling up the Hurricane Katrina response respectively. Then there’s his characters: a slow swampy groove introduces “Chicken Bones Jones”, a man who has “a one eared dog, two right shoes/a respectable job at the city refuse”, while his “Rockabilly Bride” may have clichéd “red rose lips”, but she also has “spaceship eyes.”
Musically the best track is “In A Dream” which features the Sir Douglas Quintet organist Augie Myers and has Halford channeling that legendary band’s sound for two hundred seconds of superior good-time fun. Throughout though The Healers are as tight as you’d expect them to be, and Halford’s own guitar work can be as incendiary or subtle as required.
This sort of music is never going to change the world, even with Halford’s superior writing, but it certainly does its part in keeping it turning.
Date review added: Friday, January 04, 2008
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle
Related web link: Jeffrey Halford website