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Jeffrey Halford & the Healers – West towards South

mei 6th, 2019 at 11:13

 

Floating Records 1 93483 47746 6

convincing director

On his tenth album, bluesy singer-songwriter and guitarist Jeffrey Halford outlines the lives of two American brothers in five songs written by him alone and five together with keyboardist, oercussionist and co-producer Adam Rossi.

He plays them together with his Healers: Rossi and bassist Bill MacBeath plus a handful of guest musicians: Scott Amendola and Rob Hooper – drums, Dave Coltrara and Kevin White – bass, Tom Heyman – guitar and steel guitar, Mark Karan and Don Rossi – guitar and Alyssa Joy Claffi – fiddle. You can clearly hear that Halford also worked with MacBeath, Rossi, and Heyman on predecessor “Lo-fi dreams” and with the two last ones on “Rainmaker” as well. The sound is as close as it is loose and the songs seem to be played live.

Halford combines elements from folk, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and americana into an atmospheric and poignant whole without fusing those genres. Nevertehless, the emphasis on the spatially recorded, bright guitars keeps the thematically linked songs together effortlessly.

They sound open and threatening and illustrate the doomed story of the brothers Ambrose and Cyrus, seen through the eyes of the first: how they decide to escape the life of their deceased father, how they head South for gold and indeed find it too and how just that finally drives them apart.

Halford again proves to be a strong composer, singer and guitarist who sings a western noir in ten visual songs that do not require images.

 

***1/2

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