Lo-Fi Dreams

Jeffrey Halford And The Healers

Shoeless Records, 2017


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Born in Dallas but having spent his formative years in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Halford had a consistent interest in AM radio led him into music. By the time high school came around, Halford had a guitar in his possession thanks to his father, and during his college years, he cut his teeth as a street musician. Eventually his street gigs led to a formal band, The Snappers, though for the last two and a half decades he's been playing with The Healers.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Halford's eighth album with The Healers, Lo-Fi Dreams, stays true to its title, using vintage lo-fi amps and guitars from the '50s and '60s and utilizing time honored traditions like rock 'n' roll, country, blues, and roots rock to cultivate the warm atmosphere.

“Two Jacksons” starts the album with a soft groove and Halford's mix of singing and talking that brings to mind The Eagles. Next up is “Elvis Shot The Television,” a cautious tune with soft horns and a turbulent mix of busy instrumentation. “Door #3” is the first time we hear Halford's blues influences in the form of a restrained rocker, while the quick-paced country rock of “Good Trouble” showcases the slide guitar work that's also present later.

The quieter moments on the album are some of the best, including the warm acoustic picking and subtle percussion of “10,000 Miles.” Later on, Halford offers the slow burning campfire Americana of “Sweet Annette,” and he finishes the album with the key heavy ballad of “The Great Divide” where keys and Spanish guitar add greatly to the closer.

The two best tracks, which alone are worth the price of admission, are “Bird Of Youth,” an Elvis Costello-ish tune with organs, and the lush, psych-influenced, thoughtful rocker “Last Kiss.” Really, though, there isn't a dud on the album.

Halford's songs bring to mind the timelessness of legends like Gram Parsons or Tom Petty, but there's a modern touch of Drive By-Truckers as well. For fans of country or the many variations of it that exist today, this album is an absolute must hear.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2017 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Shoeless Records, and is used for informational purposes only.