Jeffrey Halford & The Healers – Lo Fi Dreams
Trying to parse the complex interfusion of influences that courses through Jeffrey Halford’s blood is a bit like trying to sequence the DNA of a primate—on the one hand, it’s almost shocking how familiar so much of it is, but at the same time, you know you’re spelunking into the soul of a creature very different from you.
If Lo Fi dreams isn’t the best LP of this veteran troubadour’s exemplary career, it’s at least certainly the defining one—and it’s quite possibly the best at that.
How to describe what Halford has achieved here? How to explain the nuances of sound that make up this deceptively straightforward roots-rock release?
Start with this sonic vision: Imagine Jimmy Dale Gilmore singing Tom Waits’ “Get Behind The Mule.” Then throw in a healthy dose of Alejandro Escovedo circa A Man Under The Influence, and add in a touch of Gram Parsons, with a flavor not unlike “We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes In the Morning.” Add in some winsome Live at the Old Quarter-style Townes Van Zandt, and then have Jeff Tweedy sing something off Greg Brown’s Slant 6 Mind, with Bo Ramsey layin’ down the slide. Finally, maybe drop in a hint of 80’s roots-punk à la The Blasters and The Beat Farmers, and then hitch the whole thing to a truck being driven by John Fogerty and Levon Helm, and I guess you’d get something close to what Halford manages to so seamlessly assemble.
Full disclosure, I first met Mr. Jeffrey Halford way back in the early 90’s—during the glory days of San Francisco music—and I’ve been a fan ever since. His heart is of the on-the-sleeve type, and he’s got all the things you need to do what he does—a deep soul, a sharp pen, a cracked voice, and the calluses to play like you mean it.
A lot of what I recommend on this blog are LPs by artists long gone. Not so here. Halford is out there doin’ it right now, and this, his newest album, is as good as anything you’ll find in the field. Don’t miss your chance to get on board with someone who’s alive and well, and making the best music of his long career.