Album review: Jeffrey Halford & the Healers, ‘Rainmaker,’ poetic snapshots

rainmakerRoad trips are born from a desire for an adventure, an escape, a journey or a combination thereof. Jeffrey Halford & The Healers’ latest release on Shoeless Records, “Rainmaker,” is the perfect accompaniment for an expedition to the open road because it will give you all of those things.
Tim Parsons Tahoe Onstage
Americana artist Jeffrey Halford’s latest album is “Rainmaker.”
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
Over the last 25 years Halford has crisscrossed the country as a roots-rock troubadour with his band the Healers and “Rainmaker” is an album born from the wide open spaces of America’s countryside. The enchantment of escaping one’s hometown for the unknown drives the sprawling “Nature’s Choir” as Halford sings “Just one road, mostly sky/ Strong west wind/ Desert wind/ Strong west wind/ Nature’s choir.” The tantalizing “Rainmaker” just calls to be blasted from the car speakers on a cruise into a thunderstorm in the Arizona desert. The most satisfying aspect of Halford, who comes across as magnificent on the album, is how he is the complete package: he can sing, he can play and he can write affecting songs. On “Lost Highway” his ghostly slide work propels the song into a menacing trance and “North Beach” punches with a gritty acoustic riff. Accompanied only by guitar and violin, Halford tells a heartwarming story about revisiting the location of love’s manifestation in “Thunderbird Motel” that can only make one conjure up memories of their own brushes with intimacy. “Mexico” is an electric ballad to escapism that has Halford come to the realization that “I left the race/ But I regained my sight.” Throughout all the songs, Halfords rich tone resonates like aged liquor from a freshly opened casket. His voice is full and clear and one of the best Americana voices out there. Halford has created a fully realized and expertly crafted fine piece of work. “Rainmaker” is just a refreshingly consistent album that never sputters. Each song can stand alone as its own poetic snapshot of a place in time, but together they are an ode to the journey one takes when they open themselves to life’s possibilities.
  • Jeffrey Halford and the Healers “RainmakerLabel: Shoeless Records Release: April 11, 2014 Notable Tracks: “Thunderbird Motel,” “Rainmaker,” “Nature’s Choir” Purchase: LINK
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
 

ABOUT Garrett Bethmann

Garrett Bethmann
Garrett Bethmann is a graduate of University of Mary Washington with a degree in English. An eight-year resident of Lake Tahoe, he now lives in Denver, Colorado.

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