Hunkpapa

Hunkpapa

by Jeffrey Halford & the Healers
     
 
Although San Francisco-based, Jeffrey Halford makes music that is seeped in the South. It's a sound forged from roots rock and country blues, with a hint of gospel and folk. The easy-flowing "Oh, Susanna" begins with a brief guitar nod to the same-named traditional tune and then proceeds to tell a Civil War-set narrative from a Confederate soldier's perspective, which

Overview

Although San Francisco-based, Jeffrey Halford makes music that is seeped in the South. It's a sound forged from roots rock and country blues, with a hint of gospel and folk. The easy-flowing "Oh, Susanna" begins with a brief guitar nod to the same-named traditional tune and then proceeds to tell a Civil War-set narrative from a Confederate soldier's perspective, which refers to Ambrose Bierce's short story Incident at Owl Creek Bridge. "Memphis," meanwhile, is a rousing tribute to that Tennessee town complete with shout-outs to Al Green, B.B. King, and the King, Elvis. Throughout the record, Halford displays a sharp storytelling eye. The hobo ode "Straight Razor" and the panoramic tale of Central California, "Black Gold," stand out as particularly evocative, moving songs. Sometimes his societal critiques verge on becoming heavy-handed; both the anti-gun ."44" and the Native American history lesson "Crazy Horse" drive home their points a bit too hard. "Satchel's Fastball," however, nicely injects an undercurrent of '50s racial politics into this Satchel Paige-centered baseball story. But for all of his gritty tales, Halford also adeptly displays a softer side. "Radio Flyer," for example, beautifully tells its story of a parent talking lovingly about his young child. This poignant tune recalls Bring the Family-era John Hiatt and the similarities continue in Halford's Southern soulful vocals and his rootsy rock sound. While he might not have reached Hiatt's songwriting peaks, "Halford" does demonstrate a real ability to pen vivid stories, and aided by his loose band of compatriots, the Healers, he puts them across with just enough muscle to make an impact without being overly melodramatic.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/08/1999
Label:
Shoeless Records
UPC:
0801391244420
catalogNumber:
4420
Rank:
277156

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jeffrey Halford & the Healers   Primary Artist
Chuck Prophet   Guitar
Myron Dove   Bass
Roy Tyler   Background Vocals
John Mader   Percussion,Drums
Vince Littleton   Drums
Paul Olguin   Bass
Jeffrey Halford   Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar
Chip Roland   Organ,Piano
Steve Bowman   Drums
Trey Sabatelli   Percussion,Drums
Rich "Goldie" Goldstein   Guitar
Healers   Track Performer
Thom Canova   Organ,Bass
Joe Thomas   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jeffrey Halford   Producer,Engineer
Thom Canova   Producer

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