“(Halford has) a storyteller's eye for detail, and a rootsy guitar ethic that can quickly surge into a loud wail. The album
shines as a great example of California's legacy of producing a pantheon of talented songwriters. Merle and Fogerty would
be proud of Halford's rootsy rock.”
"This CD is simply exploding with material a trillion times more artfully crafted than one is used to hearing in this genre. The
guitar playing is dynamite. Complete Americana Rock glory."– FolkWax.com, December 2005"Halford may have one of the best voices out there and his lyric work is not less than brilliant. He leaves his heart on every
track of this CD."
Music Morsels, January 2006
“Introspective, country-informed ballads, slashing-riff rockers, and Creedence-worthy swamp blues, all infused with
Halford's evocative, hard-life lyrics and blazing slide guitar work, combine to maintain his status among the outstanding,
essential voices in Americana today.”– San Diego Union-Tribune, Buddy Blue"Smoking riffs add a nice hitch to this disc. Halford and band blow the roof off with the rollicking "Rent to Own" and
approach genius with the touching "Railbirds."
What's Up Magazine, December 2005
"Former architecture student and modern gypsy Jeffrey Halford has a love of all things nostalgic and gritty about American
culture. With 15 years of performing and writing under his belt, he is a staple of the Bay Area music scene. His recordings
and concerts over the years serve as a reminder that, though the dotcoms came and went, the spirit of San Francisco will
never be tamed."
Santa Cruz Metro, January 2006
"Jeffrey Halford plays his hand with a healthy set of tunes that are soulful and sincere. Halford has good instincts with top
notch musicianship backing every tune."
Music Connection Magazine, January 2006
“Rent to Own” is one of those roots rock tunes where everything is perfect, if a little haphazard. A great lyric, great guitars,
and a vocal to die for. It wouldn’t be a stretch to put Halford in the upper echelon of writers of this type of rock—folks like
Dylan, Hiatt, Springsteen, Fogerty, Mellencamp, and others. He’s got the goods, and hopefully this one will help push it into
more folks’ consciousness.“
“Railbirds is a ‘can’t miss’ recording. The sticker on the cover extolling the virtues of special guests Augie Meyers, Chuck
Prophet, and Steve Bowman (ex-Counting Crows, Luce) propelled me to a first listen, but Halford easily carries the weight
with his music.”
Nominated for 2004 Male Singer Songwriter of The Year by the Los Angeles Music Awards.
"..with HUNKPAPA, Halford has stepped up to become a major songwriter in the roots rock field. It's his best album yet... Halford is carrying on a tradition of rock and roll that is long and literate and in the words of John Mellencamp, stimulates your brains and your hips."
His core band, the Healers, know their way around just about any variety of American roots music, while Halford himself writes strong, evocative songs including "Oh, Susana" (not the song you're thinking of, though he does borrow a bit of that one for the intro), and the gritty rocker "Black Gold." Oh, and "Hunkpapa."
Saint Louis Today.com
"Rich in texture, backbeat, and lyricism...Halford and his Healers play lean, dusky roots-rock a la the SILOS circa "About Her Steps." His gritty, plainspoken miniatures cut nearly as deep, especially those laced with his wicked, lacerating slide guitar... terrific new album."
" Good Americana music should sound the way a well-tended collection of American stamps looks. Songs should be as enduring and iconic as an old one-cent bust of Ben Franklin affixed to the corner of a yellowing letter from bygone times. It should commemorate the places, people and things that make this country great, and excoriate those that don't…San Francisco-based guitarist/songwriter Jeffrey Halford follows this approach in his bluesy folk-tinged rock. ...Halford's story-songs can serve as a sort of audible stamp collection, sagas of America that can stand for all time."
John N. Lomax
"...Hunkpapa is so good that you can feel the buzz of the guitar strings against the fillings in your molars as you listen. A twangy cloud of musical dust composed of the lyrical grit of real life."
"...his music bespeaks many years of hard experience, a world-weariness you don't usually encounter from songwriters...he sings of American heroes and roustabouts; B. B. King, Al Green, Crazy Horse and Satchel Paige share the same terrain as hobos, oil miners and Halford himself, in search of America much in the manner of Kerouac and Cassady in 'On The Road,' Fonda and Hopper in 'Easy Rider,' and Bruce Springsteen in 'Nebraska.' ... Let me also assert that Jeffrey Halford is one mean sumbitch of a guitar player. His slide work soars and dodges and makes unexpected turns in all the right places, betraying a pop sense that would seem at odds with the hard-blues roots of the method if he didn't bring these disparate worlds together so seamlessly. "
ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY
SALT LAKE CITY WEEKLY "Hunkpapa is probably one of the finest slabs of roots-rock and country-fried blues and soul you’ll hear in this or any other year. Halford is the total package: An engaging singer with razor-sharp guitar chops who writes catchy songs loaded with storied lyrics—it’s almost frightening how good this guy is. Already given an Americana pedestal alongside the likes of John Prine, Alejandro Escovedo and even Bob Dylan by critics and regular folk alike, Halford learned his blues on the "wrong" side of the tracks."
SALT LAKE CITY WEEKLY
"Halford’s a literate, narrative writer and a more-than-fair hand on a slide guitar who writes vivid slices of life about red wagons, guitars, baseball legends, the wages of violence and the perils and pleasures of love… Backed by a rock-solid band, Halford delivers those words with a stand-and-deliver fervor…The grooves of Halford/Healers range from straight ballads to blues-based mid-tempo tunes to roaring rockers in which the slide guitar simply burns."
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
"..Halford’s songwriting summons us into world’s simultaneously haunted by such spirits as blues man Robert Johnson and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda…His original roots rock’n roll songs etch a unique American landscape."
WESTERN BEAT MONTHLY
"…Halford takes his listeners from Memphis to the San Joaquin Valley, weaving tales that refer to such American figures as Crazy Horse, Satchel Paige and Ambrose Bierce. Similar to fellow singer/songwriter Kevin Gordon, Halford sets his songs in a rootsy, bluesy musical setting that can both surge ("Black Gold") or ease down ("Small Craft Advisory").
MILES OF MUSIC
BayArea singer-songwriter Jeffrey Halford is a rootsy cross between Peter Case and Graham Parker..."Hunkpapa," the cool new album (and followup to 1998's underrated "Kerosene") includes a greasy retro-soul highlight, "Memphis."
MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL
September 21, 2001
Jeffrey Halford and the Healers Rich in texture, backbeat, and lyricism, Bay-area-based Halford and his Healers play lean, dusky roots-rock ˆ la the Silos circa About Her Steps. Halford's gritty, plainspoken miniatures cut nearly as deep, especially those laced with his wicked, lacerating slide guitar. Halford and the Healers celebrate the release of their terrific new album, Hunkpapa, with an appearance on this week's Western Beat Roots Revival at the Exit/In.
Our Critics Pick
Sept 25, 2001
"It's not often you find a songwriter with guitar chops this sharp. Halford's narrative poetic lyrics and slinky roots 'n' roll guitar playing make for a potent combination...There's something special going on here."
MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE
"This CD is tremendous"
"Thwacka, thwacka guitar whomping and minimalist percussion shove his piercing vocal and lyric up front. It's got the oddest quality that you can't turn your ear away from."
Robert K. Oermann
MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE
"Jeffrey Halford and The Healers play the kind of revved up roots rock that keeps our audience tuned in."
WESTERN BEAT RADIO/WSIX
Like finding a desert oasis bubbling over with life-giving water, HUNKPAPA provides a graceful haven from the current musical climate in the pop wasteland.
MOUNTAIN XPRESS (Asheville, NC)
WICN Radio Worcester, MA Jeffrey Halford is a wordsmith who weaves (meaningful) words into verse and then wraps them around musical hooks that beg to be heard again! The Healers bring it all home with a smoothness that just aches for that extra touch of volume! I love this release...Jeffrey Halford and the Healers are why American Roots Radio exists! Hunkpapa went straight from the mailer into my Top Ten!
AMERICAN ROOTS RADIO
Halford and the Healers supply rockn roll with the kick-in-the-rear-end it needs... Mean slide playing.
This is great rootsy rock music. Halfords slide playing is raucous, raw and foreboding. His poetry transcends the run-of-the-mill lyrics.
...Halfords storytelling talents are obvious, almost a Hemingway armed with a blues guitar.
Jeffrey Halford is a great storyteller and songwriter in the tradition of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. ...standout cuts galore on HUNKPAPA.
KLOS Radio (Los Angeles)
...Halfords music evidences his street band influences ...with its blend of Beat-style lyrics, slide guitar-laced blues, and gritty roots rock.
"Jeffrey Halford And The Healers new release Hunkpapa (on Shoeless Records) is nothing short of fabulous...roots rock this side of the edge...stop you in your tracks teaser (slide) guitars... stand up and take notice cuts fill this CD, one of our favorites is the deliberate gospel tinged boogie of Satchel's Fastball... every song is it's own selected short... Radio Flyer transports you to the back porch, where you watch a child grow & play, amazing... and there's more... Jeffrey Halford And The Healers are now on tour, Hunkpapa is available August 29th."
...Halford has the ability to paint both intimate character sketches and broad American landscapes, with a keen eye and a sympathetic heart.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN