Jeffrey Halford – biography
“The lonesome singer moaned through the speaker that was blown, while I was driving alone.”
“Driving Alone,” Kerosene
Jeffrey Halford, a singer/songwriter and guitarist, was born in Dallas, Texas, growing up listening to Roger Miller on a $2 transistor radio. In 1963, his parents, Colin and Effie Lou, headed west with their two young sons to a Los Angeles beach town in their ’59 El Dorado.
“Harvesters raked the barren fields, and the windswept towns just can’t conceal the emptiness of a time that’s come and gone.”
“Black Gold,” Hunkpapa
By the time Halford turned 18, he and his family had criss-crossed California multiple times. Led by his father Colin, who sought a better job and better life, the family lived in many different parts of the state. Though Halford’s environment continually changed around him, there was one thing that remained the same: surfing. “Shooting the Tube” remained the only thing that kept him sane at the time, serving as an escape from his real world issues. Halford’s parents had their low points, including battling the bottle, house evictions, car crashes, and times where Ray Charles would describe the condition as “Busted.” Surrounded by the best of AM radio, Halford listened to some of LA’s best music, with Wolfman Jack spinning everything from Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye to Howlin’ Wolf and The Doors. Halford soaked up the best of American music and poetry.
“Dreaming ‘bout the ocean, deep blue sea, boats won’t go out, small craft advisory.”
“Small Craft Advisory,” Hunkpapa
Due to trouble at home and some minor clashes with the law, Halford had the worst attendance record in his high school graduating class, according to his principal. However, next came a sunburnt, resonant nylon string guitar from his father, and things started to turn for the better.
“He strung his line and then he watched it sail, and hoped that all good things would prevail.”
“Cry of Hope,” Rainmaker
After high school, Halford enrolled in architecture school in San Francisco. Throughout the streets of the city, he fed off of the talent and spirit of the street musicians. He was inspired, and joined San Francisco street legends Harry Spider and Jimmy Ventilator, playing at the corner of Market and Powell. For over a year, Halford cut his guitar chops on the street, playing to crowds in Chinatown and Union Square until the police closed him down. His street gigs led him to play with Oakland blues greats Sonny Lane, Mississippi Johnny Waters, and JJ Malone. Halford later formed the popular rockabilly band, The Snappers, playing around the Bay Area for over four years with artists such as the Blasters and the Beat Farmers.
“Meanwhile, down at The Clayton, they were falling deep into the red. Harry said it felt so good living right on the edge.”
“North Beach,” Rainmaker
Over the last 25 years, Halford has been touring the country with his band, the Healers. They have played shows with some of music’s most acclaimed artists and songwriters, as well as Halford’s influences, such as Taj Mahal, Los Lobos, George Thorogood, Gregg Allman, Etta James, John Hammond, and Texas Greats Augie Meyers, Guy Clark and Robert Earl Keen. His newest CD, Rainmaker, is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed record Broken Chord and is currently at #12 on the Euro-Americana Charts* and climbing. His original roots rock and roll songs etch a uniquely American landscape.