A stunning, dark and moody, Blues/Americana album that really comes from a deep and weary soul. Absolutely superb!
They are a three piece outfit, Jeffrey Halford on guitars and vocals, Adam Rossi on keyboards/Percussion/Vocals/’magic’ and Bill Macbeath on bass and arrangement. Add to that some fine guests and the stage is set.
What you need now are the songs and a great set they are too. Either written by Halford or in combination with Don Zimmer, they come fully loaded with photographic imagery and emotional colours.
Halford’s vocals are tired, gravelly and he sings with a sense of ennui that is all too rare these days but between his vocals and some remarkable production work, each song carries an identity that you cannot ignore – this is lousy background music but, oh my, how good is it to listen to.
The album opens with the title track, Halford talking the lyric over slightly off-kilter guitar and doom enriched keyboards. As a piece of American Gothic poetry it is brilliant and as the song segues into ‘Deeper Than Hell’ his voice becomes very Johnny Cash like while still carrying that sense of standing back in wry amusement.
Every track has a completely different identity, some rooted in a latin underpinning such as ‘Dead Man’s Hand’, some slow and heavy with a shuffle beat – ‘Three-Quarter Moon’ and some such as ‘Sea Of Cortez’ that have a light and sweet tone to them. The track that spoke most to me was ‘The Gallows’ which has a slow, plodding beat, perfectly suited to the lyrics, eerie keyboards and a harsh guitar line. If you strip away all the nostalgia for the old west, this stands as a theme to all the desperados who made America.
I reviewed Halfords last album ‘LoFi Dreams’ with great pleasure and this, for me outstrips that. It is an album that is difficult to put away once you have started to listen to it.