Black Music Matters Festival

Jeffrey Halford and the Healers

Railbirds – 2005 (Shoeless)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

See it on Amazon

CDs by Jeffrey Halford and the Healers

When an artist mixes a lot of different sounds together he or she walks a tightrope. There is a chance that fans of all of those sounds will find something to like. But there's an equal if not stronger chance that it will appeal to none of those groups.

Fortunately Dallas-born Jeffrey Halford should manage to fall into the former category. His music is a most comfortable blend of country, blues but mostly roots rock. Halford's songs seem road-tested without becoming road-weary and all of them fit into his rough-edged delivery, even the Nilsson-penned "Jump Into the Fire," nearly as unlikely a cover as Halford could have grabbed.

At the core of this music is the traditional four-piece configuration common to the roots rock genre, yet nothing about the end result is run of the mill. Guests add some keyboards, and Chuck Prophet adds guitar and background vocals on "Halfway Gone" and "On the Run," 2 of the best songs in the generous 14-tune collection.