West Towards South
Review Of “West Towards South”by Jeffrey Halford And The Healers. The formula of the concept album has been around a while. I suppose one of the earliest, and most famous of all was The Beatles classic, ”Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band,” There have been quite a few since then, the like’s of David Bowie’s “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spider’s From Mars” Or Meatloaf’s classic “Bat Out Of Hell,” to name but a few.
What I’m really saying is that concept albums when they have an interesting story to tell, coupled with music that perfectly fits with the mood of the story being told,well I think that’s a pretty damn good combination.
So let’s get right up to the present day,and talk about the new album by Jeffrey Halford And The Healers. Before I listened to “West Towards South” I wasn’t aware that it was a concept album. I love a good story though, so as I listened to the lyrics,it became obvious that a tale was indeed being told.
What a tale Jeffrey weaves on this album. Ambrose and Cyrus two brothers leaving home,and setting out on a journey of discovery, one that would take them perilously close to death, and on more than one occasion.
But somehow, either through a combination of ingenuity, courage, or just plain good luck, they manage to keep it all together, as they navigate their way safety across the country. Ambrose and Cyrus two different personalities,yet somehow complimenting each other’s strength’s and weakness as they make their journey of a lifetime across what would then have been called the Wild West . A time when the law was often made by those who were among the lawless themselves. A time when you lived life by the seat of your pants,escaping from one dangerous situation to another. With songs like – West Towards South,a sound and style best described as Leonard Cohen meets Tony Joe White! What a mouthwatering combination and it’s only the opening track.
Deeper Than Hell, opens with the sound of a running stream, then develops into a fine country tune with fast paced rhythm that Johnny Cash was famous for, and would be so proud of.
Dead Man’s Hand, is pure blues picking magic, and with the lyrics to match. With lines like “Drawn to the bottle like a woman to a man.” You get the idea music and words that compliment each other perfectly. There’s also some prime rock n’roll in Willa Jean,performed with a swagger and style that’s reminiscent of The Rolling Stones. There’s even a honky tonk piano thrown in for good measure.
The album finishes off with the “Ballad Of Ambrose And Cyrus “ The sentiment in the song sums up the album perfectly, two brothers coming to the end of their adventures ,having lived many lifetimes of experiences in their time together. All good things come to an end or do they? I believe there is a lot more gas in the tank. I’m hoping that Jeffery will feel the need to continue the hell raising exploits of Ambrose and Cyrus.
That’s food for thought as they say. For now let’s enjoy one of the finest albums I’ve heard in quite a while, full of wit,charm,and originality. West Towards South certainly deserves your listening attention.
Jeffrey Halford and the Healers