Building on his last two records, Halford proves to be one of the strongest of a group of songwriters in the Bob Dylan mold. He doesn’t sound like Dylan, but his mix rock, blues, country, and soul, along with his always-interesting lyrics, put him firmly in that school.
This time around, Halford, like many songwriters, appears a bit preoccupied with New Orleans. “Louisiana Man” carries an unmistakable message. “Ninth Ward” is an acoustic country blues with a great lyric and fine dobro. The Zydeco-drenched “In a Dream” features the legendary Augie Meyers on keyboards. “Dead Man’s Hand” has a literal lyric pushed by swampy guitar. “Chicken Bone Jones” is the fun, bluesy tale where Halford calls himself out for punchy, funky, loud solo that perfectly matches the funk of the tune. The majestic rocker “Running Crazy” has a cool lyric about kids. And on the closer, Halford returns to Memphis for the ballad “Two Kings.”
Halford is proving a consistent, strong songwriter capable of creating one fine record after another.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.