Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams (from the album Hard Core Broken Heart available as a self-release)
They are a band that may be stuck in the center of too rock’n’roll for country and too country for rock’n’roll, and perhaps that is why they are both pleasantly left-of-center and so good. Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams continue to connect the dots between classic country and rock and roll while two-stepping to the goth-country-punk that was born in Denver Colorado. As a frontman, Halden Wofford shouts AND croons, his lyrics at times dark and sad, others moments spirited and irreverent. Halden Wofford is backed by a whip-snap tight band that includes the pedal steel of Bret Billings and six-string guitar of Greg Schochet, two players that seem incapable of a bad note.
On their latest record, Hard Core Broken Heart, Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams recruit legendary guitar twangbanger Bill Kirchen to produce and lend some riffs to a band who long ago learned lessons with their Kirchen homework. Things kick off with a broken heart song (naturally) in “What Can You Do?” and a baritone guitar leads from Bill Kirchen’s hand, Bill playfully trading licks with the steel guitar. “Ashes on the Dancefloor” is somber sad country, a staple of any and all Hi-Beams record where you can feel the sawdust under your boots. Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams albums always include a bouncy instrumental, provided by the knockout “Rabbit Ears Polka” on Hard Core Broken Heart with a cut that features Greg Schochet, Bret Billings, Bill Kirchen, and guest fiddler Katie Glassman taking turns showing off serious chops. “30-Pack” is the cow-punk sing-along on the album and a homage to those feeling that twenty-four beers per pack is not good enough as “The Swag” features Bret Billings Blues harmonica work. Hard Core Broken Heart wraps up with guest vocalist Mollie O’Brien on “Always Remembered”, ending the album with a melancholic twist. (by Bryant Liggett)
Listen and buy the music of Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams from AMAZON