Jim Halfpenny

Jim Halfpenny

 Austin, Texas, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Jim Halfpenny is an accomplished songwriter & film composer and has had numerous songs placed in film & TV. Jim's album "Truth, Trust & Other Ghosts" rode the national AMA charts and his song "Severe Weather" was selected for KUT FM's Texas Music Matters Playlist. Jim has performed at the Key Largo Original Music Festival, the Mississippi Songwriters Festival and Mirrors on Texas. He is also a producer of the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival. Jim’s currently in-studio producing his 3rd CD.

Biography

Jim Halfpenny was born in rural Southern California in a desert farming community crisscrossed by veins of life-giving canals that bring water to an otherwise arid landscape. His high school summer days were spent driving tractor and working in the fields, often side by side with migrant farm workers. At night he’d practice guitar and perform at parties and high school dances in the rock band where he wrote his first song. Considering these rootsy origins it’s clear why Jim's music is rich with earthy textures – he’s borrowed from the soil he used to cultivate as a kid, and from the limestone beds of the Texas Hill Country where he has now transplanted himself. .

Before August of 2002 Jim lived in Los Angeles, California. He had graduated from Musicians Institute and attended UCLA to study film composition and his career as a film composer was flourishing. In his twelve years of working in Los Angeles' competitive film business his music credits tallied over 25 feature film scores, dozens of movie trailers, a 13 episode series for television and a musical for the stage. His work often encompassed musical styles ranging from rap to orchestral and everything in between. A vacation trip to visit friends in Austin changed everything. After returning to LA Jim and his wife sold their home, left California, bought a house and some land in the Hill Country outside of Austin, built a recording studio on their property and named it Back 40 Studios.

Taking advantage of new found inspiration, the first project to come out of Back 40 Studios was Jim’s debut CD, First Things First. The album was released in June of 2006 and by the end of that summer it had garnered some pretty impressive reviews in music magazines in the Austin area and abroad. “Halfpenny writes deep, thought provoking lyrics”, wrote Maria Mesa of Austin Daze magazine, “one of the better singer/songwriters to come my way.” Jim Caligiuri, of The Austin Chronicle noted in his review, “First Things First is filled with sturdy roots rock and occasional treks to Dave Matthews' space jazz.” “Highly recommended!” quoted Laura Bethell of Maverick Magazine in Kent, England. The CD soon found its way to the airwaves both locally in Austin and regionally on independent radio stations across Central Texas. In the spring of 2009, "Severe Weather", one of the songs off the CD, made Austin NPR’s first-ever Texas Music Matters Playlist where it was one of only 15 songs chosen out of hundreds of submissions. Laura Slavin of KPFT FM, in Houston, also began playing Severe Weather regularly on her program and has repeatedly invited Jim to play live-on-air on her show. Jim’s second CD, Truth Trust & Other Ghosts, was released in June of 2010 and hit the road running. After teaming up with a prominent radio promoter out of Nashville the album hit the national Americana (AMA) Charts and received airplay on radio stations ranging coast to coast. In January of 2011 radio station WWSP FM, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, included the Truth Trust & Other Ghosts track, Dandelion, on their BEST OF 2010 RELEASES list.

The past few years Jim has targeted the national festival circuit to expose his music to different audiences.  Among the list of music festivals Jim has performed are the Key Largo Original Music Festival, The Mississippi Songwriters Festival and the Mirrors on Texas Music Festival. He is also a founder and producer of the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival, held each year on the third weekend of October in Dripping Springs, TX.

To serve as a base of bearings, Jim’s music can been described as a mixture of Tom Petty, Paul Simon, Glen Phillips, Steve Earle and The Wallflowers. He carefully balances the narrow beams between Rock, Pop, Americana, Country and Folk with the agility of an acrobat. Jim’s strict effort to maintain lyrical integrity and musical originality is the divine thread that weaves the fabric of each of his songs. These efforts are what distinguish Jim Halfpenny’s music and make it instantly identifiable. He believes that well crafted songs, focus and determination are the keys to a songwriter’s success. "An old farm foreman once told me,” Jim relates, “ it takes more than just sun, water and hard work to make a living out of farming. You need to be god-awful stubborn and a little crazy too. Over the years I’ve come to realize that the music business is hell of a lot like farming."

Jim continues to cultivate his music and works to grow and raise a faithful following with live performances, both with the Jim Halfpenny Band and as a solo artist. Jim is gearing up production on his third album, which is projected for a summer 2017 release. More info at www.jimhalfpennyband.com.






Lyrics

The Roadway

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

With steady hands on the stearing wheel,
Every rock in the road I feel.
Window's down to let in the night,
I'm OK I'm feelin' right.
Slicing through a thermocline,
A cool wind whips my face.
On the roadway.
A midnight tractor turns the soil,
smell the earth and diesel oil.
It's sound gets swallowed by the night,
But I can see it's ghostly light.
An insect hits the windscreen,
It's soul gets left someplace on the roadway.
Drivin' all night. Drivin' a stake,
Deep in the heart of a sad Monday.
Things didn't turn out like she planned,
Now the weekend's strewn like bits of trash.
On the roadway.
You can glide down lonesome highways,
And pass the night and nothing else.
And if lonliness don't scare you,
You can have it all just to yourself.
Take an hour, take a lifetime,
Burn those cards that you've been dealt.
Then push through those flimsy barriers,
That keep you in your place.
On the roadway.
Drivin' all night. Drivin' a stake,
Deep in the heart of a sad Monday.
Things didn't turn out like she planned,
Now the weekend's strewn like bits of trash.
On the roadway.
I continue on through time and space.
On the roadway.

(c-2006 - Strong Domino Music - BMI)

Walkabout

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

There's blackmen in a southern land,
And they're smarter than the common man.
They sleep out under them southern stars,
With the kangaroo and koala bear.
When they feel like talkin', they talk.
When they feel like walkin', they walk.
It's a simple life with simple rules,
They got it all figured out.
When they feel like dancin', they shake it.
When they feel like lovin', they make it.
Ain't it time you and me take a walkabout?
We'll build a fire, just me and you,
Under a marbled moon with a digeridoo.
No power bills no traffic jams.
We won't have to work or make no plans.
When we feel like talkin', we'll talk.
When we feel like walkin', we'll walk.
It's a simple life with simple rules,
We'll get it all figured out.
When we feel like dancin', we'll shake it.
When we feel like lovin', we'll make it.
Ain't it time you and me take a walkabout?
We'll bring the dog, he should come along.
We'll leave the house and let the lawn grow long,
And wander off to Shangri-La,
Like the Bushmen in Austrailia.
When they feel like talkin', they talk.
When they feel like walkin', they walk.
It's a simple life with simple rules,
They got it all figured out.
When they feel like dancin', they shake it.
When they feel like lovin', they make it.
Ain't it time you and me take a walkabout?

(c-2006 - Stong Domino Music - BMI)

That's You Leavin'

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

There are two glowing tailights,
Disappearing down a driveway,
Out of focus in the damp night air.
There's a lingering smell of perfume,
And an echo of footsteps,
From a woman that's no longer there.

That's you leavin' me.
That's all the evidence that anyone would need.
That's you leavin' me.

There's a smoldering Marlboro,
In a Tiffany ashtray,
With a red lipstick kiss on the end.
There's a slow melting ice cube,
In a cool crystal glass,
And a door that's still flung out on the hinge.

That's you leavin' me.
That's all the evidence that anyone would need.
That's you leavin' me.

It didn't take a super-slooth to know.
It was only a matter of time before you'd go.

There's a hole in a heart,
That somehow keeps beating,
Pumping blood into a brain that's numb.
And two lungs that keep breathing,
But will not hold their breath,
In the hope that back you'll come.

That's you leavin' me.
That's all the evidence that any man would need.
That's you leavin' me.
I'm not astonished it was always meant to be.
That's you leavin' me.

(c-2006 - Stong Domino Music - BMI)

The Long Bar

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

Ninety-five years was enough time,
To spend in one place,
He decided to move on.
Surrounded by possessions,
A calm fell over his face,
And then he was gone.
With a friend by his side,
To wish him good luck, good-bye,
He crossed the threshold at dawn.
And like a first-time sailor,
He held tight to the rail,
And smiled at the grace of it all.

To those who go down on the ocean.
To those who go down on the sea.
To those that slip under,
Those warm, silver waves,
And learn what we all wait to be.
Step into that tavern in Valhallah,
And shake hands with the old friends you see.
Have a drink and a toast,
To those you loved most,
And save a place at that long bar for me.

It's no solumn occasion,
The kids are out on the lawn,
Playing in the sun.
The wives are in the kitchen,
The house is alive with their laughter,
Perfume and song.
And men, we don't cry,
We've said our good-byes,
We'll meet up again after all.
Life will go on and still go on,
And on, and on, and on.

To those who go down on the ocean.
To those who go down on the sea.
To those that slip under,
Those warm, silver waves,
And learn what we all wait to be.
Step into that tavern in Valhallah,
And shake hands with the old friends you see.
Have a drink and a toast,
To those you loved most,
And save a place at that long bar for me.

Pentagrams

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

She's got five sides.
Man, I've seen everyone.
And I gotta dig deep, real deep, real deep.
To tell myself I'm not in love.
Five sides.
Like fingers on a boxer's hand.
She can ball herself up like a fist,
And knock me on my ass.

She better not come 'round again,
Drawing those pentagrams,
Sittin' in her chair like Joan Of Arc.
She's 'bout as reachable as Tokyo,
And here I sit in Idaho,
Waitin' for her to give off some kinda spark.
To show me I'm not totally in the dark.

She goes in five directions.
Like the points on a pentagram.
And when I look for haven in her eyes,
I just see reflections of the fool I am.
I've given her five tries.
One for every year I've spent,
Trying to squeeze the blood out of that rock,
That big cold rock, of discontent.

She better not come 'round again,
Drawing those pentagrams,
Sittin' in her chair like Joan Of Arc.
She's 'bout as reachable as Tokyo,
And here I sit in Idaho,
Waitin' for her to give off some kinda spark.
To show me I'm not totally in the dark.

(c-2006 - Strong Domino Music - BMI)

First Things First

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

You could probably hear a pin drop,
In her room tonight,
You wouldn't have to listen hard.
She's probably wide-awake, alone,
And locked up tight.
With a dog chained in the yard.
She paints a faceless lover that she might meet,
Who'll satisfy this thirst.
And make everything seem real under his sheets,
But first things first.
Yeah, first things first.

You could probably hear him whisper,
In his room tonight.
He lights a candle like a fuse.
He lays his hopes out on the table, under the light,
To see which ones he can use.
He counts them like stars in the summer sky,
Novas, fit to burst.
He could bury the things that haunt him with one good try,
But first things first,
Yeah, first things first.

Keep time in your pocket.
Keep ready to make change.
It's a natural progression.
Like the cradle and the hearse.
First things first.

You couldn't bear the silence,
In those two rooms tonight.
It's louder than a scream.
They'll change the things that need changing, eventually.
Starting with their dreams.
Like the cradle and the hearse.
First things first.
Just like the cradle and the hearse.
First things first.

(c-2006 - Strong Domino Music - BMI)

Blue Sun

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

I've been staying up late, cleaning out my pockets.
Far from the salt mines with a tight jawbone.
Getting in my last licks. Rock-ribbed and ready.
Outside it's raining pitchforks and I got my best suit on.
Blue sun don't shine anymore.
Not on this door.
I been greasing each wheel. Taking out my garbage.
I hung up on my hang-ups years ago.
Come lightning, come snow. Come hell or high water.
I won't knuckle under, I won't fade to black.
Blue sun don't shine anymore.
Not on this door.

Only Temporary

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

Please excuse the mess.
I haven't had the chance to clean up lately.
Things might seem kinda out of control.
And thoughts that I have had,
About making life a little easier,
Just need time to take hold.
Please don't mind this face. It's only temporary.
I've seen it come and go 'bout a hundred times.
It's only temporary.
Push aside the crap, take a seat, hey, let's reminisce.
I haven't seen you for awhile.
How's the wife and kids? No, actually I'm feeling better.
Today I might get out for a drive.
Please don't mind this face. It's only temporary.
I've seen it come and go 'bout a million times.
It's only temporary.
Read my fortune if you like. It's like a roller coaster ride.
Please don't mind this face. It's only temporary.
I've seen it come and go many countless times.
It's only temporary.

Dandelion

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

Miss Aligned ain't the kind to live alone,
But she built a wide moat around her fortress of stone.
A well-worn path leads down to the docks,
Where desperate ships collide with desperate rocks.
In this hall of hers built on ancient bones,
Her bare feet plod the coldest stones,
Where our voices, faint but, oh, so clear,
Breathe words meant for no other ear.
"Go 'way. Come back. Go 'way. Come back."
Existing with what matters most.
With truth and trust and other ghosts.
Inside she's safe, she's warm, she's sane.
Outside a dandelion in a hurricane.
"Go 'way. Come back. Go 'way. Come back."
Old ghosts, old worlds and unturned stones.
Re-stitch the seam that comes un-sewn.
Align the bones.
"Go 'way. Come back. Go 'way. Come back."
Miss Aligned ain't the kind to live alone,
She got old ghost, old worlds, and un-turned stones.

Echoes

Written By: Jim Halfpenny

She wore bicycle shorts but didn't own a bike.
Some folks would say that that ain't right,
But you should-a seen her.
More curves than Nolan Ryan.
She had a funky little apartment on Barton Springs,
Close to the bike path and everything.
Man, I tell ya, for two years we were flyin'.
It still perplexes me, how much I cared for her.
Jeeze, Louise, my memory's in stir.
Just ask me and I'll tell you 'bout the canyon in my brain,
Where echoes of her laughter still remain.
La, la, la, la, la.
She had a planter's wart and wore Doc Martens.
I don't know how she got it, she never had a garden.
Kept her hair cut short just like Abe Lincoln.
She had a four-wheel drive that never left the road.
Told she got it incase the world exploded.
Man, she was always thinkin'.
It still perplexes me, how much I cared for her.
Jeeze, Louise, my memory's in stir.
Just ask me and I'll tell you 'bout the canyon in my brain,
Where echoes of her laughter still remain.
La, la, la, la, la.
Well, she left to go to Mexico or somewhere just as far.
She couldn't speak a word of Spanish,
But she liked to hear guitars.
And accordions and violins are playing for her there.
While echoes are all that I can hear.
It still perplexes me, how much I cared for her.
Jeeze, Louise, my memory's in stir.
Just ask me and I'll tell you 'bout the canyon in my brain,
Where echoes of her laughter still remain.
La, la, la, la, la.

Discography

TRUTH TRUST & OTHER GHOSTS - Released July 30, 2010. Currently on the national AMA and RMR charts.
CD has local and national airplay on both terrestrial and internet stations. The single, Dandelion was recently included on WWSP FM radio's BEST OF 2010 RELEASES list, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

FIRST THINGS FIRST - Debut CD - Released May 1, 2006.
Track "Severe Weather" was selected by KUT Radio to be among 15 songs selected out of hundreds to be on the first ever Texas Music Matters Playlist. CD continues to get local terrestrial (central Texas) and internet airplay.

Set List

All original music - titles include:

Thin Brim Hat, Memory Lane, Pentagrams, Good Friends, The Rooster's Gone, First Things First, Nowhere Town, The Roadway, That's You Leavin', Out Of The Blue, Same Full Moon, Paul Revere's, Skeleton Boy, Severe Weather, Demolition Days, Blind Pigs, The Long Bar, Echoes, My Class Ring, Best Wishes, I Know About Love, Blue Sun, Ghosts In The Sidewalk, Homegrown Tomatoes, A Moment Of Science, Aims & Wishes, She's Afraid To Drive At Night, King Of Avalon, Annabelle's Tears, Super Sam, Kingdom Come, His Crusade, Baby Needs New Shoes, Dandelion, A Moment of Science, End of the Road, History Pays A Visit, Mine All Mine, Paper Wings, The Pedestrian, Penny in Your Pocket, Sin Corazon, Someone Like You, The Well, Western Stars, Words Along the Wire..and more.

Jim has five complete 45-minute sets of all-original music. He, solo or with his band, can play also perform a wide variety of cover songs in a variety of styles and genres.