The Better Halves is an Austin-based husband-wife duo that specializes in making listeners smile. They sing about the humorous side of life and of love, as well as story songs about everything from hot rods to internet dates to grandpa's yarns. Jimmy Joe's signature guitar work is reminiscent of Chet Atkins but ranges from rocking blues to smoking bluegrass to sweet classical melodies. Chrissie plays unique rhythm guitar using jazzy chords with a folky, almost country flare. Together they have crafted a repertoire of duets that range from funny to sweet, encompassing a variety of styles and always showcasing their beautiful vocal harmonies (except for their occasional breathtaking instrumentals!) The feel of their music brings memories of Johnny and June, leaving listeners with their ears and hearts grinning wide.
The duo is releasing their first full-length CD this fall on Hillabeanz Music. It is an album of duets, ranging from the personal and funny "Wedding Vows" to the enchanting story song "The Captain and the Mermaid." Most of the tunes are original, but featured is the Merle Travis tune, "There Ain't a Cow in Texas," a hot-weathered parody, "Baby, It's Hot Outside," and two instrumentals, "Blue Angel" by Natalicio Lima and "Flight of the Bumblebee" by Rimsky-Korsakov. Chrissie's jazzy voice, and Jimmy Joe's country, folky vocals are both compelling on their own and together . Jimmy Joe's guitar (and mandolin) leads are outstanding on the album, and the duo is joined by other stellar musicians: Sara Hickman and Ken Gaines on vocals, Warren Hood and Sick on fiddle, Chip Dolan on keys and accordion, Mollie Fischer on cello, Carl LoSchiavo on bass, and John Brainard on drums. Tommy Byrd of the duo "Byrd and Street" engineered the album, which ranges from bluegrass to jazz to folk to rock, but is held together by the couple's refreshing songwriting and unique musicianship.
Lee Davis of Austin's KOOP radio says, "The Better Halves music feels like coming home." The music is fun, down-to-earth, and unique, and guaranteed to make you smile!