Tunes handcrafted to make you smile.
Folky, Bluegrassy, Country, Texas Swinging Duo
TEXAS MUSIC AWARDS 2012 Nominees for BEST VOCAL DUO!!!!
The Better Halves are an Austin-based husband-wife duo who specialize in making listeners smile. With roots in country, bluegrass, folk, jazz, and classical music, their funny, touching duets use clever lyrics and real boy-girl banter to uplift and entertain audiences, who respond with laughter and knowing nods. Their rousing instrumentals always bring down a shower of applause!
Jimmy Joe Natoli attended both the Berklee College of Music and Guitar Institute of Technology. He began playing guitar at age 12, when a knee injury left him unable to play soccer, which had been his passion. Luckily his dad had an old Harmony guitar in their Long Island home, and a friend shared the riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” He was hooked and put a poster of Jimi Hendrix on the ceiling above his bed for waking inspiration. When he was 16, his uncle gave him a record of Los Indios Tabajaras, an amazing Brazilian guitar duo. His world was opened to a whole new realm of music, and he still thrives on exploring all genres and nationalities of music. He has toured and done studio work with bands that range from artsy alternative rock to country. Chrissie spent her childhood writing poems. She put them to music when she picked up the guitar as a biology undergraduate student at Penn State. Years later, in acupuncture school, she met fellow musician, Alison Lumley. The two formed the duo Avenue Elle, and Chrissie was looking for a gig at the farmers market where Jimmy Joe books music. It wasn’t long until Chrissie and Jimmy Joe began jamming together, playing music throughout central Texas, and eventually marrying with a musical wedding that really included their now recorded song, “Wedding Vows.” The Better Halves completed their first EP in early 2009 and began touring throughout the country later that year. They have played on the radio in Austin, Houston, and Colorado, and toured through Florida, Mississippi, Virginia, New York, Maine, Colorado and New Mexico. Their brand new, full-length, mostly upbeat and sometimes humorous debut album, Tête à Tête, is receiving wonderful reviews. And they have just been nominated for “Best Vocal Duo” of 2011 for the Texas Music Awards! They are very excited to be attending the awards ceremony in late March. But in the meantime, they are happy to continue teaching songwriting classes to children and Alzheimer groups, performing classical music for wedding ceremonies, playing Better Halves tunes in venues across Texas, including their weekly show at the Barton Creek Farmers Market, and, above all, making their listeners smile!
* * * Accolades * * *
Jimmy Joe Natoli *Finalist at Hallettsville Songwriter Serenade Competition 2011, 2012
*His song "Uncle Joe" featured on NPR's Cartalk 2007
*Kerrville Folk Festival Regional Ballad Tree Performer 2006
Chrissie Natoli *Honorable Mention Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest 2010
*Honorable Mention in ASG song contest 2010
*A Prairie Home Companion Duet Contest Finalist with Avenue Elle
The Better Halves *Nominated for Best Vocal Duo of 2011 for the Texas Music Awards
Besides playing music, Chrissie is a skilled and compassionate
acupuncturist with an office in South Austin. She helps HAAM clients, offering reasonably priced treatments for everyone, but especially fellow musicians. Jimmy Joe also gives guitar lessons to all ages and levels. He loves cars and fixes lots of them, so he is often inspired to write about them. He drives a school bus in his spare time.