Jeff Healey would have been, should have been, celebrating his 50th birthday last March but it was not to be. But it was still a time for celebration: a very successful tribute concert was held at Massey Hall and his estate undertook to release some music Jeff recorded in the 90’s but did not release. What was released at the time was Get Me Some on his own Forte label, but it was a prolific period. Heal My Soul was released on his birthday last March, a hard rocking set of originals. On December 2nd, Holding On appeared, subtitled a companion to Heal My Soul. It contains five more songs from the same sessions plus a concert recording. For fans of this column, the supercharged version of Albert Collins’ “Put The Shoe On The Other Foot” is the major highlight of Heal My Soul, with the first single, “Daze Of The Night” leading those rockers. Holding On proves that the blues was never very far away. The five outtakes are by no means rejects: “Every Other Guy” is bluesier but the delightful two-guitar “CNIBlues” is way too short. The live show, from The Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway in 1999 is the star attraction. This is the trio at its best plus our best-kept secret Pat Rush on second guitar. “Dust My Broom” and “How Blue Can You Get” are obvious highlights, with Pat and Jeff alternating solos as only they could. As well, the bluesy opening “My Little Girl” from See The Light is a treat. Jeff’s own “I Can’t Get My Hands On You” from Hell to Pay is another blues highlight. The only song from Get Me Some is “Macon County Line”. I also liked the version of Mark Knopfler’s “I Think I Love You Too Much”, also from Hell To Pay and with Knopfler himself guesting on that disc. Gerry Rafferty’s “Stuck In The Middle With You,” from Cover To Cover, should be added to the highlights as should the performance here of John Lennon’s “Yer Blues”, a live staple. One more thing to mention is the rapport Jeff develops with his audience, the between songs banter and the obvious enjoyment of the band members adds a great deal to the listening experience. Jeff would soon try to devote most of his time to his love of early jazz and play more cornet but these electric albums continue to bring pleasure to many. Stay informed by visiting www.jeffhealey.com.

Loose Blues News – January 2017
Top Blues - January 2017