The Jeff Healey Estate has reissued the albums released four years ago to celebrate what would have been Jeff’s 50th. They were released separately at the time but are now available in a deluxe 2CD package. Jeff Healey would have been, should have been, celebrating his 50th birthday that March 2016, but it was not to be. In addition to Heal My Soul, a very successful tribute concert was held at Massey Hall. What was released originally from these sessions, back in 2000, was Get Me Some on his own Forte label, but as you’ll hear, it was a prolific period. The newly retrieved songs on the first disc continue his hard rocking sound. For fans of this column, the supercharged version of Albert Collins’ “Put the Shoe on The Other Foot” is the major highlight, with Philip Sayce on rhythm guitar and Dean Glover on drums, who was possibly newly recorded on several songs for this release. The rocking “Daze Of The Night” is now available as a lyric video along with a couple of others. “Moodswing”, one of these, and “Love in Her Eyes”, were written by Jerome Godboo and Ben Richardson when they were a blues band from Ottawa calling themselves The Phantoms. The second disc proves that the blues was never very far away. Subtitled originally as a Companion to Heal My Soul, it contains five more songs from the same sessions plus a concert recording. The outtakes are by no means rejects: “Every Other Guy” is the bluesiest of the band tracks but the delightful two-guitar “CNIBlues” is way too short. A 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 concert 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.

June 2020 - Linsey Alexander
June 2020 - Michael Kaeshammer