Friday, January 20, 2012

A Sad Day For Music Re-Up

First of several posts that I will update from the MegaUpload links.

Just read that Jeff Healey passed away today in Toronto at the age of 41. This marvelous guitar player, with the soulful voice always struck a chord with me. I am truly saddened.

Even though he was blind, I know he will See The Light

Thank you for your vision Jeff

The Jeff Healey Band
See The Light

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Al Campbell
What makes Jeff Healey different from other blues-rockers is also what keeps some listeners from accepting him as anything other than a novelty — the fact that the blind guitarist plays his Fender Stratocaster on his lap, not standing up. With the guitar in his lap, Healey can make unique bends and hammer-ons, making his licks different and more elastic than most of the competition. Unfortunately, his material leans toward standard AOR blues-rock, which rarely lets him cut loose, but when he does, his instrumental prowess can be shocking.Healey lost his sight at the age of one, after developing eye cancer. He began playing guitar when he was three years old and began performing with his band Blues Direction at the age of 17. Healey formed the Jeff Healey Trio in 1985, adding bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen. The trio released one single on their own Forte record label, which led to a contract with Arista Records. The Jeff Healey Trio released their debut album, See the Light, in 1988 and the guitarist immediately developed a devoted following in blues-rock circles. Featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes," the record went platinum in the U.S. While the Jeff Healey Trio's subsequent records have been popular, none have been as successful as the debut.As the 21st century dawned, Healey began to change his direction. He taught himself to play the trumpet and began to lean to the kind of traditional 1920s and 1930s jazz that had always fascinated him. He released two classic jazz albums, 2002's Among Friends and 2004's Adventures in Jazzland, on his own HealeyOphonic label, and while he continued to do some shows in his old blues-rock style, he increasingly gigged with his jazz combo, the Jazz Wizards. His first album of jazz to see wide release was It's Tight Like That, which appeared on Stony Plain in 2006. Healey continued in the traditional jazz idiom for both Among Friends and Adventures in Jazzland, released in 2007 on HealeyOphonic.

by Thom Owens
Jeff Healey's debut album See the Light may be similar to Stevie Ray Vaughan's high-octane blues-rock, but in blues and blues-rock, it's often the little things that count, such as guitar styles, and there's no denying that Healey has a distinctive style. Healey plays his Stratocaster flat on his lap, allowing him to perform unusual long stretches that give his otherwise fairly predictable music real heart and unpredictability. Throughout the album, his guitar work keeps things interesting, even on slow ballads like "Angel Eyes" (one of two John Hiatt songs, by the way, along with the ripping "Confidence Man"). That's what keeps See the Light interesting, and it's what makes it an intriguing, promising debut. Unfortunately, Healey has never quite fulfilled that promise, but it's still exciting to hear the first flowerings of his talent.

1 Confidence Man
2 My Little Girl
3 River of No Return
4 Don't Let Your Chance Go By
5 Angel Eyes
6 Nice Problem to Have
7 Someday, Someway
8 I Need to Be Loved
9 Blue Jean Blues
10 That's What They Say
11 Hide Away
12 See the Light

Get it HERE


Anonymous said...

That's sad, only 41.


brandonio said...

Wow! i kinda sorta forgot about the guy. My first thought when i hear his name is the movie Roadhouse.I do find it uplifting that the man over came something like blindness and continued to make something out of his love for music.

ate2zee said...

Very sad that any life be cut short like this. Doubly sad for us who loved his music. Thanks for this!

Christiane said...

Thanks for the beautiful album.
He was a great musician