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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Jeff Healey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeff Healey. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

40 Years of Stony Plain - New release review

I just had the chance to review the new 3 CD set, 40 Years of Stony Plain and it's a super bag of super recordings and unreleased music.

CD One called Singers, Songwriters and much more features tracks by Colin Linden; Spirit of the West; Corb Lund; Doug Sham; Harry Manx & Kevin Breit; Emmylou Harris; James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox; New Guitar Summit; Rodney Crowell; Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard; Jr. Gone Wild; Tom Hus; Ian Tyson; Jennifer Warnes; Steve Earle; & Eric Bibb featuring Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Ruthie Foster. This CD has a real rural feel with folk, country and grassy feel. Louis Riel by Doug Sham is a super track with a Tex Mex country sound. Rockabilly, That's Alright by James Burton and crew is another standout. New Guitar Summit's Flying Home throws a bit of swing jazz in with super nice flavor. Tim Hus's Wild Rose Waltz has real traditional country feel and is pure as snow. Eric Bibb and crew deliver a really rural rural Needed Time featuring Taj Mahal on vocals and breaking into a very sophisticated gospel style track . This is an excellent closer for Dics 1.

CD Two called Blues, R&B, Gospel, Swing Jazz and even more is full of huge names. Kenny "Bues Boss" Wayne, Joe Louis Walker, Rosco Gordon, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Mauria Muldair featuring Taj Mahal, Long John Baldry, Paul Reddick, Monkeyjunk, Jay McShann, Jeff Healey, Billy Boy Arnold, Rory Block, Big Dave McLean, Ruthie Foster, Sonny Rhodes, Jim Byrnes, Amos Garrett, Ellen McIlwaine,and king Biscuit Boy. Opening with Blues Boss on Bankrupted Blues and followed by Joe Louis Walker on Eyes Like a Cat this CD is smoking right off the top. Ronnie Earl gets a classic blues going on It Takes Time and a more contemporary blues rocker Monkeyjunk rips on Mother's Crying. Jay McShann has a really nice blues/jazz run on Goin' To Chicago and Big Dave McLean's Atlanta Moan is masterful. Ruthie Foster is one of the new artists that is in a class on her own, delivering on Keep Your Big Mouth Closed and Sonny Rhodes shuffle track, Meet Me At The 10th Street Inn in a slick blues romp. Wrapping disc 2 is King Biscuit Boy's Blue Light Boogie... always a favorite.

 CD Three is Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material opening with hot potato Ain't Gonna Do It by Duke Robillard. In My Girlish Days shows Maria Muldaur really grinding in her classic seductive style followed by her classic I Belong To The Band. David Wilcox really does a great job on acoustic instrumental, Uptown Bump, followed by 2 super tracks, I Hate That train and All Night Long by the terrific Sam Chatmon and his Barbeque Boys. Wrapping this disc and the entire package is Walter "Shakey" Horton with Hot Cottage playing a deep fried Shakey's Edmonton Blues. This is an excellent closer for a really super set. Congratulations to Stony Plain for assembling a great package.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Provogue artist: Jeff Healey - Heal My Soul - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Heal My Soul, by Jeff Healey and it's pretty cool. These are tracks that were recorded between 1996 and 1998. Opening with Daze Of The Night, Healey takes a solid rock stance with a catchy melody and ripping guitar work. Joe Rockman provides a nice bottom and Dean Glover does an excellent job on drums (love the cow bell). Moodswing continues in the blues rock vein with a heavy feel and slaying guitar riffs. Tom Stephen sits in on drums on this track with a lot of back slap and tension. Healey's guitar phrasing is terrific and his vocals solid as always. Healey shifts gears with pop track, Baby Blue, which has all of the components of an absolute top 40 track. Super melody, vocal blending and easy guitar rhythm with laid back lead work is the ticket here... think Bread or Badfinger. Very nice! I Misunderstood is another track with a nice melody but with tom tom heavy drums by Dean Glover and searing guitar soloing by Healey, this track has some heat in the oven. Please is a stiff rocker with Rockman and Stephen on the bottom and Healey ripping Hendrix like hot distorted riffs over a funky rock beat and a blend of Eddie Money pop. Love In Her Eyes is a safe rocker with nice vocal blending and a hot shot of dueling guitars. Temptation is a real cool track with an almost southern rock swagger and hot guitar riffs. Healey really does rip it on this track with a lot less control than expected. Very nice! Kiss The Ground is a really nice composition and one straight to the radio. Mood changes and excellent blending of vocals and instrumentation make this a top contender for cross radio play. Acoustic track, All The Saints, finds Healey at his vocal best, backed only by electronic keys and acoustic guitar. A simple melody with country and folk influences, this is a strong track. Put The Shoe On The Other Foot kicks out the jam with a bit of funk. Glover and Rockman are joined by Phillip Sayce on rhythm guitar and giving Healey the space to sing and play lead guitar. Nicely strung together guitar solos with a lot of feel by Healey makes this one of the most potent tracks on the release and one that is bound to be a fan favorite. Under A Stone is a straight up rocker with particularly cool drumming by Glover and with Cristie Healey on backing vocals. Healey lets the guitar rip here as well and his riffs are hot. Wrapping the release is It's The Last Time, a solid pop rocker with well fitted guitar riffs and a nice melody. This is a cool release and one that not just die hard Healey fans will enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stony Plain Records artist: Jeff Healey - Vintage Jazz, Swing and Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Vintage Jazz, Swing and Blues from Jeff Healey and it's great! Healey, a serious vintage record collector (over 30,000 78's of classic 20's and 30's music) was well known as Canada's top rock and blues guitar player and band leader but prior to his untimely death in 2008 opened a club in Toronto and formed Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards. Fortunately, some of that fine work that Jeff did in his love for the early music is compiled here as a part of The Best of Series. Opening with Kalmar and Ruby's Three Little Words, featuring Healey on vocal and guitar, Jesse Barksdale on rhythm guitar Reide Kaiser on piano, Colin Bray on bass and the exceptional solo work of Tom Pletcher on coronet and Dan Levinson on clarinet. You've never heard Healey play this guitar style. Excellent! Lang and Venuti's intrumental, The Wildcat, screams along with really nice violin work from Drew Jurecka on violin and Healey on guitar. Wow! Carmichael and Parish classic, Star Dust, features Healey's solid vocals with Roberto Rosenman with an excellent guitar solo. Snyder, Smith and Wheeleer composition, The Sheik of Araby, finds Healey not only on lead vocal but playing really fine trumpet along with Ross Woolridge on clarinet, Jurecka on violin, Reide Kaiser on piano, Colin Bray on bass and Gary Scriven on drums and washboard. This track rips! Jones and Collins, Guitar Duet Stomp, shows some of Healey's most sensitive guitar work along the lines of Django and Bireli. Strong! Harling and Coslow track Sing You Sinners really digs into the Dixieland sound. This track has the full lineup with Healey on vocal, trumpet and guitar; Jurecka on violin, Barksdale on guitar; Bray on bass; Christopher Plock on soprano and alto sax; Chris Barber on trombone and Brian Graville on piano. Excellent! Hill and Williams composition, I Would Do Anything For You, features Healey on vocal, guitar and trumpet, Plock on soprano sax, Gary Scriven on drums, Barksdale on acoustic guitar and kaiser on piano. Super! Mercer and Malneck swinger, Pardon My Southern Accent, features Healey on vocal, Scriven on drums, Bray on bass, Kaiser on piano, Danny Douglas on trombone and Ross Woolridge on clarinet. Shelton Brooks' Some Of These Days, features an excellent acoustic "gypsy" guitar solo and trumpet solo from Healey. This track swings! Meyer and Ruby composition, My Honey's Lovin' Arms, shows just how smooth Healey can be on lead vocal on these tracks, with Levinson matching up nicely on clarinet to Pletcher on coronet. Kaiser on piano and Bray on bass fill out the piece with Barksdale on rhythm guitar and Healey throws out a really nicely articulated swing guitar solo. Fine! Carmichael's Hong Kong Blues has a comical feel to it next to much of the release but some of the guitar picking on this track is so fine it had to be included. Wrapping the release is Pinard, Bernie and Casey's classic, Sweet Georgia Brown, and it is a full out jam with Healey singing over the top backed by Barber on trombone, Jurecka on violin, Plock on sax, Barksdale on guitar, Bray on bass, Graville on piano and Scriven on drums. This is an excellent review of Healey's work outside of the blues rock genre and a must have for anyone at all interested in contemporary swing jazz. Excellent!

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records Announces Next in Its "Best of" Series with New Compilation from Jeff Healey, "Vintage Jazz, Swing and Blues," on July 17

Stony Plain Records Announces Next in Its “Best of” Series with New Compilation from Jeff Healey,
Vintage Jazz, Swing and Blues, on July 17

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces a July 17 release date for the latest in its series of Best of the Stony Plain Years compilations with a set from the late guitarist extraordinaire, Jeff Healey, Vintage Jazz, Swing and Blues. Compiled with the participation of Jeff’s widow, Cristie, as well as long-time friend Roger Costa, Jeff Healey’s Best of the Stony Plain Years CD includes 11 tracks from his four Stony Plain albums of vintage jazz and swing projects, as well as “Sweet Georgia Brown,” a track previously released on a promotion-only CD sampler that also features jazz legend Chris Barber on trombone. The CD carries a special reduced list price of $12.98.

“Stony Plain was honored to release Jeff Healey’s four vintage jazz/swing projects, plus a DVD with his beloved Jazz Wizards,” writes Holger Petersen, Stony Plain president and a close friend of Healey’s, in the album’s liner notes. “This music was his first love allowing him to play guitar and trumpet in addition to having a career as one of the worlds most acclaimed and innovative electric blues and rock musicians.

“Jeff Healey (1966-2008) was a musicologist and serious record collector who eventually amassed 30,000 78s from the classic period of the twenties and thirties,” Petersen states. “He started playing guitar at age three and invented his own “lap” style of playing. By the age of 14, Jeff was already a highly respected jazz broadcaster on CBC Radio, and later JAZZ.FM91 in Toronto. He became one of Canada’s most acclaimed guitarists, singers and bandleaders with The Jeff Healey Band and sold millions of records worldwide. By the late ‘90s, Jeff tired of the constant travel and the life of being a “rock star.” He disbanded the JHB shortly after opening a club in Toronto called Healey’s and with the help of Colin Bray, formed Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards to play the music he loved on Saturday afternoons, in addition to regularly playing with his new blues rock band. 
We started to work together in 2005 at a time when Jeff only wanted to record classic jazz. We promptly recorded the live album It’s Tight Like That with legendary British trombonist and band leader Chris Barber. We followed that up with reissues of his two previous jazz albums, plus a live DVD. Jeff eventually did go back to record two electric blues based albums for Stony Plain including Mess Of Blues, which won the Blues Foundation’s ‘Rock Blues Album Of The Year’ award in 2009. Jeff’s final studio album, Last Call, was released posthumously in 2010. 
“It was a stripped-down solo, duo and trio recording that could be called The Real Jeff Healey. It shows his love for all musical styles and features some of his best guitar and trumpet playing with heartfelt singing. His duet with violinist Drew Jurecka on ‘The Wild Cat’ is a highlight. 

“Seeing Jeff on stage with his friends, the amazing players in the Jazz Wizards, was a joyous experience filled with camaraderie and endless jokes. It was an honor working with Jeff and getting to know his fellow musicians and family.”

For more information about Jeff Healey’s The Best of the Stony Plain Years: Vintage Jazz,
Swing and Blues
and other CDs in the series from Joe Louis Walker and Long John Baldry, visit

Track Listing

1 Three Little Words 4:24
2 The Wildcat 2:35
3 Star Dust 4:52
4 Sheik of Araby 5:11
5 Guitar Duet Stomp 3:37
6 Sing You Sinners 5:05
7 I Would Do Anything for You 4:28
8 Pardon My Southern Accent 3:46
9 Some Of These Days 2:47
10 My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms 5:02
11 Hong Kong Blues 3:13
12 Sweet Georgia Brown 8:32

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jeff Healey to release "As Years Go Passing By" Live CD/DVD

On Friday 22nd February, inakustik will release a compilation of three rare and previously unreleased German concerts recorded and filmed in 1989, 1995 and 2000, from the Canadian blues rock guitarist, Jeff Healey.
Entitled "Jeff Healey - As The Years Go Passing By: Live in Germany 1989 - 1995 - 2000", the concerts will be released as a 3 CD-set, and as a Deluxe Edition 3CD + 2DVD. The latter includes an extensive booklet featuring contributions from the participating musicians, plus rare photos.
The three concerts include "Ohne Filer Extra" (May 10, 1989), "Extraspät in Concert" (April 2, 1995), and "Ohne Filter Extra" (October 31, 2000).
"With the fifth anniversary of Jeff's passing coming up on 2nd March 2013, we were looking for a special way to commemorate and help celebrate Jeff’s life and legacy,"says Jeff’s widow, Cristie Healey.
"In preparing for this release, it was important to include the participation of as many of the performers involved as possible. Jeff’s friends and colleagues have enthusiastically shared their memories of the concerts which help to make this rare live compilation extra special.”
"The Jeff Healey Estate is very proud to endorse this release. It's the first collection of archive material to be officially released with the approval of the Healey Family since Jeff left us all too soon. We are privileged to continue the legacy of his immense efforts, incredible talent and sheer love of music, for everyone to enjoy.”
Jeff’s life wasn’t just about music but rather, music was part of what brought life to Jeff. It was part of who he was. For those who knew him, this fact was always quite apparent, even up to his last live performance, only a month before he passed away. The live recordings were created with the participation of those who knew Jeff best, sharing his talent with his fans, friends, and fellow musicians for years to come.
Disc 1 & DVD 1: Ohne Filter Extra (May 10, 1989)
Jeff Healey – Guitar/Vocals
Joe Rockman – Bass/Vocals
Tom Stephen – Drums

1. I'm Torn Down
2. My Little Girl
3. Confidence Man
4. I Need To Be Loved
5. When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
6. River Of No Return
7. Angel Eyes
8. Roadhouse Blues
9. See The Light
Disc 2 & DVD 2: Extraspät in Concert (April 2, 1995)
Jeff Healey – Guitar/Vocals
Pat Rush – Guitar
Joe Rockman – Bass/Vocals
Tom Stephen – Drums

1. Got A Line On You
2. Stop Breaking Down
3. As The Years Go Passing By
4. Confidence Man
5. Stuck In The Middle
6. Angel
7. Yer Blues
8. Me And My Crazy Self
9. Angel Eyes
10. Roadhouse Blues
11. See The Light
12. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Disc 3 & DVD 1: Ohne Filter Extra (October 31, 2000)
Jeff Healey – Guitar/Vocals
Philip Sayce – Guitar
Joe Rockman – Bass/Vocals
Tom Stephen – Drums

1. My Little Girl
2. Which One
3. Love Is The Answer
4. How Blue Can You Get
5. Confidence Man
6. Put The Shoe On The Other Foot
7. Feel Better
8. Angel Eyes
9. Roadhouse Blues
The three concerts give fans an insightful look into the evolution of Jeff Healey... a document of an outstanding guitarist in three distinct phases of his career. The concerts are presented as they were performed, live without the aid of studio intervention. Spanning eleven and a half years, they cover different periods in the history of the Jeff Healey Band, and yet, they are all linked by a common thread, Germany.
Germany always held a special place for the Jeff Healey Band. Consistently one of their strongest markets, German audiences were always fantastic and appreciative, giving Jeff and his band extra fire. 
"Germany is a spectacular country,"recalls Jeff’s first bass guitarist, Joe Rockman. "In colourful detail, I would describe for Jeff the lush fields, gently rolling hills, picturesque vistas and majestic mountains. For him the best part was the warm enthusiastic response we encountered throughout the country. He loved sampling the old world brew and shuffling through the abundant second hand record shops.”
"The superb camera crews for each show display Jeff's technique with unique close-ups, putting the viewer right on stage,"continues Rockman. "I’d coach Jeff on how the cameras were placed, and he was aware of how to play to them, but also aware not to let them influence how he performed to the live studio audience. There's one cool shot I've never seen before, taken at an angle from Jeff's feet shooting up towards the guitar. During concerts around this period most people in the audience couldn't clearly see his revolutionary style of guitar playing, so all three shows are a rare treat…”
1989: The "Ohne Filter Extra"Concert
Healey is in great spirits, and it is clearly evident and from the opener, I’m Tore Down. The energy coming off the stage is intense. The frenzy of the crowd is given a bigger boost by a wild group of Canadians in the audience showing their support. The playful exuberance Jeff puts out in the solo for My Little Girl is reflective of the feel of the entire show.
Joe Rockman: "The 1989 Ohne Filter Extra show has the original trio in exhilarating form, hamming it up on stage and pushing the sound of the three-piece to the extreme. It was our dream to reach the world, and being in Germany was new and exciting. We were feeling indestructible, with a surge of creativity including film, video, CD, and playing to huge festival crowds. We were intent at pushing and proving ourselves for every show."
"There is fire in Jeff's playing, an urgency sometimes startling, almost as if the notes were saying "Here! Listen here!" His technique was amazing. It was as if some kind of demented Daddy Long Legs spider was dancing over the neck of his guitar."
"We used the keyboard in songs where we needed to fill out the middle when Jeff broke into a solo. In I Need To Be Loved, Angel Eyes and When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky you can hear how Jeff used the 12 string Jackson double-neck fora wider tone, also playing the twelve and six string necks off each other in solos for great effect.”
When The Night Comes Falling is one of the highlights of this show. With Joe’s great harmony vocals and Jeff’s double-neck Jackson guitar, they pull out all the showman chops. Jeff is sweat-drenched and leaps around the stage playing the guitar behind his head. The performance culminates in a fantastic show-stopping version of See The Light.
1995: Extraspät in Concert
By 1995, the live band had been through some changes. After their debut, See The Light, the band experienced success with their sophomore release Hell To Pay (featuring George Harrison and Mark Knopfler), followed by the 1992 follow up Feel This. During the tour for this release, the band had sought to augment its sound and take things in a different direction, adding back-up singers and a keyboard player. This version of the touring band would remain short-lived however and with the start of recording in 1994 a change was again heralded ...
Peeling back the layers for a ‘return to the basics’ the band recorded their next album, Cover To Cover mostly as a three-piece.
In a 1995 Guitar Player Magazine interview, Jeff elaborated,"We felt like we'd sort of gotten off track," Healey says. "I wanted to do something different and fun and reminiscent of the days when we made very little money. In the end we recorded 30 or 40 songs - or at least we half-attempted to record that many. If a song started breaking down and it took a lot of thought to figure out what to do with it, we just moved on, because we wanted these recordings to be as spontaneous as possible.”
In many ways reborn and revitalized in its newly stripped down form, the addition of guitarist Pat Rush (Johnny Winter, et. al) to the live line-up brought much to the proceedings. Pat’s experience and skill opened up Jeff to play more freely and not have to worry about carrying the song. In many ways, Pat was the perfect counterpoint for Jeff on stage and certainly, exactly what the band needed at this point in time.
Joe Rockman: "Pat Rush was a huge asset and began touring with us to support the Cover to Cover record. Jeff was becoming a bit burned out shouldering all the guitar duties. Pat had mastery of several types of guitars, pedals and effects and was able to summon up a landscape of orchestral arrangements to widen our sound. It amazed me to hear so many variations of a guitar sound especially with his outstanding slide. He had the sensitivity to lay back, create space, and at times add flourish, tastefully complimenting Jeff. The interplay between Jeff and Pat shines on every track.”
Pat Rush: "Jeff used to introduce me as the guy he stole all his licks from. He first came to see me at Grossmans Tavern (in Toronto) when he wasn't even old enough to be in bars. He liked my slide guitar playing and he liked the fact that I was also a good rhythm player so that when he took a solo the rhythm guitar helped to keep the groove. When he soloed I kept the groove going while he went into outer space on a solo and vice versa! He loved trading off solos back and forth in some songs.”
There are many highlights in the 1995 show; Pat’s stand out slide playing on Stop Breaking Down, the wonderful interaction between Pat and Jeff in Roadhouse Blues… you can feel how much fun they’re having on stage… Jeff’s playing on the Albert King classic, As The Years Go Passing By, is all passion and fire. His soulful voice creating perfect symmetry with the fat tone of his Les Paul.
Joe Rockman: "The second period (Cover To Cover) represented in this set is a wonderful example of the JHB captured in a controlled environment. The outstanding Extraspät In Concert production team gives it the full ambiance of a concert hall, and the guitar heavy mix broadens the entire sonic spectrum. This is one of our finest live recordings. Here we see footage of Jeff maturing as a musician and singer. He has gained control, range and expression in his vocals. He's more relaxed and confident, and his guitar playing is more dynamic and directional. He leads the guitar now, as opposed to earlier work where sometimes the guitar would lead him. From the start his tone leaps out of the Les Paul, now perched on a metal stand to allow a live audience to see more of his amazing technique.”
Pat Rush: "It was my second time touring Europe with Jeff and we performed a bunch of German dates. I remember how good the production was, the techs doing the TV shows were very together. When watching the videos I was impressed with the sound and video mix."
Jeff is often unrecognized for his skillfulness on acoustic guitar. His playing was as proficient and unique as on electric.
Joe Rockman: "Jeff's prowess on the acoustic guitar is featured on Me and My Crazy Self (a song I discovered on one of his CD "rejects" that he gave me) and Angel Eyes where we stage ourselves up front."
Me and My Crazy Self is indeed a great showcase for Jeff’s raw talent. Stripped of all artifice, Jeff’s expressive voice and brilliant acoustic playing are laid bare on the stage, providing an aural break from the relentlessness of the band. Pat Rush returning to add an intricate web of sound to a full band acoustic version of Angel Eyes provides the perfect segue back to full volume.
When the band returns fully amplified with Roadhouse Blues, the incredible back-and-forth between Pat and Jeff takes the song to new heights, priming the audience for what follows, an extraordinary fifteen and a half minute version of See The Light.
2000: Ohne Filter Extra
Performing in support of their first release in five years (2000’s wildly unappreciated Get Me Some), the band was dealing with its share of turmoil behind the scenes and sadly, this tour would mark the beginning of the end for the original line-up. It would be one the final concerts where the three core members, Joe Rockman, Tom Stephen and Jeff Healey would tour together.
For this tour, new blood was once again injected into the band, this time in the form of Philip Sayce, a brilliant young lead player in his own right, with a great voice to boot (just watch as he cuts loose on the Albert Collins tune, Put The Shoe On The Other Foot). Jeff's invitation for him to join up was extended with the intention of helping him with his own eventual/inevitable career.
Joe Rockman: "Our third era (the 2000 Ohne Filter show) features songs of our final studio recording where we experimented with a varied approach to our songwriting, combining elements of the core band's individual influences along with superb collaborators. This was the final show of our 2000 Euro tour and we were feeling the effects of our relentless schedule. Jeff was struggling with the last dregs of a cold, but that would not stop him. He had a strong professional work ethic, and could still outperform while feeling under the weather. Check out his call and answer guitar stings on How Blue Can You Get."
"Philip Sayce is an astounding guitar player, and we were excited for our opportunity to introduce him to the world. A perfect foil for Jeff, he could push the expression of blues to a lightning fast level, taking it to a dimension Jeff wouldn't normally go. I had a sense that Philip put his entire essence and soul into his playing, at times propelling off his feet and into the air. When close on stage, it was magnetic. I could feel presence and power emanate from him. In response Jeff would play even more dynamically, bringing things down to a whisper, then erupting into a cascade of sonic fury which Phil would then match, driving Jeff even further. At times you see a look of amused awe on Phil's face when Jeff pulled off something that didn't sound quite human.”
Philip Sayce: "By the time we arrived at Ohne Filter Extra (our last show of the tour, and Halloween!), there was an excitement in the air. Emmylou Harris shared the bill with Healey, which was apparently the last episode of this TV series to be filmed. The German audience was incredible that night, as they always are. There was a real edge to the performance that night, we came out swinging, and I remember of course, Jeff was ferocious, relentless, in complete control. Even on the last show of this tour, exhausted and fighting a nasty cold, Jeff blew away everyone, as he always did... he brought the thunder, and rendered everyone in that audience speechless.”
Joe Rockman: "As a rhythm section, we would strive to experiment and push beyond the borders of a traditional team. To back up Jeff, Philip employs a powerful insistent rhythm, while weaving colours and textures on the slower numbers. He instilled excitement in the JHB's performances throughout this tour. A great example of Philip's uncanny vocal range can be seen in the Albert Collins song, Put The Shoe On The Other Foot which was a showcase for him. There was a pivotal time during this performance. As I heard Jeff and Phil in a searing double lead, it hit me. As bassist and co-producer of the JHB, I was sharing the stage and studio with some of the greatest guitarists the world had ever seen."

Philip Sayce: "This was one of the last tours I did with Jeff, as I was preparing to start my own career full time. A move Jeff had orchestrated, intended and endorsed from the first time he asked me to join him and his band. To this day, I’ve never experienced anything like standing beside Jeff onstage, or even hanging on a tour bus listening to music together. He was one of my biggest heroes, and still is. I cherish every moment I had with him, and it helped to set me on my life's musical path. I feel his presence and influence every time I play. When he performed, it was like time stopped."

"Jeff's guitar tones and phrasing were instantly recognizable not just because of his unique style, but also his vast knowledge of music and music history. He had a sonic photographic memory and all his influences, especially his love of early jazz and Louis Armstrong would creep into his playing to create his own unique sound and voice."
"I don't think like a guitar player. Nor do I think that way when I'm playing the trumpet as a trumpet player or the piano as a piano player… I'm always thinking very musically, so when I approach the guitar, again, it's not as a guitar player. I'm playing the music and conveying emotion."- Jeff Healey (Vintage Guitar Magazine in 2002)
Jeff Healey – Official Biography
Canadian guitar music icon, Jeff Healey, was born in Toronto on March 25, 1966. Blind from early childhood due to a rare form of eye cancer, Jeff Healey’s guitar playing virtuosity and soulful voice saw him rise to prominence in the entertainment world in the late 1980’s and ‘90’s selling millions of albums worldwide.
Getting his first guitar at the age of three, he developed a unique style of playing, placing the guitar flat on his lap and playing it like a lap steel, putting his hands over the fret board, giving him the flexibility of fretting with all five fingers and the power of pulling notes with the strength of his whole hand.
With the Jeff Healey Band, he would record five studio albums and contribute to the soundtrack of the cult classic film, Patrick Swayze’s ‘Road House’ (a film in which Jeff and the band were also featured).  In addition to countless recording sessions as a guitarist, trumpet player, singer and producer, Jeff also recorded three albums of the traditional jazz that he loved so much.  Just prior to his untimely passing, Jeff put the finishing touches on his first rock/blues album in nine years, the award winning ‘Mess of Blues’.
Over the years, Jeff’s reputation as a player and a person led him to perform and record with such incredible luminaries as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Ian Gillan and many more.
For over two decades, Jeff went on to enjoy both a successful rock/blues career and a wonderful jazz career as well.  In 2001 he opened the first of two nightclubs that would bear his name in his home town of Toronto.  Grammy nominee and Juno award winner, he was a radio personality, a jazz historian and world famous record collector (owning a collection of 1920’s and ‘30’s jazz 78s that would include 30,000 records).
Jeff Healey passed away on March 2nd, 2008 from cancer.  He was 41 years old.
Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund is a research foundation dedicated to helping children with retinoblastoma, the form of eye cancer which took Jeff’s sight as an infant. This wonderful organization has affected real change through its research throughout the years and is near and very dear to the Healey family.
Jeff Healey - Official Website
Jeff Healey - Official Facebook
Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund
inakustik - Official Website

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Down In The Alley - Ronnie Hawkins with Jeff Healey

Ronald "Ronnie" Hawkins (born January 10, 1935) is a Juno Award-winning rockabilly musician whose career has spanned more than half a century. Though his career began in Arkansas, USA, where he'd been born and raised, it was in Ontario, Canada where he found success and settled for most of his life. He is considered highly influential in the establishment and evolution of rock music in Canada. Also known as Rompin' Ronnie, Mr. Dynamo or simply The Hawk, Hawkins was one of the key players in the 1960s rock scene in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Throughout his career, Hawkins has performed all across North America and recorded more than twenty-five albums. His hit songs included covers of Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days" (entitled "Forty Days" by Hawkins) and Young Jessie's "Mary Lou", a song about a "gold digging woman". His other well-known recordings are "Who Do You Love?", "Hey Bo Diddley", and "Suzie Q", which was written by his cousin, the late rockabilly artist Dale Hawkins. Hawkins is also notable for his role as something of a talent scout and mentor. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of premiere backing musicians via his band, The Hawks. The most successful of those eventually forming The Band, while other musicians Hawkins had recruited provided the makings of Robbie Lane & The Disciples, Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band, Crowbar, Bearfoot and Skylark. Hawkins was born in 1935 in Huntsville, Arkansas, just two days after the birth of Elvis Presley. At the age of nine, his family moved to nearby Fayetteville, Arkansas. After graduating from high school, he studied physical education at the University of Arkansas where he formed his first band, The Hawks, touring with them throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Hawkins also owned and operated the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville where some of rock and roll's earliest pioneers came to play including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Conway Twitty. Hawkins began touring Canada in 1958, per Twitty's advice, and his first gig there was at the Golden Rail Tavern in Hamilton, Ontario, where he became an overnight success. Hawkins decided to move to Canada, and in 1964, became a permanent resident, eventually making Peterborough, Ontario his home. After the move, The Hawks, with the exception of drummer Levon Helm, dropped out on Hawkins. Their vacancies were eventually filled by Canadians Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson, all hailing from across Southwestern Ontario. Helm and the rest of those Hawks would leave Hawkins in 1964 to form an act of their own, which eventually came to be named The Band. In December 1969 Hawkins hosted John Lennon and Yoko Ono for a stay at his Mississauga, Ontario home during the couple's Peace campaign. John Lennon signed his erotic "Bag One" lithographs during his stay at Hawkins' farm. Lennon also did a radio promo for a Ronnie Hawkins single entitled "Down In The Alley". In the early 1970s, Hawkins noticed guitarist Pat Travers performing in Ontario nightclubs, and was so impressed with the young musician that he invited him to join his band. Travers later had a very successful recording career and became one of the most influential guitarists of the 1970s hard rock genre. In 1975, Bob Dylan cast Hawkins as "Bob Dylan" in the movie, Renaldo and Clara. The following year he was a featured performer at the Band's Thanksgiving Day farewell concert, which was documented in the 1978 film The Last Waltz.[5] His 1984 LP, Making It Again, garnered him a Juno Award as Canada's best Country Male Vocalist. In addition to his music, he has also become an accomplished actor, hosting his own television show Honky Tonk in the early 1980s and appearing in such films as Heaven's Gate with his friend Kris Kristofferson and Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II. On January 8, 1995, Hawkins celebrated his 60th birthday by throwing a concert at Massey Hall in Toronto which was documented on the album Let It Rock. The concert featured performances by Hawkins, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Band and Larry Gowan. Jeff Healy sat in on guitar for most, if not all, of the performances. Hawkins' band, The Hawks, or permutations of it, backed most, if not all, of the acts. All of the musicians performing that night were collectively dubbed "The Rock ‘N’ Roll Orchestra". Ronnie Hawkins' star on Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2002, October 4 was declared "Ronnie Hawkins Day" by the city of Toronto as he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame, in recognition of his lifetime contribution to music and his generous support of the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and other charitable organizations. Hawkins was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame at the Canadian Music Industry Awards on 4 March 2004. His pioneering contribution to the genre has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In recent years, Hawkins battled pancreatic cancer. His recovery, attributed to everything from psychic healers to native herbal medicine, is featured in the film, Ronnie Hawkins: Still Alive and Kicking. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary degree from Laurentian University. Also Hawkins recently has reissued most of his albums on CD through Unidisc Music Inc. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sittin`On Top Of The World - Jeff Healey Blues Band

Norman Jeffrey "Jeff" Healey (March 25, 1966 - March 2, 2008) was a blind Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Over the years, Healey toured and sat-in with many legendary performers, including Dire Straits, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, BB King, ZZ Top, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton and many more. In 2006, Healey appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn.

Healey discovered and helped develop the careers of other musical artists, including Terra Hazelton and Amanda Marshall.

In early 2009, Healey's album Mess of Blues won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Tore Down - Jeff Healey band

Norman Jeffrey "Jeff" Healey (March 25, 1966 - March 2, 2008) was a blind Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Over the years, Healey toured and sat-in with many legendary performers, including Dire Straits, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, BB King, ZZ Top, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton and many more. In 2006, Healey appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn.

Healey discovered and helped develop the careers of other musical artists, including Terra Hazelton and Amanda Marshall.

In early 2009, Healey's album of Blues won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album.
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

As the Years Go Passing By

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant; his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was eight months old, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. After being signed to Arista Records in 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes" and the song "Hideaway", which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. While the band was recording See the Light, they were also filming (and recording for the soundtrack of) the Patrick Swayze film Road House. Healey had numerous acting scenes in the movie with Swayze, as his band was the house cover band for the bar featured in the movie. In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums Hell to Pay and Feel This gave Healey 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.

On January 11, 2007, Healey underwent surgery to remove metastatic tissue from both lungs. In the previous eighteen months, he had two sarcomas removed from his legs.

On March 2, 2008, Healey died of cancer at St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto. His death came a month before the release of Mess of Blues, which was his first rock/blues album in eight years.

Healey is survived by his wife, Cristie, and two children. A tribute concert was held on May 3, 2008 to benefit Daisy's Eye Cancer Fund, which, according to Cristie Healey, had helped make major strides in research and future advances for people born with the same genetically inherited retinoblastoma which had plagued her husband since he was one year of age. Cristie and Jeff Healey's son was also born with the same disability.

In 2009, he was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.
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