(Kayos) Eagle Records have set a June 14th release date for The Jeff Healey Band Live At Grossman's - 1994.
The live disc features nine tracks of the phenomenally talented guitar player Jeff Healey and his band (bassist Joe Rockman, drummer Tom Stephen, and guests Pat Rush on guitar and Michael Pickett on Harmonicaphones) at the height of their notoriety and fame.
This 1994 gig, recorded at the same hometown Toronto tavern where the band was discovered, was something of a celebratory homecoming. Healey, at that point, achieved national fame with 10 straight hit singles starting in 1990. The crowd, knowing he's one of their own, responds with loving craziness, propelling the band on to the inspired heights captured herein. Healey fashioned a unique way of playing guitar. He played it like a laptop steel dobro, horizontal across his lap while sitting down. This added to his highly individualistic style: his stinging runs and sense of urgency and drama were always at the forefront of his solos. His feel for the blues, especially, coupled with his soulful lead vocals, made him and his band a sensation.
Besides being an accomplished composer, Healey was a gifted interpreter. His howling yowling pain comes through on "Yer Blues," adding even more gravitas to John Lennon's already anguished original. And when he gets his hands on Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower," he adds coloration and distinction to the tune, furthering what Jimi Hendrix started on his famous cover version.
As far as the blues is concerned, Healey was a natural. Here, he takes the material of such cherished bluesmen as Howling Wolf, Albert King, Louis Jordan, Robert Johnson and Elmore James, signifying…testifying…turnin' 'em inside-out and upside-down with righteous flair.
Healey died in 2008 at 41 from the cancer that robbed him of his eyesight as an infant. Healey recently received further accolades in his native Toronto, as Woodford Park was renamed after him on the weekend on June 4.
1) I'm Going Home
2) Killing Floor
3) As The Years Go Passing By
4) Ain't That Just Like A Woman
5) Yer Blues
6) Who's Been Talking
8) Dust My Broom
9) All Along The Watchtower