Jeff Healey will Heal My Soul with Twelve Lost Tracks
Albums arrive, listened to thought about and reviewed. Then there are the albums that arrive where a frisson of expectation is lit. Then albums that have a whole load of excited anticipation a deep sense of belief this will be special are sent. Jeff Healey’s Heal My Soul fits into this category. Before hearing a note I was expecting an album that would light my blues touch-paper and carry me away on a musical journey of pure pleasure from the first to last dying note. Did Heal My Soul meet Bluesdoodles expectations you will have to read on.
The album is laden with poignancy released on 25th March marking what would have been Jeff’s 50th Birthday. Jeff Healey’s searing blues guitar is a loss to the world of music, he passed away after a three-year battle with sarcoma cancer on March 2nd 2008. Now we can celebrate the music from his six-strings and vocals once again with the release of Heal My Soul, twelve songs, a previously lost album. This is not a re-mastered mix of out-takes, b-sides and rejected material we have for our aural delights a new album of material that has been held in limbo waiting for a moment to shine through. This is a reflection of Jeff Healey at the top of his prowess full of creativity and Healey magic. The album the first in fifteen years has been carefully restored under the direction of the Healey Estate.
With the dust blown off the tracks they hit the airwaves with energy and verve with the opening track Daze Of The Night igniting the speakers with guitar that has a zinging energy that Jeff’s vocals exploits as the lyrics are explored and the song releases itself with his trade-mark licks. His voice has a distinctive timbre that is a deep, dark and full of emotional texture as he blends the raw and the smooth explored through the track. Heal My Soul is an album that explores every tonal shape and texture that fits into the sound-scape that makes up the lexicon of the blues.
His brilliance on electric guitar is always celebrated. Two tracks, Baby Blue and All The Saints, are sentimental love-songs so out comes the mellow acoustic with his song-writing skills displayed with poise and deep meaningful lyrics. In contrast to mellow is a funked up and scorching three minutes of Please; this is Hendrix colliding with Prince and coming up Healey. This is a track that is different from Healey past and could it have been a path he would have trodden if history had been different? Squeezed between Baby Blue and Please is a Richard Thompson cover I Misunderstood, the Healey version is electric with the guitar purring in the intro. Then the husky vocals growl with the beat and this version fits the album like a glove the interpretation glistens with Jeff’s signature licks but never drowns out the songwriting skills of one on Britain’s greatest Richard Thompson.
This is blues with all its multi-facets and is not miserable but explorative of life’s emotions and journeys we travel. Every track is a gem but the blues guitar of Put The Shoe On The Other Foot is deep blues and swells and grows sit back listen and revel in the skillful guitar playing of Jeff Healey.
Closing with It’s The Last Time the title is steeped in nostalgia and has a heart stopping poignancy that makes this album very special a unique look at an artist to celebrate in his absence his genius and 50th Birthday Jeff. This is an album that blows the dust off the blues and sparkling in the daylight of attention with twelve strong tracks we are all reacquainted with the brilliance that is blues maestro Jeff Healey. This is a ten for the sheer beauty of the vocals, songwriting and Blues Guitar that sears through the prism of the blues.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Daze Of The Night
- Baby Blue
- I Misunderstood
- Love Her Eyes
- Kiss The Ground You Walk On
- All The Saints
- Put The Shoe On The Other Foot
- Under A Stone
- It’s The Last Time