Holding On the Perfect Companion to
Heal My Soul
Like buses wait for ages then there are two Jeff Healey albums in a year celebrating his fiftieth birthday.
Holding On the Perfect Companion to Heal My Soul; released by the Jeff Healey Estate keeping his brand of blues alive and we can listen to previously unreleased studio and live tracks.
On every number the defiant nature that personifies Jeff Healey is emblazoned on the sound as the blues are scorched with rocky determination. The five studio tracks are a treat, a rockier sound and guitar that stings and takes you back. But, the double cherry on top of the delicious iced cake starts when the live music pours like molten sapphire blue from your speakers. The concert recorded in Norway at the end of the last century 1999 to be exact.
The first five studio tracks are the appetizers for the main event starting with a harder rock infused edge Love Takes Time the vocals purr with the intention to tell the story of the lyrics and we are under Jeff’s blues spell once again. The funkiness of Dancing With Monsters this is a song that makes you smile, tap your feet and the legacy of Jeff’s music is as fresh as the day we first heard him play. The track of the quintet for me is CNI Blues, definitely, the best studio track saved for the last mouthful of studio blues that rocks. This all too short instrumental is the perfect full stop before the live sound assails your ears and the power of live music is once again re-enforced. The cheers are loud but not as loud as for Elmore James’ Dust My Broom a classic given the Healey treatment, fast, furious and sparkling blues.
Now for the main event, Jeff Healey’s blues live what a special musical moment as he engages with the audience and the blues juices flow with his deft touch. As he is introduced the guitar makes a statement the tone is sharp and precise as My Little Girl lyrics take over we are now truly in the company of Jeff Healey. Every live track captures a moment in a live performance with its driving energy and that playing in the here-and-now effect. Love the comment “what the f**k was the tune we were going to play” as he strummed a chord and then straight into Stuck In The Middle With You. One thing for sure there were no jokers or clowns playing tonight the musicianship is tight and blue. The guitar intro of Macon Georgia Blue is sweet and the country blues tonal quality of Jeff’s vocals cools down the session and has an inherent beauty. The covers of Beatles Yer Blues and BB King’s How Blue Can You Get are two tracks that stand out on a live performance that captures what a brilliant artist of the blues Jeff Healey was.
Having listened to Holding On, I was left with a feeling of warmth as Jeff Healey’s blues washed over me. The joy was tinged with regret that we have the legacy but not what Jeff would have been playing now, blues exponents of this quality will always be missed but never silenced.
Jeff Healey – Holding On – Mascot Label Group
TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Love Takes Time
- Every Other Day
- Dancing With The Monsters
- All That I Believe
- My Little Girl – Live
- Dust My Broom – Live
- How Blue Can YOU Get – Live
- I Think I Love You Too Much – Live
- Stuck In the Middle with You/Tequila – Live
- Macon Georgia Blue – Live
- Yer Blues – Live
- Holding On – Live
- See The Light – Live