Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jeff Healey - Songs From The Road
Ruf

If this CD / DVD is the kind of stuff that will be released from the archives since his demise last year then it serves as both a send off as well as a lesson / riposte to the snide releases that frequently squander the legacies of the great n' gone. It also helps that Healey didn't do a great deal to aid such operations, not exactly being noted for below par, off key n' kilter performances. In some areas that may have made him seem as staid and bored geography teacher-like as Clapton and Cray but not so. Here, recorded in Norway, one of the London's and hometown Toronto, Healey literally tears through a set of classics culled from the blues, rock'n'roll, psychedelia (Cream's White Room would make Jack Bruce stand in shame in the corner for eternity at the piss poor power-deprived trio version he treaded out on his own recent live album) all liberally interspersed with his trademark biting, barking and bullshit-less guitar breaks, that often spill over into Skynyrd style off road racing between him and t'other guitar (the equally electrically laudable Dan Noordermeer) and harpistrionic maestro. The guy had soul that swings through songs that are tired standards in most anyone's else's repertoire (Hoochie Coochie Man with a ridiculous bout of breathtaking guitar of the if my mouth opens any wider please come by my house, stick some dynamite in it and blow me up thanking ye kindly calibre, Stop Breaking Down and the fuckin' Beatles - though he does urinate from mystical heights that no Amahashhead Yogi could ever envisage on While My Guitar Gently Weeps). The DVD has a slew of different tracks too including Highway To Hell and Neil Young's Like A Hurricane. That The Mission even managed to do a far better version of this song should in no way belittle this one, Healey on top fart-about form. Colossal. Any little prick wanting to learn should start here from now on, it might at least make 'em stop before releasing a simperingly limp album of glossy slop.
Stu Gibson

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