Fireworks

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The Jeff Healey Band - 'Live At The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern 1993' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/96/6e/e2/jeff-healy-band-live-at-the-legendary-horseshoe-tavern-1993-29-1443472910.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 28, 2015    
 
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Another reminder of a sadly missed talent playing at his peak.

It is seven years since Jeff Healey left us but there have been a number of posthumous recordings to remind us of his talent. In December 1993, Healey and his band were completing their tour in support of the (at the time) recently released 'Feel This' album, which culminated in several nights at the Horseshoe Tavern in their hometown of Toronto. This show was recorded on the last of those nights.

Healey is backed, as usual, by bass player Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen and, as you might expect, the sound is raw but filled out nicely by the addition of a keyboard player (Washington Savage) rather than an extra guitarist and two backing singers (Mischke and Touco). The set features a number of Rock/Blues standards alongside some of the material from 'See The Light', 'Hell To Pay' and '...This'. ZZ Top's 'Blue Jean Blues' has great passion and power and the extended guitar solo moves from soulful individual notes to blurry intricacies without losing any momentum.

The mid-set acoustic section includes outstanding versions of 'That's What They Say', 'You're Coming Home' and 'Angel Eyes'. The songs take on a different intensity yet retain their identity and highlight Healey's versatility with the guitar. 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' showcases yet more great guitar work but I could have done without the vocal histrionics from the backing singers that intrude near the songs conclusion. Everything is redeemed with a stunning eleven minute cover of BB King's 'The Thrill Is Gone' and this closes proceedings in elegant style.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The restoration and mastering by Eliot Kissilef has given the mix great clarity. Each instrument has the definition you would expect from a studio project and this just emphasises how tight a unit the band were. The vibrancy of the performance has been captured perfectly and if you pour yourself a cold one and find a bar stool, it is almost like being there in person. Healey's emotional playing and singing dominates the songs and there are many self-indulgent passages but I guess that is what everyone who likes this kind of music expects anyway and when the quality is this high, there is not really much to complain about.

If you are familiar with some of the Jeff Healey live albums that have been released in recent years then there will be no surprises here. If you're a fan then this is certainly one to add to the collection and another reminder of a sadly missed talent playing at his peak.

Dave Bott

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