Songs From The Road
Ruff Records: B002JIH8N8
Review by Georgetown Fats
A poor review of the recently deceased will probably earn me a place in Hell someday, at least it will be warm and Hell has a much better jukebox.
While it is true Jeff Healey was a gifted guitar player and vocalist, who over came physical constraints and complications to tour and record extensively only to die prematurely from Cancer, he just wan not a blues musician.
Healey’s heart and considerable talents were wrapped up in hot jazz, while his most famous recorded work are 80‘s Pop charts. Songs From The Road are tracks culled from shows in Nottenden, London and in Healey’s own Toronto club which unsurprisingly does not feature blues every night of the week.
This disk is clearly intended for those who own other offerings of Healey’s pop rock recordings. The majority of tracks are pop rock standards, and Healey did little live to rearrange the tracks in order to make them his own.
Two tracks of the eleven tracks, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Come Together”, are Beatle related tracks. Both tracks are remarkably similar to the original recordings and do very little to show Healey in a different light musically then any good local bar band. "Whipping Post" is strikingly similar rehash of The Allman Brothers Band original and while “I’m Ready” is an actual blues chart by The Great Muddy Waters, it is also a rehash of the original tune. If I did not read the artist involved with this recording, all of these tracks could be mistaken for a local wedding band’s rendition of these pop rock charts. While “White Room” is a strong rendition of Cream’s blues rock song, again this is a song which is common to many working wedding bands catalogs.
By the time Crosby Stills Nash Young’s “Teach Your Children Well” and “Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me)” came through my speakers I found myself desperately searching for some Howlin’ Wolf and Hound Dog Taylor to cleanse my musical palate.
While I understand I am not intended to be considered a target audience for Songs From The Road I still found this to be an incredibly curious release. This recording was clearly intended for sentimental Healey fans willing to shell out a few more shekels for previously released material.