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Monday, April 18, 2011

Jeff Healey Band – Get Me Some album review

Jeff Healey Band – Get Me Some album review
Released on: Eagle Records. Release Date: (USA) March 2011

This is a review that kind of saddens me to write and not because there’s anything wrong with the album, no the only thing wrong with the release is that this album was originally made available to the masses back in 2000! Yes, 'Get Me Some' is only now – sadly – three years after the passing of this extremely talented guitarist / singer / songwriter, being finally made available officially in the USA. That in itself is criminal as it is an excellent body of work and to be honest, I could leave the review right there and just add, buy, buy, buy!

Since the 80’s Jeff Healey and his band have released some excellent work – IMHO – and many of you that read / check out this site, are very aware that I’m not the biggest blues fan, but Jeff Healey had something unique about his work, that was certainly special and more appealing – Sorry blues fans! – than your regular blues men.
A lot of people will perhaps best remember Jeff for his role in the ‘Roadhouse’ movie, where his band were the house band in a Blues Brothers like scenario of playing onstage behind chicken wire, in a bar that - the also late – actor Patrick Swayze played the lead role in.
A great movie, check it out if you get the chance, even if just to take in Jeff’s playing.

The thing is, Jeff Healey was also accepted by many rock fans certainly for his great releases in ‘See The Light,’ ‘Hell To Pay’ and ‘Cover to Cover,’ not to mention ‘Feel This’ too, even if it took a few different twists and turns. That’s not all though, check out the rest of the guys’ back catalogue, as there’s plenty more where they all came from.

Opening with the classy groove of ‘Which One’ that starts fairly steady but really kicks in great in the chorus. Nice opener.
I really don’t need to add anything about the mans playing as it more than speaks for itself throughout.

Next up ‘Hey, Hey (Get Me Some)’ starts easy before building up to a nice mid-paced steady blues rock catchy number.

The beautiful ‘Love Is The Answer’ is next, a great emotionally written again, catchy laid back number.
Something about Jeff Healey albums is that they come across with a wonderfully balanced sound, not overly polished, but just a perfect mix to suit the music. ‘Love Is The Answer’ has such a killer solo, there, I said it!
Seriously the whole album just oozes class and again, I can’t help but say again, why was this not released in the US originally in 2000?!

‘My Life Story’ is a great pop rock song, that could’ve been a huge hit with the right backing. It’s the kind of track that I could even hear Jon Bon Jovi trying to cover, it’s really that catchy and so smooth.
It’s such a good album that I could easily play every day if I didn’t have so much other material to have to get through.

If you want a big power ballad to move you, you’d seriously be hard pushed to beat ‘I Tried.’
This song moves me so much it’s really hard to listen to without thinking, why did we have to lose this talented guy? It really chokes me up. I kid you not.

‘The Damage Is Done’ is a good steady blues based pop rocker is again is just classy. Great harmonising vocal here as elsewhere, but again it’s all just great stuff. The solo soars nicely.

OK, the real blues fans who have listened to the album so far, but feel it’s missing that true blues number, Jeff gives us ‘Feel Better.’ A good blues rock number, with an almost (Led) Zeppelin type feel.

‘Holding On’ almost reminded me of the Doobie Brother's ‘Long Train Running’ at the start, but then it goes it’s own way and it’s a nice smooth mid paced number and yes, Jeff rips it up nicely here, no surprise there, then it eases back a little and then picks up again. Good stuff!

It’s funny when you listen to the lyrics, there’s plenty of emotion that runs throughout the album, which of course is how blues is meant to be, but then by the same token it’s put across, in a kind of feel good way. It’s funny but at times, it’s in the same way as the band Del Amitri often came across.
Very good stuff indeed, very underrated too.

The acoustic, kind of country driven number ‘Macon Georgia Blue’ is just enough to once again convey how endless the guys’ talent was. Absolutely tragic that he’s gone. Nicely done tune.

How about a little funk into the mix then? ‘House Is Burning Down’ does just does that and it’s a clever groove, keeping the blues rock intermingled with some funky licks too. Sweet!

The ballad ‘Runaway Heart’ crosses the country / blues ballad style perfectly and initially it actually reminds me a little of the Mr Big massive hit, ‘To Be With You,’ no bad thing, but it far from being a copy, the song does have it’s own identity.

‘Rachel’s Song’ closes the album and is done so in a nice, slick laid back style.

It’s an album that covers a few directions, while staying true to the man’s blues background.

He did it so perfectly though and while perhaps people think I’m rating this so high on a sympathy vote, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth here is, the Jeff Healey Band has simply produced a class album that wasn’t his last, but may sadly be the last studio release made available. It’s a great album, what else can I tell you. Thanks for the music Jeff, we’ll not forget you.

Rating: 5 out of 5 – For a classy album.
Official Website - And yes, it is still going, with some great people behind it, still supporting the guys' work and more:

Final Editor's - Additional - note:
I know you're all thinking, wow! How can this be rated so high by Al for not being a hard rock / AOR release?!
Well, it's just a great album that has grown and grown more and more with each play.
I remember hearing it years ago and thinking it was pretty good, but somehow, my copy vanished and memories of the album kind of slipped my mind, but on receiving it again, for review after so long, it's all come back to me, how good this really is.

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