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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jeff Healey

Band – Live at the Horseshoe Tavern

Review by Gary Hill

This live album from Jeff Healey is quite solid. It’s not his best live album, as far as I’m concerned. The thing is, any live performance from Healey is worth hearing. It’s also worth having. This combination of blues and rock is always effective and entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Baby’s Lookin’ Hot

His baby isn’t the only thing hot here. This scorching bluesy rocker is soulful and very hot. It’s a great way to start the set in style.

House That Love Built
Not a huge change, this is still fiery. It’s just perhaps not as good as the opener. That said, the organ soloing adds a lot to the mix. The guitar solo is particularly meaty, too.
Blue Jean Blues
Healey ventures into ZZ Top territory with this killer slow blues romp. This is one of my favorite pieces here. I think I might actually like this live take from Healey better than the ZZ Top original. That’s not completely for certain, though. It’s definitely close.
I Think I Love You Too Much
The organ adds a lot to the mix on this one, too. It’s a killer rocking blues number. The guitar solo section on this is among the best of the show, and that says a lot.
Heart of an Angel
Another blues grind, this one is good, but not really a highlight of the set. I do love the backup singer parts. The unaccompanied guitar solo mid-track doesn’t do a lot for me, but the vocal workout at the end is great.
That’s What They Say
Here we get an acoustic number. It’s more of a rock ballad than a blues tune. It’s a nice change of pace and works pretty well.
You’re Coming Home
Although this starts in a similar arrangement to the previous cut, more instruments are added after the first verse. It’s another ballad, though. It’s a good tune, but I wonder if it would have worked better in a different slot in the show.
Angel Eyes
Healey’s biggest hit, this ballad works really well in this live telling. Again, though, I think that if the ballads had been moved around a bit in the set, it would have been even more powerful. I like the Spanish guitar bit that shows up later in this tune.
Roadhouse Blues
In the movie “Roadhouse” Healey and company covered this Doors song. In this live show they tackle it again. I love the more faithful blues rock treatment. It’s a great tune no matter who does it. I think I prefer the original, but this rocks. There is a mellow drop back mid-track that doesn’t do a lot for me, but when it comes back out of there the band is on fire.
See the Light
More a powered up traditional blues sound pervades this killer rocker. There is an “introduce the band” section in the middle of this and a tasty guitar solo after. The unaccompanied guitar solo at the end goes on a bit long, if you ask me.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I’ve always had a deep love for this song. Healey’s version is quite strong. It’s faithful in all the right ways, but he also makes it his own. The fiery backing singer non-lyrical section while the guitar wails at the end is impressive and powerful.

The Thrill Is Gone
In my opinion, this is the greatest song written in the twentieth century. I love this piece. Healey’s rendition is classy and powerful. It has a lot of charm and style. You just can’t go wrong here. He does lose me a little with some of the classical type stuff on the jam later, but it pulls back together nicely for a strong close.

 

 
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