Live In Belgium
The Jeff Healey Band
There's a double-disc CD/DVD from the Jeff Healey Band called Live In Belgium, featuring 82 minutes of prime blues that only Healey and his trio (augmented here by two backing vocalists and a keyboardist) could deliver. Filmed in July 1993 at the word famous Peer Blues Festival in Peer, Belgium, what we get here are a DVD and CD of pristine sound and performance.
Though the CD is every inch what is featured on the DVD, that's the real fun. Standing for the opening tunes with a Les Paul set face-up on a stand at about chest level, Healey plays in the over-handed style he was known for. He blisters through the slightly naughty lyric of opener "Baby's Lookin' Hot," the Clapton-esque "The House That Love Built" and the slower "Evil And Here To Stay"; it's these slower blues number that truly feature Healey in his element (helped here by the piano and organ backing that wasn't usual in this band's concert set-up). In the low middle part of "Evil," Healey truly picks his notes with accuracy and aplomb.
Supporting what was his just released Feel This, this show relies heavily on material from that album - but we do get some nuggets thrown in from two tunes from his See The Light album: Healey sits for a solo acoustic turn on "That's What They Say" and brings the full band back on stage for the show-stopper "Angel Eyes."
It's back to rocking as the band performs what is probably the best song of this 13, their stab at "Roadhouse Blues" with Healey reminding us all of the band's fairly-recent-at-the-time appearance in the Patrick Swayze movie Road House. This is as much a signature cover for Healey as some of the blues tunes standards he made his own, and his players - with the chunk of keys behind him - whip the Doors classic into shape.
The set ends with a truly masterful read of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Healey retains the spirit of Clapton's lead on the Harrison tune as much as he gets into the lead to make it his own. A great DVD/CD addition to your collection, all of the Jeff Healey Band's Live In Belgium is top-notch entertainment.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.