CD Reviews

Jeff Healey - 'Holding On: A Heal My Soul Companion' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 25, 2017    
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Highly recommended.

Jeff Healey left us with more than a few gems in his arsenal when his time on this earth was cut tragically short. Thankfully, his estate is providing fans with another collection of material by the late and legendary guitarist which further cements his place in the pantheon of Modern Electric Blues. 'Holding On: A Heal My Soul Companion' provides additional insight to his genius with previously unreleased studio and live recordings. Of the fifteen tracks featured, only five are studio with the remaining ten live cuts culled from a performance at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway. Not knowing exactly the date of the performance, an educated guess is that it was sometime during the summer of 1995 in support of the 'Cover To Cover' album.

Like many Blues artists, live is their best format and The Jeff Healey Band is absolutely no exception. Although each of the studio tracks are equally as strong as the ones found on the warmly received 'Heal My Soul', it is the live material that makes this record surpass its predecessor. The band's performance is inspired and Healey's guitar work is absolutely searing. Along with Healey's inimitable style, Pat Rush offers a serious workout on slide during the cover of Elmore James' 'Dust My Broom' which alone makes the album worthy of acquiring. The set also reveals Healey's exceptional improvisational skills which easily trumpets anything he has played on his studio recordings.

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A personal favorite Blues standard in B.B. King's 'How Blue Can You Get' gets rich and proper treatment by the entire band, with Healey pulling out all the stops with his burly solo. That track also features his warm and soulful vocal delivery that is regularly overlooked due to the attention given to his deft fret-work. Healey is also more than amenable to feature his own compositions during the set which include 'I Think I Love You Too Much', 'Holding On', 'I Can't Get My Hands On You' and 'See The Light'. If it exists, the estate should absolutely make available the video footage of this concert.

If you already own '...Soul' then 'Holding On: A Heal My Soul Companion' must sit next to it in your collection. If you are new to the name and want to hear Modern Electric Blues by one of its most tragically missed bastions of the genre, this album couldn't come more highly recommended.

Brent Rusche

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