'The Jeff Healey Band: Live in Belgium'
(The Jeff Healey Band / 2-Disc DVD+CD / NR / 2012 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: Filmed in July 1993 at the world famous Peer Blues Festival in Peer, Belgium, The Jeff Healey Band were touring in support of their album Feel This. In this show, the band, normally a trio, doubles in size with a pair of backing vocalists and a keyboard player, which takes the entire performance to a brand new level.
DVD Verdict: The late Canadian born guitarist and uber-talented singer/songwriter, Jeff Healey, was one of my personal favorites growing up. I even had the pleasure to meet him backstage at a MI show and he was just so kind to me, so full of life. Always smiling, his eyes had flecks of gold that danced as he spoke. A prolific guitarist of his generation, due to his blindness he imfamously always played his guitar flat on his lap. A genius at work, he sadly succumbed to his battle with cancer at the young age of 41.
This DVD+CD set was recorded in support of Healey's - for my money - inredible landmark album, Feel This. Having undertaken a world-wide tour that year for the album, the stop recorded here for this release was at The Peer Blues Festival in Peer, Belgium, in July, 1993.
Having now been 'found' and restored the result is fantastic; truly fantastic. Indeed, this show was incredible for one massive reason: it may be the only concert caught on tape that shows Healey performing with a guitar rig that allowed him to stand up while he played and sang! Something that seemingly never happened before and yet, mysteriously, should have done. Also, if we want to reveal all the goodies here on this recording, another rare feature is the addition of keyboardist, the late Washington Savage and vocalists Mischke Butler and Toucu - effectively doubling the size of the Jeff Healey Band for this wonderful live show.
The set comes complete with 13 strong tracks, but I have to say that as much as each track is a Healey gem, this show provides a version of 'Angel Eyes' on acoustic guitar that could well now become my all-time favorite version of the song! Wow, what a fantastic version that I could truly listen to over and over and over again. Listen to it yourself and prove me wrong!
Indeed, people who don't know anything about the JHB - but why, oh why would they not have heard of him - will first be taken by his incredibly unique, never mimicked method of playing the guitar on his lap. The concert begins with the fast-paced 'Baby's Lookin' Hot' that has the capacity crowd immediately on their feet and is followed by the equally driven 'The House That Love Built.'
Other JHB classics included are the incredible blues tune, 'Evil And Here To Stay,' the lushly beautiful 'Lost In Your Eyes,' the classic 'Angel Eyes,' finally, Healey's live treatment of The Doors' 'Roadhouse Blues.' This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.