Jeff Healey Biography
Norman Jeffrey “Jeff” Healey was a Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.He was born on March 25, 1966 .He hit Number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Angel Eyes” and reached the Top 10 in Canada with the songs “I Think I Love You Too Much” and “How Long Can a Man Be Strong”.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city’s west end. He was adopted as an infant;his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was almost one year old, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given ocular prostheses.
Jeff Healey Band
Jeff Healey formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece which primarily played bar-band cover tunes and featured bassist Jeremy Littler, drummer Graydon Chapman, and a schoolmate, Rob Quail on second guitar. This band played various local clubs in Toronto, including the Colonial Tavern.
Healey began hosting a jazz and blues show on radio station CIUT-FM where he became known for playing from his massive collection of vintage 78 rpm gramophone records.
Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, with whom he formed a trio, The Jeff Healey Band. This band made their first public appearance at the Birds Nest, located upstairs at Chicago’s Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto. They received a write-up in Toronto’s NOW magazine, and soon were playing almost nightly in local clubs, such as Grossman’s Tavern and the famed blues club Albert’s Hall (where Jeff Healey was discovered by guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins).
After being signed to Arista Records in 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single “Angel Eyes” and the song “Hideaway”, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. While the band was recording See the Light, they were also filming (and recording for the soundtrack of) the Patrick Swayze film Road House.
Healey had numerous acting scenes in the movie with Swayze, as his band was the house cover band for the bar featured in the movie. In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums Hell to Pay and Feel This gave Healey 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.
Jeff Healey Songs
- All Along The Watchtower
- Angel Eyes
- Blue Jean Blues
- Confidence Man
- Cruel Little Number
- Don’t Let Your Chance Go By
- Evil And Here To Stay
- Full Circle
- Heart Of An Angel
- Hoochie Coochie Man
- House That Love Built
- How Long Can A Man Be Strong
- How Much
- I Need To Be Loved
- I Think I Love You Too Much
- I’m Tore Down
- Leave The Light On
- My Little Girl
- River Of No Return
- Roadhouse Blues
- See The Light
- Someday, Someway
- Stop Breaking Down
- Stuck In The Middle With You
- When The Night Comes Falling Down
- Yer Blues
Jeff Healey Heal My Soul Album
Between 1996 and 2000 Jeff Healey did not issue a record but did record plenty of material, most of which remained unissued – until now. Painstakingly researched by former colleagues of Jeff’s the twelve tracks here present the best of Jeff’s talent, some fine songs, plenty of firepower on guitar but also gentler moments which provide several of the highlights of the album.
Most of these tracks feature Jeff’s long-serving bandmates Joe Rockman on bass and Dean Glover on drums; other musicians include Tom Stephen (drums on two tracks), Paul Kehayas (guitar, bass and keys on two tracks), Phillip Sayce (rhythm guitar on one track) and Cristie Healey (background vocals one track). Jeff did write songs but always found the process difficult; here his contributions are collaborations with others including Marti Frederiksen, Arnold Lanni and Stevie Salas, together with six covers.
“Daze Of The Night” opens the album with ample evidence of Jeff’s ability to rock out on a riff-driven tune with a rousing chorus and some striking guitar fills. “Moodswing” is the first of two songs written by the members of Toronto band The Phantoms, a hard-hitting number that provides the album title in its chorus as well as finding Jeff double-tracking sinuous slide over the core riff, his multi-layered backing vocals offering a sweeter tone against the almost heavy metal guitar work.
Baby Blue (T. Beattie) is a complete contrast with Jeff’s emotional vocal matched by the stellar guitar layered over acoustic backing, followed by a solid take on Richard Thompson’s “Misunderstood” with its lilting chorus and chugging rhythm. “Please” is a fast paced number with lots of aggressive wah-wah before the second Phantom’s tune “Love In Her Eyes” provides pace allied to lyrical guitar. “Temptation” is more of a slow-burner but still packs a punch in the guitar stakes as Jeff uses plenty of rhymes to match the title, sounding desperately under the spell of someone here.
Another song from outside the band is M. Ferrari and P. Huxley’s “Kiss The Ground You Walk On” which has a wonderfully uplifting chorus, Jeff accompanying his own lead vocal with multi-layered backing. Jeff had recorded two acoustic guitar parts, lead and harmony vocals for “All The Saints” and the producers pondered completing the track with drums and bass but resisted the temptation – a good decision, as what is here is simply superb, Jeff’s vocal entirely convincing as he sings that “You’re supposed to be strong, supposed to be brave ‘cos that’s the way someone I love should behave.
You’re supposed to be you and not somebody else; I’ve always known more about you than myself.” Albert Collins’ “Put The Shoe On The Other Foot” is the most obvious blues song here, played in restrained but still funky style as Jeff’s wild lead work sits above Phillip Sayce’s rhythm work. Two of Jeff and Marti’s originals round out the album: “Under A Stone” finds Jeff sounding a little desperate and in need of “a hand to work it out”, his guitar break matching that sentiment; strangely “It’s The Last Time” has a writing credit for Joe Rockman but bass duties are handled by Jeff with just drummer Dean on hand to assist. It makes a fine finale with Jeff’s acoustic rhythm providing the base for some subtle slide work on a country-tinged tune with another earworm chorus.
Sadly cancer took Jeff from us in 2008, at a far too young 41. These lost recordings provide a fitting reminder of what a talent Jeff was in the blues-rock area though he was equally happy playing jazz at his Toronto club.
Jeff Healey Hell To Pay
Hell to Pay is the second album by The Jeff Healey Band. It was released in 1990, and was one of the top albums in Canada. In 1991 it was nominated for an “Album of the Year” Juno. Guest musicians on the album include George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bobby Whitlock and Mark Knopfler. The album was recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada in January and February 1990.
|1.||“Full Circle”||Jeff Healey, Joe Rockman, Tom Stephen||4:11|
|2.||“I Think I Love You Too Much”||Mark Knopfler||6:27|
|3.||“I Can’t Get My Hands on You”||Healey||3:40|
|4.||“How Long Can a Man Be Strong”||Steve Cropper, Jimmy Scott||4:25|
|5.||“Let It All Go”||John Hiatt||3:42|
|6.||“Hell to Pay”||Healey, Rockman, Stephen||3:53|
|7.||“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”||George Harrison||5:13|
|8.||“Something to Hold On To”||Healey||3:56|
|9.||“How Much”||Greg Sutton, Danny Tate||4:46|
|10.||“Highway of Dreams”||Healey, Rockman, Stephen||4:47|
|11.||“Life Beyond the Sky”||Healey, Rockman, Stephen||4:56|
Jeff Healey Mess Of Blues
Mess of Blues is an album by Jeff Healey. It was released in 2008 less than two weeks after his death and just three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday. Four of the album’s tracks were recorded live in front of audiences, two of the live tracks at the Islington Academy in London, and the other two live tracks at Jeff Healey’s Roadhouse in Toronto.
The other six tracks were recorded at Studio 92 in Canada by Norm Barker and Richard Uglow. The whole album features the band which normally accompanied Jeff at his club, Jeff Healey’s Roadhouse. The song “Mess of Blues”, which appears on the album was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and was originally recorded by Elvis Presley.
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- “I’m Tore Down” – 5:23
- How Blue Can You Get – 8:54
- “Sugar Sweet” – 3:46
- Jambalaya (On the Bayou) – 4:00
- The Weight – 4:26
- “Mess O’ Blues” – 3:24
- “It’s Only Money” – 3:10
- Like a Hurricane – 6:39
- Sitting on Top of the World – 7:07
- Shake, Rattle and Roll – 4:29
Krista Miller Jeff Healey
Jeff had married Krista in October 1992 and later divorced in 1998. They had one child together.
Jeff Healey Cause Of Death
Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey died today (March 2) in Toronto after battling cancer. He was 41. Blind since infancy due to a rare form of cancer, Healey was attracting local attention for his talent on guitar, which he played laying across his lap while seated, by the time he was a teenager.