Don’t expect Jeff Healey to pull a Tupac and release handfuls of posthumous albums. The legendary Toronto-born guitarist’s career will end with just one record, the blistering R&B release Mess Of Blues.
And really, a more appropriate album could not come out just weeks after Healey’s death. It finds the axeman returning to his roots, playing the same kind of fast-fingered solos and straight-up blues that kicked off his career 20 years ago. Even more fitting is the fact that the record is all covers, giving fans some excellent insight into what made this guy who he was.
It’s hard to choose, but standouts include the rollicking Hank Williams tune Jumbalaya, the Band’s The Weight and the passionate and haunting Neil Young track Like A Hurricane. It’s a shame to see Healey go, but at least he left one last great disc behind.
Jeff Healey tribute concerts take place May 3 at the Sound Academy and May 4 at Healey’s.