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Platinum & Gold Collection

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Album Review

Canada's Jeff Healey enjoyed success in the early '90s with a pair of flame-throwing covers of John Hiatt songs, "Angel Eyes" and"Confidence Man," both of which are included on this collection of tracks drawn from his four Arista albums. The blind guitarist's unorthodox laptop playing style, coupled with a solid rhythm section of Tom Stephen on drums and Joe Rockman on bass, gave the songs a bluesy, hard-rocking, and slightly edgy feel, a template the trio never abandoned, and which gives this compilation a comfortable feeling of cohesion. A cover of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" works well here, as does a gospel-tinged take on Jimi Hendrix's "Angel." But the most affecting track may well be the album's closer, a loose-limbed, barroom romp through Big Joe Williams' "Highway 49," which just plain rocks, pure and simple.


Born: 25 March 1966 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

What made Jeff Healey different from other blues-rockers was also what kept some listeners from accepting him as anything other than a novelty: the fact that the blind guitarist played his Fender Stratocaster on his lap, not standing up. With the guitar in his lap, Healey could make unique bends and hammer-ons, making his licks different and more elastic than most of the competition. Unfortunately, his material leaned toward standard AOR blues-rock, which rarely let him cut loose, but when he did,...
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Platinum & Gold Collection, The Jeff Healey Band
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