Ever since Jeff Healey left us way too early in March of 2008, there has been both speculation and anticipation about unreleased music, and so-called “lost recordings.” Over the course of a fruitful, if shortened career, Healey proved himself to be a versatile musician, adept at blues, rock, and his true love, jazz. A multi-instrumentalist, he always performed with passion, never wanting to short-change himself, or his fans.
Thankfully, on March 25th, Provogue Records will release, Heal My Soul, a recording full of lost work by Healey. The album boasts 11 tracks, with a running time of 48 minutes. We could just posit the usual, “This is powerful stuff” cliché, and while true, that would be a criminal understatement.
What stands out immediately is the intensity of this music. Healey is clearly in command, mustering all his energy, ability, and imagination for one striking performance after another. The music comes from a place where Healey had become tired of being on the road, having become disillusioned with management, and needing a change. In addition, the band that had served the music so well was beginning to unravel at the seams.
It was a time of upheaval, turmoil, change, and an emerging renewal of the spirit.
The music on Heal My Soul grips listeners from the get-go. Instantly apparent are the energy and urgency pouring forth from these songs. From the outset, we are taken aback by the vigor and persuasiveness of Healey’s delivery.
Roger Costa, The Estate of Jeff Healey, executive producer, and family friend notes, “Master tapes were meticulously restored, transferred, mixed and mastered. Throughout the process, we sought to strip away any veneer of dated sounds and effects. We wanted Jeff’s stunning, timeless performances left to shine without distraction. There was already a previously uncaptured immediacy in these recordings… a presence to Jeff’s vocals that we worked hard to preserve.” True to that cause, both the mix and sound quality of Heal My Soul are excellent.
Standout tracks for us were “Moodswing,” a deep, exciting aural shape-shifting adventure, and “Kiss The Ground You Walk On,” a slow, muscular driving track that hits hard. “Baby Blue” is at once hypnotic, deep, and moving, with vocal harmonies and acoustic timbre that had us stopping to take it all in; this is acoustic sonic sculpting at it’s best.
The deft and emotive guitar work on “Put The Shoe On the Other Foot” left us scraping our jaw back up off the floor; utterly fearless, breathtaking exploration of the fretboard without a care or a net.
Forget the milk and bread; bring home a copy of Heal My Soul ASAP. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Buy a copy for someone you care about. This is not just another album release; there’s actually a lot to be excited about here. Don’t miss out!
Heal My Soul
11 tracks 48 Minutes
Release Date is March 25th, 2016