Jeff Healey (1966-2008) was a Canadian singer/songwriter whose phenomenal instrumental mastery of all things string catapulted his band into immediate rock semi-stardom in the late ‘80s. Sightless since age one, he was a solid entertainer and soulful singer.
Get Me Some, his sixth album, released internationally in 2000, finally gets its stateside due, and contains all the reasons why audiences naturally gravitated towards this very likeable artist.
Influenced in his solos by Jimi Hendrix, his compositions, arrangements and overall band sound leans more towards what might be called Hard Americana: a bit of Little Feat, vocals akin to a more gruff Jackson Browne and bluesy riffs right there with Stevie Ray.
Healey knew no boundaries. Later in life, he drifted towards jazz, playing clarinet and trumpet. Here he has no fear in alienating his core audience by attempting (successfully) a straight-up sentimental string-drenched Diane Warren pop ballad (“I Tried”).
Despite a slew of mid-tempo, radio-friendly attempts, there’s no doubting Healey’s musicianship and agility in careening between genres. He’s stepping back here from his usual blues-rock fare and despite a sameness to many of the tracks, it’s his warm, expressive voice and stirring guitar (piercing through each track Santana-like) that carries the load.