[Slowhand] Jeff Healey

Fabio Dwyer downtownstreets at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 8 16:31:40 EST 2008

I would like to pay my tribute to Mr. Jeff Healey (41), great canadian guitarrist/ singer/ composer who passed away last sunday, after a hard battle against cancer - the same one who took away his sight at childhood and returned later in his life. He often cited his main influences as a musician: Eric Clapton and Louis Armstrong. His most famous work for many was his interpretation of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with George himself on acoustic guitar and background vocals. On his Cover to Cover album he recorded a wonderful version of Badge too. Jeff and Eric were part of the Jimmy Rodgers All Stars project and recorded the cd Blues, blues, blues, there's a nice picture in the booklet of Jimmy (Rodgers, not Page!), Jeff (Healey, not Beck!) and Eric (Clapton, not Strada!) laughing. Healey was a very gifted singer with a soulful albeit powerful voice and his guitar work was recgnized by everyone from Mark Knopfler to Stevie Ray Vaughan as being one of the most distinctive players from late 80's and 90's. He played seated with his guitar on his lap, und using his left-hand thumb on top of the fretboard, he literelly had one extra finger more than the other players. In the last decade he ran a night club in Toronto (Healey's) and divided his time between blues tours and his work playing traditional jazz (playing trumpet, his second instrument) and his last blues record (after 8 years) is due to be released this month. He also hosted a blues & jazz radio program in Canada, where he digged into his 30.000 78rpm record collection.

I caught him live here in Brazil in 97' or 98', wonderful gig.

The world of blues and the guitar community will miss you Jeff!

Fabio Dwyer
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