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Nov
11

JEFF HEALEY BAND-FULL CIRCLE-LIVE ANTHOLOGY-4 DISC SET-DVD “INTIMATE PORTRAIT” JOHN EMMS

This box set comes on the heels of  the amazing live  9 song cd Live At Grossman’s (1994) which for me is one of the top rock albums of 2011.

On this set the DVD Live at the St. Gallen Open Air Festival 1991 is the interesting item. It is not the high tech gloss dvd/blu-ray one gets used to watching today.

But it is a definite gem and Healey Band fans will love the intimate setting 

Shot from onstage cameras in an unconventional style (for today’s standards) it captures all 3 band members Healey, the powerhouse drumming of Tom Stephen and the agile and rock solid bass work of Joe Rockman in what I like to call “roadie cam”

The absolute killer here is the band’s smoking rendtion of ZZ Top’s Blue Jean Blues, it has to be seen to be believed. The closeup on Healey’s fretboard at the end of the song is jawdropping. Then again the band especially Healey is just getting warmed up.

It’s an afternoon set and like most bands, it seems like the band is waking up along with the audience. The inclusion of both I Can’t Get My Hands On You and Full Circle is very cool and shows the band hitting “Cream” like grooves and dynamics.

Of the 3 cd’s in the package, I do not like the audio mix on the Live at The  Montreal Jazz Fest 1989 at all.

For some reason this cd has a very “board tape”  output which seems muted compared to Live at Grossman’s and the other cd here including Live At The Hard Rock Toronto 1995

The Toronto Hard Rock set packs a wallop, and captures the band with the addition of whom I assume is Pat Rush ( I did not see his name in the booklet)

The Hard Rock set is also very bluesey. The highlights include As The Years Go Passing By, Evil (is going on) and Yer Blues. It’s impressive on it’s own merit, and I recommend it highly.

The genre of Blues Rock has over the years sold literally millions of albums. Cream, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Humble Pie are just a few names that come to mind from the past.

I have been saying for years. This genre is poised for a big comeback because it is radio friendly.

Personally I think Joe Bonamassa if the timing is right, could be the artist to enter to that hallowed ground.

But, Bonamassa as good as he is needs a hit in the vein of Sunshine of Your Love or Sharp Dressed Man. As it stands his work continues to grow and improve including the outstanding groove of  Black Country Communion.

Besides Bonamassa if you enjoy The Jeff Healey Band check out these artists on Apple iTunes

New music from Canada’s Blues Rockers The Shaftmen  http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/paycheque-blues/id365389443, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Walter Trout, and Coco Montoya to name a few

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, a popular blues/ roots/rock radio host http://emms.podbean.com/ and musician.

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