Case Number 23723: Small Claims Court

THE JEFF HEALEY BAND: LIVE IN BELGIUM

Eagle Rock Entertainment // 1993 // 82 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // April 25th, 2012

The Charge

Rocking the night away.

The Case

Recorded live in Belgium in 1993, The Jeff Healey Band comes out blazing with a concert that will set your stereo on fire. Okay, maybe it's not quite that explosive, but you'll get a heavy dose of Healey's greatest hits along with a few deep cuts and cover tunes that'll set your toes tapping and pulse pounding.

The set list...
* "Baby's Lookin' Hot"
* "The House that Love Built"
* "Evil and Here To Stay"
* "Confidence Man"
* "It Could All Get Blown Away"
* "Lost in Your Eyes"
* "Heart of an Angel"
* "Full Circle"
* "That's What They Say"
* "Angel Eyes"
* "Roadhouse Blues"
* "See the Light"
* "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Jeff Healey was a musician to be admired. At the age of one, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. Healey's eyes had to be surgically removed and retrofitted with artificial implants (which, of course, didn't allow for any sight). He began playing guitar at the age of three, turning a crippling deformity into a newfound talent. Although Healey released an album in 1986 under a private label, the musician's band -- aptly titled The Jeff Healey Band -- released their first major studio album in 1988. See the Light included the hit "Angel Eyes" (penned by John Hiatt) and became the band's signature song. Although they never again found the success that "Angel Eyes" brought them, Healey continued to tour and make music -- as well as act in Patrick Swayze's B-movie classic Roadhouse -- until his death from cancer in 2008. Healey's distinctive guitar playing and musical catalog is both respected and beloved by fans and fellow musicians alike.

The Jeff Healey Band: Live in Belgium shows the band in a very favorable light. Healey's music is infused with a vast array of influences; jazz, rock, blues, and twang all find their way into his songs, allowing the music to breathe and come alive on stage. This is the first Jeff Healey show I've ever seen, and it's a straight forward performance. The stage show is not overly flashy nor impressive. Aside of some fancy lighting, the entire performance is essentially the musicians doing what they do best: making good music. And Healey made some very good music.

While I wouldn't consider myself a devoted fan, I do enjoy Healey's style. He digs deep into some newer cuts from his album Feel This, but also stretches back to play material from older albums (including the song "Roadhouse Blues," much to the audience's delight). Not surprisingly, Healey trots out his classic ballad "Angel Eyes," giving the song a more acoustic flair that suits the intimate lyrics well. For me, the highlight was the tender "Lost in your Eyes" (not the Debbie Gibson version) that makes for wonderful baby makin' music. The entire set finishes with a rendition of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," offering a surprisingly intense close to a nicely performed show.

Presented in standard definition 1.33:1 full frame, the video quality here is good but never great. Now almost two decades old, the print is in good shape but fails to sparkle or pop. Colors are vibrant with solid black levels The good news is the Dolby 5.1 mix is excellent, giving the music a life of its own. Both front and rear speakers are engaged fully and often, making for an exciting and sonically fulfilling experience. Also included are a Dolby 2.0 stereo mix and English subtitles. The lone bonus feature is an audio CD soundtrack album featuring all thirteen tracks from the concert.

The Jeff Healey Band: Live in Belgium makes for a fine document of Healey's career with songs that blister the guitar and move the soul. An easy recommendation for anyone looking to expand their musical horizons, especially when it comes to multiple genre styles infused with soulful vocals.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. A must for fans and worth checking out for those interested in knowing more about Healey's musical legacy.

Review content copyright © 2012 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Soundtrack CD

Accomplices
* Jeff Healey
http://www.jeffhealey.com