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Mess Of Blues

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (118 ratings)
Mess Of Blues album cover
I'm Torn Down
How Blue Can You Get
Sugar Sweet
The Weight
Mess O' Blues
It's Only Money
Like A Hurricane
Sittin' On Top Of The World
Shake, Rattle & Roll
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 51:05

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I Miss Him


Jeff Healey was along with Stevei Ray Vaughan, the preeminent Blues guitarists of our day. This live collection further highlights his versatility and prowess. Listen to as a whole, you get a further appreciation of how taleneted he was and what an unappreciated treasure his gift provided us.

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Get This Album!


First off, let me admit that I love Jeff Healey. His guitar playing and voice are incredible, but so is his ability to nail a wide variety of tunes. If you love road music, then this is an album you will play over and over. It rocks from the first note and never stops. And his covers of The Band's "The Weight" and the bayou standard made famous by Hank Williams, "Jambalaya", are just too cool. And he has surrounded himself with some very talented players. And for a live performance, the mix is very good. And even though I'm not a Neil Young fan, I have to admit I even enjoyed Jeff's cover of "Like A Hurricane". This album is packed full of rockin' fun music. Highly recommended. We miss you Jeff. You were truly one of a kind.

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RIP Jeff Healey


A blues swansong with something for every listener. A great final act for an artist who in my opinion didn't always get the props he deserved. It saddens me because he had really begun to show the full breadth of his talent.

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Always Good


I like his version of Neil Youngs Like A Hurricane, it's live and cranking

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Sorry Canada


...not eMusic's fault that the licensing laws in Canada are different from the U.S....there's lots of stuff I have found not available to U.S. subscribers that I would have liked to download, but that doesn't make me want to cancel and give up all the other great music available here... But as far as Jeff is concerned... I have been a fan ever since seeing him perform in the movie "Roadhouse" ..the only thing that made that movie worth watching. I saw him perform live a couple of times here in So. Cal. We all lost a great performer, yet he still lives through his music. Thank you, Jeff.

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I discovered this artist upon receiving news that he had died. Sad for sure, but this is a terrific release. His guitar playing is first rate blues, although it has a rock edge to it. His vocals are also excellent, although they never get in the way of the song, or his playing. Highly recommended, and sad he won't be creating more music.

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Oh Canada!!


I agree with kinetik. What a sad state of affairs: A great Canadian artist and we aren't able to access his music through emusic. I was thinking of unsubscribing from emusic and this is probably going to seal the deal.

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Not available


Aww c'mon, eMusic, not available in your country (Canada) is a sad excuse for such an awesome Canadian. Makes me second guess my subscription renewal for next year. Far too many of these "not available" items. Very frustrating. BTW, I saw Mr. Healey in 1988 in Saskatoon. That was only the beginning of an unexpectedly short career. I rather enjoyed his CBC old time jazz show. A sad loss.

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Swansong extraordinaire


What a terrific way to go out. But it only makes you wonder what he could have done next had he been given just a few more years. It makes me grit my teeth with frustration when you read down the list of guitar greats that have gone too soon and now we have lost Mr Healey. And he was coming to the UK soon too. Wherever you are Jeff - hopefully rocking out with Jimi, Rory, Ronno, Frank and Stevie - the world is less a place without people like you.

They Say All Music Guide

While Mess of Blues may not be the last Jeff Healey recording we see, it is the one that will be accorded as his epitaph, seeing that it was issued in America less than two months after his death just three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday. There is no ambulance chasing or grave robbing process involved here. The album is sanctioned; it was set to be issued before he passed away. Healey wrote the liner notes for this date (his first blues release in eight years!), and explained the song choices he made for it. The strange thing when considering all the different recordings he made during his short life is that Healey’s career is bookended — on tape at least — by blistering electric blues-rock albums. The very genre that established Healey’s considerable (and deserved) reputation as a guitarist is also the one that underscored it at the end.
Mess of Blues contains ten cuts, all of them chosen by Healey from what he considered “audience favorites,” rather than his own or his fine band’s preferred tunes. Four of these were recorded in front of audiences at the Islington Academy in London and, appropriately enough, at Healey’s Roadhouse (his club) in Toronto. The other six were cut at Studio 92 in Canada by Norm Barker and Richard Uglow. Make no mistake: while this an electric blues record to be sure, the very eclectic selection of tracks also puts the words “blues-rock” in bold print. One example is the scorched earth reading of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane.” But there are others, too: the New Orleans-funked up second-line rhythmic pulse shoved right up against early rockabilly in the version of Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya”; the excellent tribute to fellow Canadians (with an American drummer) the Band and songwriter Robbie Robertson with a moving version of “The Weight.” This is a nearly reverential interpretation with brief, beautiful guitar fills by Healey and Dan Noordermeer, and brilliant piano work by Dave Murphy. But there are plenty of blues as well. There are the screaming guitar freak-outs on Sonny Thompson’s “I’m Torn Down” that opens the disc, and the old-school R&B blues of “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” updated by this killer band for the 21st century; Doc Pomus’ terrific jump blues-meets-doo wop “Mess O’ Blues,” and Murphy’s roadhouse rocker “It’s Only Money,” (which he sings). But the greatest moments here are Healey playing the slow, deeply moving electric guitar-drenched “How Blue Can You Get,” that begins with a long biting guitar solo, and the classic “Sittin’ on Top of the World,” that fuses the loping original version’s tempo with the rockist one done by Peter Green and the original Fleetwood Mac back in the late ’60s. This is a fitting send-off, beautifully recorded and presented by Germany’s Ruf imprint (though it is readily available in the United States and Canada) and the only tribute that really counts: a man’s next record. Cancer may have gotten Healey in the end, but as evidenced by this CD, he went out like a champ of an artist, still hungry, still restless, still playing his ass off and seeking out the elusive heart of the blues and popular songs he loved in life. – Thom Jurek

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