House On Fire

The Jeff Healey Band

The Jeff Healey Band's House On Fire features 11 songs of studio rarities and demos recorded between 1992 and 1998. The is an interesting mix of both covers and originals, seeming more music from what seems a bottomless cache of unreleased stuff from the Canadian blind guitarist who died in 2008.

The title track, one of the tunes here written by Healey opens, a quick little number which features a solid backing vocal and those great usual Healey blistering pull offs. The demo quality of this one though makes the song sound weaker than it probably. The second tune is, Bobby Womack's "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed," is better with its drive, a well-placed organ in the chorus, that wry lyric and even some ripping playing from Healey.

Healey's voice sounds great on the ballad "Too Late Now." He gets super creative with the precise leads he plays on "You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine." A cover of Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" adds little to the record, though the vocals sound great. There' a full band commitment on the instrumental "Bish Bang Boof." Bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen might even surpass their band leader on this one.

On "Daze of The Night," the band is tight and Healey plays like a man possessed…and loud! On a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Adam Raised A Cain," the trio doesn't add much but you'd be hard pressed to think Healey isn't channeling Hendrix here. On the whole, House On Fire is the kind of mix-and-match collection you'd expect from a rarities release. At the same time, it reminds you of how great the Jeff Healey Band was and how their distinctive sound is surely missed.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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