A few weeks back we posted an announcement that several lost Jeff Healey recordings would be released posthumously on March 25 under the title Heal My Soul.
Well, aside from receiving numerous positive reviews, Healey’s widow Christie was gracious enough to sit down with Barry Kerzner to share her experience with Jeff and his music, as well as to explain why Heal My Soul possesses a particular immediacy. (Healey died of cancer in 2008.)
It’s difficult to discern the most striking passages of an elucidating interview, but a few highlights–
On Healey’s appreciation of jazz
For some people, they mistakenly thought that Jeff’s interest in jazz was very late in his life, but it actually was very early. He started collecting records at a very early age, and he received his first one, of all traditional jazz at the age of seven. So, it was a life long love of his.
On being pegged by the media as a “blind musician”:
I remember hearing him in an interview once. We were driving to a show, and he did a phone interview in the car. Someone made the comment ‘It’s amazing how well you managed to pick up the guitar, not having your sight.’ Jeff’s immediate response was ‘I lost my sight, not my ears, and not my hands.’ That was the thing for him. He enjoyed music. He knew that he had the capabilities to do it, and his sight as far as he was concerned, was irrelevant. The sight, or lack of.
On the power of natural talent versus overproduction:
…[A] lot of people put effects on the voice; reverb and – Jeff couldn’t stand that. Especially with the jazz stuff. Jeff’s stuff, the vocal, everything was ‘as is.’ You really didn’t need to touch it, which was amazing.