(image from Canada.com)
Rising above great adversity (cancer) from the time he was one year old, Jeff Healy went on to be a brilliant guitarist and leader of The Jeff Healey Band.
From his website jeffhealey.com:
Jeff Healey, arguably one of the most distinctive guitar players of our time, died today (Sunday March 2) in St. Josephâ€™s Hospital, Toronto. He was 41, and leaves his wife, Cristie, daughter Rachel (13) and son Derek (three), as well as his father and step-mother, Bud and Rose Healey, and sisters Laura and Linda.
Funeral and memorial arrangements are pending.
Robbed of his sight as a baby due to a rare form of cancer, retino blastoma, and he started to play guitar when he was three, holding the instrument unconventionally across his lap. He formed his first band at 17, but soon formed a trio which was named the Jeff Healey Band.
After his appearance in the movie Road House, he was signed to Arista records, and in 1988 released the Grammy-nominated album See the Light, which included a major hit single, Angel Eyes. He earned a Juno Award in 1990 as Entertainer of the Year.
Also from an article in the National Post:
At the time of his death he was about to see the release of his first rock/blues album in eight years, Mess of Blues, which is being released in Europe on March 20, and in Canada and the U.S. on April 22. The album was the result of a joint agreement between the German label, Ruf Records, and Stony Plain, the independent Edmonton-based label that has released his three jazz CDs.
Mess of Blues was recorded in studios in Toronto, with two cuts recorded at the Jeff Healeyâ€™s Roadhouse in Toronto and two at a concert in London England. The backup group on the upcoming CD â€” the Healeyâ€™s House Band â€” played with him regularly at the downtown Roadhouse, and at a previous club bearing his name in the Queen-Bathurst area.
Sorry to hear that he didn’t get to see how well his album would be accepted when it was released.
I loved his part in Road House!
I am so sorry to hear about Jeff’s passing. He was so young and such a brilliant guitarist! My heart goes out to his wife, children and the rest of his family and friends.
Rest in Peace Jeff Healy. You will be greatly missed!