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The Jeff Healey Band
with Popa Chubby &
Chubby Carrier and his Bayou Swamp Band

A Concert Review

June 1, 1995

Skyline Stage

Chicago, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
The Dude on the Right
What a night to be flying solo! Yep, deserted by my partner (well, this summer it's hit or miss sometimes - you know, with work and all), but I was in for a treat. Three bands lasting till way past a bunch o' people's bedtimes, on a gorgeous night in downtown Chicago. Who you may ask? Well, the first day of June brought the likes of Chubby Carrier and his Bayou Swamp Band, Popa Chubby (I'm seeing a trend), and then The Jeff Healey Band featuring, well, Jeff Healey. Alright, the trend hit a wall, but hey, I'm trying to be creative. Alright, I'll stop and just tell you about the shows.

Opening for the opening act was Chubby Carrier and his Bayou Swamp Band, all the way from Louisiana. Basically, they were a bayou swamp band, with that kinda Cajun, kinda jazzy, kinda bluegrass, kinda reggae, kinda a whole bunch of different things kinda put together kind of band. Up front was Chubby, who really wasn't chubby at all, but he sure could wail on that little accordion he had. He said it was good partyin' music, and you know, he sure was right. For a band I had never heard before, he sure brought a good time to the Skyline Stage. I've never seen a guitar and accordion trading licks before, but somehow these guys did it. From the guy with the washboard, to the sounds of "Aiko, Aiko," from the, for no better title, "Woo Woo Woo," song to the "Waitin' for my Ya Ya" song, Chubby Carrier and his crew were a hell of a lot of fun. They get TWO THUMBS UP!!

Then came the opening act in Popa Chubby and his bass player and his drummer. Yup, that's it on the stage - three guys, basically playing the blues.
Archive Photo
Jeff Healey

Most of this show was marred by technical problems and these two assholes behind me who wouldn't shut up. But that didn't seem to stop Popa. He rolled out his version of the blues and had the crowd psyched up.

Sporting a cool top hat, in fact they all wore some pretty stylin' hats, Popa spotlighted much of his new album called "Boogie and the Beast." It was good down home blues, but the guy really needs to quit hiding behind his monitors. You see, the monitors were set back about ten feet from the front of the stage, and it left this huge barrier between him and the crowd.

He wasn't bad, and I kinda liked the song "Sweet Goddess of Love and Beer," but this show just didn't hit the level of the previous act. Maybe he was frustrated by the monitor problems, but he just seemed to lack the velocity of many blues guitarists who don't even have major label backing. In time maybe he'll come around, but this time it's only ONE THUMB UP!!

And then came the act everyone was waiting for - The Jeff Healey Band.

A guitar virtuoso, Jeff Healey, unfortunately, is mostly know to the general public from one song called "Angel Eyes" and his cover of "Roadhouse Blues" from the movie Road House. The problem with that is they really don't show just how talented a guitarist Jeff Healey really is.
Archive Photo
Jeff Healey

He sports a different playing style, with the guitar usually resting on a platform or in his lap, while both hands playing palms down. It's hard to explain, but for him it works.

And he's got a new album out called "Cover to Cover," and I really hope I can scrounge some money up for it, because from what I heard this night, it should be great. From what I can gather is it's covers of other people's songs, but not just any other people, people like John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix. Now, anyone can play those songs, but it takes talent to play them well, and from his live show, Jeff Healey nails it, and adds his own unique style to them as well.

He played "Angel Eyes" acoustic, and even forgot the words, but the crowd didn't care because his goof just opened up for a great solo. He played a great solo blues jam, even jumping guitars due to a broken string without missing a beat. He even played with his teeth. He played, and everyone loved it, and I have no choice but to give Jeff Healey and his band TWO BIG THUMBS UP!!! He was great, he wailed, the crowd loved him, and even though it was one o'clock in the morning he left the crowd energized and wanting more. What a good ending!!!

Wow, this summer is really rolling along. What lies in store next? Well, stay tuned because the summer is just starting to heat up!!! Don't work too hard, Party Smart, and as always, Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb!!


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