Welcome to the first of a new recurring series here on the main site;  ‘Jeff Healey – Rarities’.  We’ll be using it to spotlight various rare audio and video clips of Jeff (…sometimes along with some special guests).

Today in the spotlight we feature an incredible version of ‘If You Can’t Feel Anything Else‘, live in 1992 at the Lonestar Roadhouse in New York (the original studio version of this song first appeared on the Jeff Healey Band album ‘Feel This‘).  It features the short-lived expanded JHB line-up that included Mischke Butler and Toucu on backing vocals and the late Washington Savage on keys.  

“We didn’t see any reason why the two (rock and rap) couldn’t be put together.”
Jeff Healey – Winnipeg Free Press Nov. 1992

While not necessarily a revolutionary move, (bands like the Chili Peppers and Urban Dance Squad had been successfully playing around with the genre blend for a few years by that point) the song was nonetheless a bit of an experiment for Jeff. It stretched the confines of the band, pushing them into some unfamiliar territory with the combination of rap elements and Jeff’s own brand of blues-based rock.  This was a prime example of the ‘Feel This‘ mandate, to broaden and evolve the band’s sound.

“I listen to a lot of stuff. I keep a very eclectic ear.” – Jeff Healey 1993

Ultimately though, the song came to be viewed as a valiant, yet failed experiment… It was very rarely performed in concert, but this version simply cooks.  Live, Mischke takes on the second lead vocal, handling the rap that was originally performed in the studio by Jr. John.  A revelation, ‘If You Can’t Feel…’ takes on a new fire and immediacy on stage that it never quite reached in the studio. 

Stunning.

Dig! ~Rog

(…today’s cut comes courtesy the collection of our good friend László Kaszás!)

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