A special treat today folks! JHB bassist and co-founder, Joe Rockman joins us with some observations (and very kind words) to help us mark the release of ‘ROAD HOUSE: The Lost Soundtrack‘… ~Rog


Listening to several tracks from the new Road House: The Lost Soundtrack release, I was truly blown away by the modern realism achieved by Executive Producer Roger Costa, who painstakingly dissected, remixed and remastered all the original recordings.

As band member, I can tell you, I listened to the finished recordings as impartially as possible, advising him ‘historically’ from time to time. However, my work is in the source material and I’m a bit close to that. Roger, as our archivist, knows everything the JHB recorded over decades like no other, including me.

He took on the enormous time and commitment for this project… One dear to his heart – and to mine.

What I hear in these recordings is the Healey Band’s sound as it was born, from the beginning.

Roger ultimately extracted the extraneous late 1980s sonic production and mixes that were designed for the film – creating a drier, direct, more intimate feel.

Jeff’s distinctive signature sound is captured by isolating the true tones of his Fender Custom Shop guitar, his Marshall stacks, pedals, Fender Twin amps… and recombining them. My sound as well has been enhanced. Direct input and amps…

Listening to these stripped down tracks, put me right back on the “Double Deuce” stage, behind the chicken wire!

The Jeff Healey Band was unparalleled at the time, for this genre.

Perhaps I’m biased? Perhaps doesn’t matter.

We had such raw explosive power and combined versatility. And no other guitarist had Jeff’s unique musical genius.

This is a brand new JHB record to me, and one of my favourites, especially with the added embedded Film tracks, and demos never heard before.

I’ll mention two of the film tracks:

First, this version of Jeff’s song; ‘One Foot On The Gravel‘. It smokes any other recorded version. Jeff’s sophisticated lead playing is some of the best early Jeff I’ve ever heard.

He soars and shreds, unbelievably fast. However, Jeff played music – not only “Guitar,” so his bone chilling leads are beautifully shaped – and fueled by volatile improvisation.


On The Road Again

Our version is made spooky by de-tuning the guitars and bass down to D, in order to accommodate Jeff’s baritone vocal range. Suggesting this, so he could hit the falsetto note strongly, is one of my better moments.

My approach to bass is quite different from Canned Heat’s bassist, who played single notes with amazing conviction. Not easy for a whole song!

I wanted it to roll, so I’m holding the notes longer in a more “legato” fashion, filling the middle for the band and also doubling them a bit, creating a sort of rock shuffle effect. I felt this would help drive it. Not something pre-planned, just instinct, I guess.

We had no time for arranging each song beyond basics. With an eye to making this version a bit more distinctive, I added shots in the intro and the machine gun ending.

Jeff’s unforgettable killer guitar intro sets the flow and melodic sense of the entire song. His vocal interpretation is his own, but you also hear shades of the original, in his phrasing.


Ultimately, it was exhilarating for me to experience these demos for the first time in 35 years. A golden moment. The film’s songs are made new, with the stripped down, enhanced production.

Listening back, I also felt a hint of wistfulness…

As if two Ghosts were with me…

Joe Rockman