What makes Jeff Healey different from other blues-rockers is also what keeps some listeners from accepting him as anything other than a novelty - the fact that the blind guitarist plays his Fender Stratocaster on his lap, not standing up. With the guitar in his lap, Healey can make unique bends and hammer-ons, making his licks different and more elastic than most of the competition. Unfortunately, his material leans toward standard AOR blues-rock which rarely lets him cut loose, but when he does, his instrumental prowess can be shocking.
Healey lost his sight at the age of one, after developing eye cancer. He began playing guitar when he was three years old and began performing with his band Blues Direction at the age of 17.
Healey formed the Jeff Healey Trio in 1985, adding bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen. The trio released one single on their own Forte record label, which led to a contract with Arista Records. The Jeff Healey Trio released their debut album, See the Light, in 1988 and the guitarist immediately developed a devoted following in blues-rock circles. Featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes," the record went platinum in the U.S. While the Jeff Healey Trio's subsequent records have been popular, none have been as successful as the debut.