From the Vault...


"Road House"

© Arista Records

Year of Release: 1989

track listing
  • Roadhouse Blues--
    Jeff Healey Band
  • Blue Monday--
    Bob Seger
  • I'm Tore Down--
    Jeff Healey Band
  • These Arms Of Mine--
    Otis Redding
  • When The Night Comes
    Falling From
    The Sky--
    Jeff Healey Band
  • Rad Gumbo--
    Little Feat
  • Raising Heaven
    (In Hell Tonight)--
    Patrick Swayze
  • A Good Heart--
    Kris McKay
  • Hoochie Coochie Man--
    Jeff Healey Band
  • Cliff's Edge--
    Patrick Swayze

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    "Road House"

    Road House -- My #4 movie of all-time. Released in 1989, starring Patrick Swayze, the movie's plot is where Dalton (played by Swayze) is hired by Frank Tilghman (played by Kevin Tighe, who was in the television series Emergency). Tilghman was the manager of a bar, the Double Deuce. This bar definitely needed updating, most importantly, in handling the nighttime crowd. However, the "villian" of the movie, Brad Wesley (played by Ben Gazzara), wants Dalton to run his bar also. But Wesley's reputation throughout the town has made enemies, despite Wesley's wealth and money. Other characters in the movie also makes it great: Wade Garrett (played by Sam Elliot) - Dalton's friend and bouncer, of which Dalton and Garrett had their many stories to tell from working together, throughout the years. Red West (one of Elvis Presley's former bodyguards) plays Red Webster, a man who knows Wesley's reputation well enough to explain to Dalton. Former wrestler Terry Funk is in the movie, as one of the rough-rugged bouncers (who eventually gets fired by Dalton). Of course, there is the love interest for Dalton -- Carrie Ann, played by Kathleen Wilhoite. The rivalry between Wesley and Dalton is epic throughout this movie, as Carrie Ann used to date Wesley, making Wesley more sinister towards Dalton, and knowing how well Daltron is, in handling the rough crowd at the bar, and wanting to hire him for his own mishaps.

    What also makes this movie great, is the band at the Double Deuce bar. Cody (played by Jeff Healey) performs great blues songs in the bar, and Healey was a popular blues artist in his own right. Jeff Healey was blind, and how he played his guitar, simply was incredible -- He would play guitar as if he was playing the keyboard, with the guiar on his lap. Being blind and gifted to play the guitar this way, made him one of the great blues artists, both playing the guitar and singing. His band covers The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" opens the movie, and his version of the Doors classic is great, and a close contender to its original. But the song that really stood out was "When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky," a song originally written and recordded by Bob Dylan, from his 1985 album Empire Burlesque. If you like the song "All Along The Watchtower" (which Dylan also wrote), this song has the Watchtower feel. It is a song that most likely was never remembered, yet Healey's version would make it a classic hit. Sad to say, Jeff Healey passed away in 2008. In 2007, he had surgery to remove metastatic tissue from both lungs. In the past 18 months, he had two sarcomas (cancer) removed from his legs. He died on March 2, 2008, of sarcoma cancer in his hometown of Toronto, at the age of 41. Way too young, yet he leaves behind great music, great albums, and how gifted he really was. He released five albums with his band, and six solo albums, of which he was with the band The Jazz Wizards. Jeff Healey has yet to be reviewed here on WSVNRadio; hopefully that will change soon.

    And of course, leaving us way too soon was Patrick Swayze. Not only was he a great actor, he also was a singer. There were two songs recorded by him for the Road House soundtrack. But his most famous song, was the ballad from Dirty Dancing -- "She's Like The Wind." His wife, Lisa Niemi, was the inspiration for the song. Swayze developed stage IV pancreatic cancer, and we lost him on September 14, 2009. He was 57.

    As for the soundtrack, it is a great album of the best blues you will ever hear. Jeff Healey's versions of the Doors and Dylan songs previously mentioned are the true standouts. His cover of the Muddy Waters classic "Hoochie Coochie Man" is also a great cover. Another great cover to mention, is Bob Seger's version of Fats Domino's "Blue Monday." Seger's cover is just as great as its original.

    Mixing past music into a soundtrack is a given, and who would it be, than that of the late. great, Otis Redding. His "These Arms Of Mine" was probably not one of his most remembered songs, but this one is a soulful ballad, and easily, a great song in its own right. You really couldn't go wrong with his music for a soundtrack. Otis always knew how to record great songs, and there really wasn't a bad one to say, that he did. He also left us way too soon, as a result of a plane crash, in December, 1967. Redding was only 26, too young, too soon.

    Jeff Healey's "I'm Tore Down" is another great rockin' blues track, and you could probably envision another great artist who could have been the Double Duece house band, Stevie Ray Vaughan in this movie. Stevie also left us too soon from a helicopter crash, in 1990, age 35.

    All the songs mentioned thus far, makes the soundtrack. However, the rest of the songs, were just fillers. Little Feat (another great band, as. their lead singer, Lowell Geoge, left us too soon from a heart attack in 1974, age 34). "Rad Gumbo" was for the movie, as this song was never released on a Little Feat album. (Bob Seger's "Blue Monday" was also a song that was not on any of Seger's studio albums.)

    Patrick Swayze's two songs, "Raising Heaven (In Hell Tonight)" and "Cliff's Edge" are definitely 1980s Pop/Rock, and as I listened to these two songs, I couldn't help but think about another actor who recorded his own music -- Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame. Swayze's songs here are fairly good, yet I wished we would have seen a complete album by him, as Don Johnson did. Don Johnson had previously worked with the Allman Brothers before he became famous, co-writing songs with them. Likewise, during his Miami Vice popularity, he recorded two full-length studio albums -- Heartbeat (1986), and Let It Roll (1989). Kris McKay's "A Good Heart" is an ok 1980s Pop track. I didn't find any basic information on her, other than she is an Alternative/Indie artist, and two albums released. There are reviews of her albums on Amazon -- She is from Austin, Texas, and her music is compared to that of Melissa Etheridge, and and the Indigo Girls (of which she had worked with, and Charlie Sexton).

    Road House wa a great movie. The soundtrack just as equal. There was a Road House 2 movie, yet it did not have the original stars for the "sequel." I was channel surfing one night, and caught this movie. I didn't see it from the beginning, but as I watched it, the "sequel" wasn't really a seuqel. I felt it was just a remake, as it basically had the same storyline as the original movie. Patrick Swayze's Road House was way better, and this movie is never meant for a remake. Some movies are not to be rebooted, as they say, yet alone remade.

    If you haven't seen the movie, it is highly recommended, and should be one of the best movies you will ever see in your life. It's a rough-and-ready movie, the music is awesome. The characters have their moments. The fight scenes are well worth watching. Kevin Tighe and Ben Gazzara and their characters are equally enjoyable. And then there is the team of Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot. And the ending is classic.

    Road House -- a great movie and a great soundtrack for your collections.

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