RIP: Tom Healey, 1956-2014


By Greg Haymes

As I wrote back in 2006 on the occasion of the release of their sophomore album, Tough Dog, “the Tom Healey Band once again proves they’re the Capital Region’s premiere blues band.”

Guitarist-vocalist-bandleader Tom Healey died on Monday (July 21) at the age of 58, and his passing leaves a major hole, not only in the Nippertown blues scene and the Local 518 music scene, but all throughout the Capital Region community. His band – formerly known as Good Friday – was an anchor all around town, frequently playing neighborhood clubs, the Hibernian Hall and a countless number of benefit shows. Healey played with the band just last weekend at the Albany Rail Yard.

At various times, his band featured such musicians as keyboardist Jason Ladanye, saxmen Brian Patneaude and Keith Pray, drummer Al Kash, bassist Adam Graham and many others over the years.

The Tom Healey Band’s debut album, Pearl Street, was hailed by regular Nippertown contributor Don Wilcock as “the best local blues album I’ve ever heard,” upon its release in 2001.

A longtime history teacher at Albany High School, Healey had only just retired from his day job a month ago.

Life can be very, very cruel…

UPDATE: Friends are invited to call at the Parker Brothers Memorial Funeral Home in Watervliet from 4-8pm on Friday (July 25). Services will be held at 10am on Saturday (July 26) at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Watervliet.

Obituary: Thomas Healey
In Memory of Thomas J. Healey
R.I.P. Tom Healey, blues frontman and “life force”
Five Firsts: Tom Healey of the Tom Healey Band

  1. Dred Scott says

    Thanks for the kind words, Greg. Tom was one of my best friends and I enjoyed doing sound for him for many years. There was never a dull moment at a Tom Healey Band gig. His Alive @ 5 jobs were some of his favorites. He opened for Bill Wyman and Eddie Money, and one of his cherished gigs was opening for Chubby Checker at the ESP. I don’t think there was a better harp player in the area! I was always amazed to watch people in the audience singing along to songs HE WROTE! He was surprised to find out he was playing at his own retirement party! It was one of the BEST times I had ever had. I commented that the music was just flowing out of the band. You know what that’s like. Everybody is just in sync and the music just comes out effortlessly. I hadn’t seen him play since then and went to the Rail Yard on Friday. He was in good spirits and seemed to be in good health. He played a private party in VT Saturday night. That was his last gig.

  2. Dave Render says

    How bout listing the obit?

  3. Greg says

    Dave, Sure. Have you seen one?

  4. Dred Scott says

    There should be an obit in the Times Union on Wednesday. There is an article at the TU online right now.

  5. Chris Busone says

    God speed Tommy, we miss you already.

  6. Gene says

    Very sad news.

  7. Kelly Bird says

    There’s a brief obit on the Parker Bros. funeral home website. It also states that a complete obit will be in the Thursday Times Union.

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