NEW YORK Late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, vowed to fans on Wednesday that she will continue to release unheard music by her son, whose live performances are documented on an album and video due next week.
"I promise for all the love you've returned to him and now to me, I will give you every moment I have of his that's worth sharing. This is not the end, I promise," said Guibert after a Manhattan screening of Buckley's new video, Live in Chicago.
The video, which documents an entire two-hours-plus concert from Buckley and his band, serves as a companion piece to the new live album, Mystery White Boy.
The LP uses material from a number of Buckley concerts in 1995 and 1996, including versions of songs from his 1994 debut album, Grace, such as the title track (RealAudio excerpt of studio version) and "Mojo Pin" (RealAudio excerpt of studio version).
Buckley, the son of late singer/songwriter Tim Buckley, drowned in the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tenn., in May 1997 at the age of 30.
Several hundred Buckley fans packed the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts for a screening of the video, cheering for the singer/songwriter as if the performance was live. The video's soundtrack played at near-concert volume, helping to sustain the illusion.
"Jeff Buckley's dead, and he put on a better concert tonight than the Smashing Pumpkins did the other night," said Becky Kane, a 24-year-old fan from Philadelphia. Kane helps run an unofficial Buckley Web site called "Kingdom for a Kiss" (www.tiac.net/users/rfuller/buckley).
Also on hand for the screening were two members of Buckley's band, guitarist Michael Tighe and drummer Matt Johnson.
"I miss playing with Jeff," Tighe said in a question-and-answer session with fans before the screening. "He was someone who opened me up to what was really powerful about music in general."
In the video, Buckley, who belies his now-saintly image with a steady stream of sardonic stage patter, performs a wide range of cover material, including the MC5's proto-punk classic "Kick Out the Jams," Big Star's "Kanga Roo" and the jazz standard "Lilac Wine," which he also covered on Grace.
"We had to bring in something that was a full concert, because this is all we've got," Guibert said. The video was recorded in Chicago at the Cabaret Metro on May 13, 1995.
Mystery White Boy features different versions of some of the same songs, in addition to three previously unreleased Buckley tracks: "I Woke Up in a Strange Place," "What Will You Say" and "Mood Swing Whiskey."
Buckley, whose passionate singing style combined a near-operatic range with influences ranging from world music to Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, died while working on a follow-up to Grace.
Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, a two-CD set featuring unreleased demos and music recorded during sessions for his second album, was released in 1998.