Who knew? Almost 40 years ago the Blues Brothers film starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd was released to huge commercial success. The backing band was appropriately called The Blues Brothers band. Now, almost four decades later, The Original Blues Brothers Band, is still touring the world and has just released a new album titled The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black.
The Blues Brothers originally were and remain a band that plays the blues while having some fun along the way. That philosophy remains intact as guitarist Steve Cropper and sax player Lou Marine, along with their old band mates and assorted guests, romp through 14 tracks of original tunes and classic blues covers.
The original band was somewhat limited by Belushi and Ackroyd. Now, some of the best musicians working today are fronted by vocalists such as Eddie Floyd and joe Louis Walker.
The band burns though Eddie Floyd’s original composition, highlighted by his vocals, “Don’t Forget About James Brown” and then morphs into the Paul Schaffer produced “Sex Machine.”
Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Do To Me,” Delbert McClinton’s “Cherry Street,” and Willie Dixon’s “Don’t Go No Further” continue the band’s trend of introducing new listeners to the blues.
“You Left The Water Running” and the old rock classic “I Got My Mojo Working” plum the essence of the band. Basically recorded live, they are sprawling pieces that one can envision in a smoky bar late at night. The Lou Marini title track album ender is seven minutes of proving that the band is still relevant.
For those of use who were actually around in 1978 when the Blues Brothers debuted as a one-time skit on Saturday Night Live, it’s good to have them still around. And be sure to turn up the volume.