The Blues Brothers Still Going Strong:
The Dan Aykroyd-Approved Live Show!
In 1980, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi found major success when they took their popular Saturday Night Live sketch of The Blues Brothers to the big screen. It grossed over $115 million dollars worldwide and instantly became a cult classic that has and will be enjoyed by many generations to come. The beginning of the movie plot has a divine intervention from the Man upstairs Himself. Picture this: Jake Blues is released from prison after serving a three year stint for armed robbery. Jake is picked up by his brother Elwood. The brothers visit their childhood home, a Catholic orphanage, and learn that the orphanage is facing imminent closure unless $5,000 in property taxes can be collected. The brothers then visit an evangelical church service where Jake has a revelation: they can raise the funds and save the orphanage by regrouping with their R&B band. Cue Elwood Blues and his popular quote in the movie: “We’re on a mission from God.”
Now to get to my point. I had the privilege of checking out The Official Blues Brothers Revue, the only Blues Brothers tribute show sanctioned by Dan Akroyd and Judith Belushi (wife of the late John Belushi). They performed recently in my local area and were as close to the real thing as you can get. The revue features Wayne Catania as Jake Blues and Kieron Lafferty as Elwood Blues. The musical director of the show is Paul Shaffer from “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The show pays homage to the Blues Brothers characters played by Akroyd and Belushi who debuted the characters on “Saturday Night Live” in 1976.
You can check their tour schedule and find a show near you by visiting the Official Blues Brothers Website!
I interviewed Keiron Lafferty and he shared these tidbits about the show:
What can people expect at the show?
We are going to do all of the original Blues Brothers tunes the original band made popular. We will perform a live re-creation of the original Jake and Elwood Blues — just like you would have seen on “Saturday Night Live” or in the movie. Music and mayhem are the best words I could choose. The live concert show combines comedy and hit songs from the original 1980 hit film as well as the five albums released by John Belushi and Aykroyd. The show features an eight-piece intercontinental rhythm and blues band.
How did you get picked to perform in the revue?
We have been working for Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi for 10 years now. We had done a Blues Brothers documentary on A&E channel. It was about working in Las Vegas as an act and portraying the Blues Brothers. They had seen us and that is how we got the call from them. They liked how we auditioned, we got the part and have been working pretty closely with Dan and Judy since that time.
Is Dan Aykroyd still very involved with the Blues Brothers characters he created?
He absolutely is. It is very close to his heart for a number of reasons. He is very involved in maintaining quality control to make sure it is a great show — to respect the music and to play it with soul and the grooves that are meant to be played, in the Blues Brothers fashion.