The Original Blues Brothers Band review…October 12, 2017….

STEVE CROPPER, LOU MARINI AND

THE ORIGINAL BLUES BROTHERS BAND

THE LAST SHADE OF BLUE BEFORE BLACK

SEVERN RECORDS  CD  0071

BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO–CHERRY STREET–ON A SATURDAY NIGHT–ITCH AND SCRATCH–DON’T GO NO FURTHER–YOU LEFT THE WATER RUNNING–DON’T FORGET ABOUT JAMES BROWN–SEX MACHINE–YOUR FEET’S TOO BIG–21ST CENTURY BABY–BLUES IN MY FEET–QUALIFIED–I GOT MY MOJO WORKING–THE LAST SHADE OF BLUE BEFORE BLACK

What began as a musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live” way back in 1978, when Aykroyd and Belushi brought Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues to life as the mythical “Blues Brothers,” has become a world-wide franchise that has spawned two feature films, merchandising of all kinds, and tours by the surviving band members all over the globe.  That’s the cool thing about “The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black,” on Severn Records, as many of these literal “soul survivors,”  keep on rockin’, billed as The Original Blues Brothers Band.

Of the fourteen cuts on this lively set, several are new songs written for this project, while the rest you’ll likely know by heart.  There are so many special guests, it’s almost like the last half-hour of “Blues Brothers 2000.”  Just about everybody is here—Steve “The Colonel” Cropper, “Shiv” Shaffer, Bones Malone, Blue Lou Marini, and a host of others, with a rotating cast of vocalists including Tommy “Pipes” McDonnell, Bobby Harden, and Rob Paparozzi, with special guests Dr. John, Eddie Floyd, and Joe Louis Walker.

Highlights abound. Bobby, Tommy, and Rob kick out the jams with “Baby What You Want Me To Do,” with piano from Randy Cloud.  Eddie Floyd rocks the joint with a tune he and The Colonel wrote back in the day, “me and my baby, and a glass of wine, On A Saturday Night!”  Joe Louis Walker steps up with one of our favorites, “Don’t Go No Further,” with Rob on the big ol’ chromatic harp and another of the originals on guitar, Matt “Guitar” Murphy!”  And, “The Shiv” Shaffer hits it and quits it on the scratchy-funk goodness of “Sex Machine,”

The fellows did not forget New Orleans, either.  Rob is on vocal on the playful “Your Feet’s Too Big,” and The Nite Tripper himself, Dr. John, appears on vocal and piano on a cool tale about the “haves and the have-nots,” “I’m Qualified.”  The set closes with Lou Marini on sax and vocals on the title cut, as he plays the cheatin’ lover who suffers the consequences, and now feels just like “The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black.”

Just as the 1978 skit intended, The Original Blues Brothers Band is all about having fun.  The good times roll on with “The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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