The "Original" Blues Brothers Band
The Original BLUES BROTHERS BAND is alive and well. Original members hand-picked by JOHN BELUSHI and DAN AYKROYD have assembled the ultimate rhythm and blues review and have emerged as a powerful entity in their own right. The BLUES BROTHERS BAND, best known for the Universal Pictures feature films "The Blues Brothers" and “Blues Brothers 2000” and the Atlantic Record triple-platinum album "Briefcase Full of Blues" and the soundtracks from both Films.
STEVE CROPPER played on his first hit for Stax Records when he was still in high school in Memphis in 1961 with "Last Night" by the MARKEES. The next year (1962) he teamed up with BOOKER T. AND THE MGs. They had a string of hits including "Green Onions", "Hip Hug Her", and "Time is Tight". The MGs became the staff rhythm section for Stax Records. They played on such hits as "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "Respect", and "Dock of The Bay" for OTIS REDDING; "In The Midnight Hour" for WILSON PICKETT; "You Don’t Know Like I Know", "Hold On, I'm Comin'", and "Soul Man" for SAM and DAVE. Steve's most recent CD "Dedicated" features such Artists as Delbert McClinton, Steve Winwood, Brian May and many others and is already a worldwide best seller.
In 1975, Lou "Blue Lou" Marini became part of the horn section for the TV comedy show "Saturday Night Live". John Belushi, an actor in the show, loved hearing the horn section play with such artists as JOE COCKER, THE METERS, RAY CHARLES, JAMES BROWN, ARETHA FRANKLIN, JIMMY CLIFF, THE BAND, DR. JOHN, and CHUCK BERRY. John Belushi chose Lou to be in THE BLUES BROTHERS HORNS.
Since regrouping in 1988, the Band has triumphantly performed each year in international venues large and small. In Europe the Band played an unprecedented three sold-out nights in Paris’ prestigious Olympia Theater where the seats were removed for the first time in the history of the theater to accommodate the excitement exchanged between the Band and the audience during their performance. They have headlined at most of the Jazz and Blues Festivals throughout Europe such as Nimes Fair, France; North Sea Jazz Festival, the Netherlands; Pistoia Blues Festival, Italy; and Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland to audiences estimated up to 60,000 in one performance.
The BLUES BROTHERS BAND's album, "Live in Montreux" was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival and is available on WEA, as is their second album "Red, White & Blues," which features guest DAN "ELWOOD BLUES" AYKROYD on vocals and harmonica. Also available on CD is the hugely successful "Blues Brothers 2000" soundtrack featuring B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Blues Traveler and many others.
Recent highlights of the BLUES BROTHERS "MISSION" include performing in Atlanta coinciding with the grand opening of the Summer Olympics, headlining Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans along with James Brown and ZZ Top and starring in the full length feature film "BLUES BROTHERS 2000" with DAN "ELWOOD BLUES" AYKROYD and JOHN "MIGHTY MACK BLUES" GOODMAN.
In 1998- present, The Original Blues Brothers Band continues to headline Jazz, Blues & Rock Festivals worldwide, on the success of "Blues Brothers 2000" and the hugely successful CD of the same name.
The Mission Continues…
THE ORIGINAL BLUES BROTHERS BAND BIOS
"A -movin' and a-groovin with the Blues Brothers Band
The hottest thing in all the land"
(BOOGIE THING by James Cotton & Matt "Guitar" Murphy)
STEVE "THE COLONEL" CROPPER (Guitar)
Whenever one hears Sam and Dave or Jake Blues shout "Play it, Steve" in the towering '60s hit "Soul Man," it can only mean MG Steve Cropper-Stax house producer and author of more than 400 BMI registered songs. He won a large following during his years at Stax Records where, in addition to being house producer, he was lead guitarist for Booker T. and the MGs and was instrumental in developing the "Memphis Sound". One of the legends of rock 'n' soul, Cropper has collaborated with Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Booker T. Jones, Nashville’s Razzy Bailey and Eddie Floyd, among many others. He has also scored several motion pictures. Recently he toured with Jimmy Buffet, Neil Young, Dave Edmunds and the reunited MGs during time off from THE BLUES BROTHERS BAND. "It's like a beautiful dream, playing the music I love for so many people all over again," Cropper says, "When we lock in we can really kick with this band." In January 1992, Cropper and the rest of the MGs were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Steve is currently enjoying worldwide success and airplay with his new CD "Dedicated" Featuring Steve Winwood, Delbert McClinton, Brian May and many others.
"SMOKIN" JOHN TROPEA (Guitar)
At the age of 12, John began playing guitar. After graduating high school he began carving out his musical niche gathering experience playing R & B with many groups around Boston including The Three Degrees, while he attended the prestigious Berklee School Of Music. He then returned to New York City and in a very short time became one of busiest and in demand studio guitarists ever, while he also produced and arranged records, commercials and film.
Although renown for his solo work and career, he has also played and recorded with the likes of Paul Simon, Harry Chapin, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Deadato, Manhattan Transfer and many others. When not performing with The Blues Brothers Band John is touring worldwide and recording with his renowned JOHN TROPEA BAND.
LOU "BLUE LOU" MARINI (Saxophone)
Founding BLUES BROTHER Lou "Blue Lou" Marini, has performed, toured and recorded with such diverse artists as James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Woody Herman, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Dr. John, Frank Zappa, The Band, The Supremes, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Sinead O'Connor, Steely Dan, Frank Sinatra, Maureen McGovern, Elton John, Donald Fagen, Eric Clapton and many more. Although originally a student of the clarinet, at an early age Lou was encouraged by his father, a saxophonist, and he soon nurtured a love of jazz, discovering Stan Getz and others. It was not until he attended North Texas State University in Dallas that his inherent love affair with rhythm and blues began to flourish. He loved "the grooves" and the audience reaction. In 1972, Lou then moved to New York City and soon became a sought after session player/writer/arranger/performer and eventually became a mainstay of The Saturday Night Live Band for 9 years. It was here that Lou would brush shoulders with co-performers John "Jake Blues" Belushi and Dan "Elwood Blues" Aykroyd and as a result be chosen as saxophonist for THE BLUES BROTHERS BAND.
STEVE "CATFISH" HOWARD (Trumpet)
Steve comes to the Blues Brothers Band after carving out a strong history rich in the culture and music of New Orleans and performing/touring with the likes of Dr. John and Paul McCartney's Band-Wings.
THE BLUES BROTHERS BAND, then and now, astounds him. "The sound was - is - ferocious," he says. "We are essence players. We go for the jugular. I get on that bandstand and something happens. It comes from a deep, dark, magical place, the way we take each other to new levels. We’re the heartbeat of the old Stax Records, the bedrock of American R&B, with a wholly contemporary edge. We’re very proud players. Being a BLUES BROTHER is a very Zen experience." He has also toured/recorded with Junior Wells, Albert Collins, Edgar Winter, Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle and many more, while still recording and touring worldwide with his own Band-The Gumbo Kings.
LEON "THE LION" PENDARVIS (Keyboards)
Leon was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1945. This humble musical genius, Band Leader, arranger, composer and keyboard extraordinaire has performed, composed, written and recorded with everyone in the Music Business and besides working with the Original Blues Brothers Band, currently leads the world famous and renown Saturday Night Live Band on television in New York City. There is no one alive today in the Music Industry today that does not hold him and his work in the highest regard.
He is really our “College Of Musical Knowledge” and we are very fortunate to have him. We think you will feel the same.
ERIC "THE RED" UDEL (Bass)
Eric Udel, a dynamic performer with looks that match his incredible talent, has evolved into a superb musician. After studying at the University of New Mexico’s Music College, North Texas State University, and Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada, he began recording and performing with Bob Belden, Downbeat magazine’s Arranger of the Year, 1993, as well as David Liebman. Eric worked clinics with such greats as John Scofield and Bill Evans of the Miles Davis Band. He soon met up with Michael Stern and began performing with him in clubs. He made a notable contribution to Mike’s first solo recording on Atlantic Records, "Upside Down". Eric moved to Manhattan where he soon became a regular performer at various blues and soul clubs. He has added his tremendous talent to the performances of J.T. Bowen, singer with Clarence Clemmons' Band, George Thorogood, Donald Byrd, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bobby Blue Bland, Lou Rawls, Richie Havens, Jon Paris from the Johnny Winter Band and original BLUES BROTHERS member, Matt "Guitar" Murphy. Impressed with Eric’s incredible performances while on numerous world tours together, Matt invited Eric to sit in with THE BLUES BROTHERS BAND.
LEE "FUNKYTIME" FINKELSTEIN (Drums)
Born and raised in the music Mecca of New York City, Lee was introduced to Latin and Big Band music, the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie by his parents. At the age of five, his parents realized that he was doing more than just beating on pots and pans, and Lee had his first drum lesson from a journeyman neighbor. By the time he was twenty, he was playing in every aspect of the music industry. Lee has performed or recorded with such greats as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Donna Summers and the Funk Philharmonic to name a few. He continues to record and perform with Bill Cosby, Grover Washington, Jr., Tower Of Power, Funk Philharmonic and The Original Blues Brothers Band.
LARRY "TROMBONIUS MAXIMUS" FARRELL (Trombone)
Larry is a real musical character. He is one of the top horn players on call in New York City and always in high demand and very esteemed and respected. He is a virtuoso in all genres but prefers Jazz and Rhythm and Blues, so it is not surprising that he was sought out by The Original Blues Brothers Band. Like the rest of the Band, there are few artists Larry has not recorded for or toured with worldwide and that is why we are proud to have him covering the trombone chair.
BOBBY "SWEET SOUL" HARDEN (Lead Vocals)
Bobby was born in Youngstown, Ohio where he received his earliest music influences and began singing in church. He then moved to New York City and soon became known for his powerful vocals and soulfully smooth performance style. He has shared his "Sweet Soul" music with audiences great and small worldwide from Canada to Morocco, Florida to Europe, opening for Solomon Burke, Ben E. King and Howard Tate to name a few.
JONNY "ROCK N" ROLL DOCTOR" ROSCH (Special Guest - Lead Vocals and Harmonicas)
Jonny was born in San Antonio, Texas. Now living in New York, he has been performing and recording as a vocalist, keyboard, harmonica and guitar player for more than 30 years. He is both a highly respected session musician and consummate live performer and front man who really "Wows" the crowds and leaves them wanting more, no matter what the venue, genre, or event. Besides performing at the World famous Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Jonny has "Rocked The World" from Europe to Australia, and South America to Asia and all points in between, performing not only with his own band, but with the impressive company of Joe Walsh, Skitch Henderson and His Orchestra, Donald Fagen, Bo Diddly and Cornell Dupree to name a few, and opened for BB King, Booker T and the MG's, Paul Simon and many more. We invite you to listen and take part as he continues to bring his talents on stage with The Original Blues Brothers Band.