The Blues Brothers Band


Steve "The Colonel" Cropper - Guitar
Donald "Duck" Dunn - Bass
Matt "Guitar" Murphy - Guitar
Lou "Blue Lou" Martini - Sax
Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin - Trumpet
Tommy "Pipes" McDonnell - Vocals
Leon Pendarvis - Organ
Birch "Slide" Johnson - Trombone
Steve Potts - Drums

With Special Guest
Eddie "Knock on Wood" Floyd - Vocals

The Blues Brothers Band is alive and well. Five 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 is best known for the Universal Pictures feature film "The Blues Brothers" and the Atlantic Record triple-platinum album "Briefcase Full Of Blues."

Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn played on their first hit for Stax Records When they were still in high school in Memphis in 1961 with "Last Night" by the Markees. The next year they teamed up with Booker T. Jones to form Booker T. and the MG's. They had a string of hits including "Green Onions," "Hip Hug Her," and "Time is Tight." The MG's became the staff rhythm for Stax Records. They played on such hits as "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Respect," and "Dock of the Bay," for Otis Reading; "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.

In 1968, a young singer-songwriter, named Eddie Floyd, came to Detroit from Memphis and teamed up with the MG's. He soon hit the charts with "Knock On Wood" written by Floyd and Cropper. Eddie also wrote such hits as "643-5789" and "Ninety-Nine and a Half"(Wilson Pickett), "Do the Breakdown"(Rufus Thomas) and "Raise Your Hand"(Bruce Springsteen)

When John Belushi was putting the band together he consulted blues songwriter Doc Pomus. Doc described Matt "Guitar" Murphy as "the best living blues guitar player," John called Matt and hired him immediately. Matt "Guitar" Murphy was born and raised in Sunflower County, Mississippi. He moved to Memphis as a young man and later to Chicago where he met and played with Memphis Slim, Chuck Berry, James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Etta James and other legendary blues musicians.

In 1975, Lou "Blue Lou" Martini and Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin 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 for "SNL" play with such artists as Joe Cocker, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Cliff, The Band, Dr, John, and Chuck Berry. Belushi Chose Lou and Alan to be 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 Theatre where the seats were removed for the first time in the history of the theatre 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; Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland; and to audiences estimated up to 80,000 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, and Blues" which featured guest Dan "Elwood Blues" Aykroyd on vocals and harmonica.

Recent highlights of the Blues Brothers "Mission" include performing in Atlanta coinciding with the Grand Opening of the Summer Olympics, headlining in the Super Bowl in New Orleans along with James Brown and ZZ Top and starring in their full length film "Blues Brothers 2000" with Dan "Elwood Blues" Aykroyd and John "Mighty Mack Blues" Goodman.

Steve Cropper (Guitar)
Whenever one hears Sam and Dave or Jack Blues shout "Play it, Steve" in the towering '60's hit "Soul Man," It can only mean MG Steve Cropper, Stax Records house producer and author of more than 400 songs. One of the legends of rock 'n' soul, Cropper has collaborated with Otis Reading, Wilson Pickett, Booker T. Jones, Nashville's Razzy Balley, and Eddie Floyd, among others. He has also scored several motion pictures. Recently, he toured with Jimmy Buffet, Dave Edmunds, and the reunited MG's 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, "And Duck and I have each other's move's down to a tee. When we lock in we can really kick with this band." In January, 1992, Cropper and the rest of the MG's were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Matt "Guitar" Murphy (Guitar)
The first musician hired by John Belushi (a.k.a. Jake Blues) to play in The Blues Brothers Band, Matt Murphy is no less than one of the greatest blues guitar players ever. Born in the Mississippi Delta, raised in Memphis, and musically bred in post-war Chicago, he has played behind stellar talent including Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Etta James, Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, Chuck Berry, James Cotton, and many others. He also leads his own band. "I never said that I couldn't learn anymore," Murphy says of his longevity, "I'm always trying to improve, to bring something new to my playing." And The Blues Brothers Band he notes, "is about togetherness. Each of us gets to show our stuff, but this is truly a group effort. This is a great band."

Lou "Blue Lou" Martini (Saxophone)
Founding Blues Brother Lou Martini starting out playing clarinet in his native Ohio. Encouraged by his father, a saxophonist, he discovered Stan Getz and formed his own band at age 13. "I was a Jazzer until I went to school in Texas," Martini Recalls. "Then I tasted the R&B scene in Dallas and I fell in love with the way the R&B crowd love to shake their ass. That deep groove got to me, the way people were bopping." In New York, Martini became a sought-after session player recording with such diverse acts as Dr. John, The Band, Eric Clapton, Woody Herman, Frank Zappa, Eddie Palmieri, et al. And he was a mainstay of the SNL band for nine years. "It's sort of mysterious the way things worked. The Blues Brothers started as a warm up for the show. But we couldn't put out the fire. It got too hot."

Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin (Trumpet)
Like Lou Martini, Brooklyn-born Alan Rubin was hand-picked to be a Blues Brothers horn by John Belushi. Classically trained at Julliard but self schooled in the music of Clifford Brown and Miles Davis, Rubin in the 1970's staked out a lucrative career as a session player and joined the SNL band. The Blues Brothers, then and now, astounds him. "The sound was/is ferocious," he says. "We are essence players, we go for the jugular. I get on the bandstand and something happens. It comes from a deep, dark, magical place, we take each other to new levels. We're very proud players. Being a Blues Brother is a very Zen experience."

Tommy McDonnell (Vocalist)
Tommy McDonnell grew up on the streets of New York City's East Bronx. His Mother, a singer and Rockette introduced him to the joys of performance at a young age. By ten years old, Tom began studying drums and by age 15 was already performing in an established band. Ten years later, Tommy decided to step out from behind his drums and embark on a singing career that met instant success. His first solo recording, "Never Gonna Leave You" with the SOS Allstars immediately put him on the charts, and what followed was a string of sessions with some of today's finest musicians, including David Spinozza, Will Lee, Dave Weckl and Steve Kahn. Tommy's unique vocal style, uncanny sense of melody, and heartfelt interpretation bring a familiar, yet fresh and current dimension to the stage.

Birch "Slide" Johnson (Trombone)
As a boy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Birch Johnson worked in a drumstick factory to pay for his first trombone. His father was a Dixieland trumpet player while the radio gave him rock 'n' roll. Johnson studied and played music in college and eventually came to New York, where he settled into the studio circuit scoring TV themes, movie soundtracks, and appearances on "Saturday Night Live." Recruited to join the Blues Brothers horns, Birch soon reached new heights. "Part of the thrill is the sound is still new to me, the showmanship, the intensity, the whole product makes me want to go for the throat. It's like a gator grabbing at your leg, this band won't let go."

Leon Pendarvis (Keyboards)
Leon is a New York music heavyweight. Besides playing in the "Saturday Night Live" band for the past 13 years, his credits include arranging, writing and playing for such stars as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Patti Labelle, Roberta Fleck, Eric Clapton, Chaka Kahn, Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, and Paul Simon. Through his own Pinwheel Productions he has also produced albums by New York Voices, Taj Mahal, Jesse Roden as well as hundreds of national commercials. Growing up in the Carolinas, Pendarvis studied piano with his mother. At college, he learned several instruments, and cut his teeth by playing in clubs. "The very first time I played with the Blues Brothers Band was a moment of truth for me," Pendarvis recalls, "I start jamming on the B-3 organ, and Matt Murphy jumps up and yells, 'Oh, we're gonna have some fun now!' and that's how it's been."

Steve Potta (Drummer)
The new drummer for the Blues Brothers Band comes with a perfect pedigree. Born and raised in Memphis, he's a distant relative of the late Al Jackson Jr., timekeeper of the original Booker T. and the MG's. For years, Potts was the right arm for Willie Mitchell at HI Records in Memphis, supporting sessions for Al Green, O.V. Wright and Otis Clay. More recently, he performed on the album by "Pops" Staples and at a 25th Anniversary concert gala for the Memphis Horns. Potts, now a regular on tour with The Blues Brothers Band, is a consummate drummer extraordanaire.

Eddie Floyd (Special Guest Vocals)
Eddie is a very special link to the authentic Stax sound. The originator of "Knock on Wood", "Raise Your Hand," "Big Bird," and "Never Found a Girl," today, his music live on with a new generation of listeners. "It makes me feel stronger about what we do," he says, "Maybe the kids expect to see an old man on crutches, but there's so much excitement for me to draw on, I'll just keep getting younger. It's The Blues Brothers that keeps me going. And that's why I love 'em to death."

Donald "Duck" Dunn (Bass) Whenever "Duck" Dunn steps on stage, he brings a slice of pop music history. As a member of Booker T. and the MG's with Steve Cropper, the baby-faced bassist was a major architect of the classic sound. "With The Blues Brothers, it's easy to drift off and think about the good old days," Says Dunn, "The way the crowd treats us, you'd think it was the '67 Stax European Tour all over again." Dunn describes himself as the eyes and ears of the band. "I like to pick songs according to the mood of the crowd, because I love to play for the people. Hey, music is about love. It's love you want. And through music, it's love you get."

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