Have you ever seen The Blues Brothers movie? If you haven’t, you’re missing out! It’s still one of the top Netflix movies on high rotation, it’s an iconic movie that’s almost a rite of passage for any music lover or furthermore anyone who just loves an incredible storyline and some great car chases.
For a lot of people, the first time we ever saw Beale Street, Memphis and John Lee Hooker was in that famous scene outside the Soul Food Café in The Blues Brothers movie where he sings ‘Boom, boom, boom, boom’. The first time they saw Aretha Franklin singing ‘Respect’ was in the diner scene in the movie, but it’s so much more than that!
It was Stax Records who had incredible artists like Booker T. & The M.G.’s and Sam and Dave to name a few. The backing band in The Blues Brothers movie were all real musicians, most of them were the artists who played on hundreds of recordings in the incredible Memphis Stax studio, which is now a museum you can visit in Memphis. Steve “The Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Matt “Guitar” Murphy featured in the movie, along with many other musicians who were and still are incredible blues musicians. The Blues Brothers band including originals John Belushi & Dan Ackroyd, in fact, released several albums, including live albums.
Who could forget that incredible performance from Ray Charles with ‘Shake A Tail Feather’, an incredible track that went on to be a massive hit. It was released on vinyl in 1980, with the remarkable hit from Cab Calloway ‘Mini The Moocher’ as the B sidetrack. Mini The Moocher was a massive hit in its own right, and people still sing along to it on The Blues Train. During the return to the church scene, James Brown really took the roof off with his rendition of ‘The Old Landmark’.
Of course, the movie achieved incredible cult status playing in cinemas for decades with people dressing up in all the outfits of the characters that feature in the film and were singing and dancing to every scene.
A Part II to The Blues Brothers was made in 2000 called Blues Brothers 2000, a film who also featured an all-star cast of musicians including B.B. King, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Jonny Lang and Wilson Pickett just to name a few, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch.
So, if you’re thinking that you don’t know much about blues music you probably do, and if you haven’t seen The Blues Brothers movie, it might be time to watch it with your family and friends and feel the love of blues music.
When people come down to Queenscliff to ride The Blues Train, some of them are not sure that they know blues music, but as soon as they get there and hear the tunes, they realise it’s familiar, friendly and a whole lot of fun. Remember the blues is not about getting the blues, it’s about getting rid of the blues, having a good time and shaking it all out and who doesn’t need a bit of that?
Remember the famous saying next time you’re listening to your favourite rock record on the radio “The Blues had a baby and they called it Rock ‘n’ Roll”.
While The Blues Train prides itself on programming original blues music, we also have a variety of artists who play a mixture of new and contemporary blues and lots of the classics. It’s a very broad genre of music and on any one night, you’ll be sure to hear some of the songs from The Blues Brothers.
If you want to find out more about blues music in Victoria, you can check out the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society or Blues Music Victoria. There are also many clubs and organisations that put on regular jam nights and concerts or you could check out some of the music festivals. Upcoming Festivals include the Echuca Winter Blues Festival, in March the Saint Kilda Blues Music Festival, the Mornington Blues Festival on the Mornington Peninsula just to name a few. If you really want to check out the mother of Australian Blues Music Festivals you need to get up to Byron Bay, to the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Music Festival held over Easter.
See you when you next ride the rails.
Come along and shake, rattle ‘n roll with us on The Blues Train.