Date: September 6, 2017
Date: September 6, 2017
Date: August 5, 2017
Severn Records announces an October 6 release date for The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black, the new album from the legendary Original Blues Brothers Band, featuring guitarist Steve Cropper and sax player “Blue Lou” Marini, with special guests Eddie Floyd, Joe Louis Walker, Paul Shaffer, Dr. John, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Joe Morton.
“Had anyone told me in 1978 that in 2017 I would still be traveling around the world and playing with the Blues Brothers’ Band, I would have said they were out of their minds,” says “Blue Lou” Marini. “But, amazingly here we are with a new CD and still playing all over the world. This album is a true labor of love and I’m so proud of the organic way it came about. We really wanted to honor our history and to include some of our favorite musicians that we’ve worked with and loved over the years. We have the legends, Eddie Floyd and Dr. John, plus our original band leader, Paul Shaffer and the great bluesman Joe Louis Walker.
“We also have Tom ‘Bones’ Malone playing and arranging, and cameos from Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy and Joe Morton, a star from our second movie. We are also thrilled to have former members David Spinozza on guitar, Birch Johnson on trombone, and my steady sub, Baron Raymonde on alto sax.”
The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black was produced by Lou Marini, Steve Cropper and The Original Blues Brothers Band and recorded at IWII Studios in Hoboken, NJ, by Jay Messina.
“We wanted to present some new original material and do some tunes that hearkened to our past,” declares Marini. “This is a live CD, with everyone recording at once, mostly first or second takes and live vocals and solos. The only overdubs were some baritone sax parts and a few minor fixes. We were blessed with a fantastic studio that suited us so well, IIWII in Hoboken, New Jersey, and the world’s greatest engineer and friend to all, Jay Messina.
Essentially begun as a one-time musical skit that debuted on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live” in 1978 and fronted by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood Blues, the band became an overnight sensation, spawning numerous TV appearances, hit albums, two blockbuster movies and global touring.
“I think the power and joy of this great band that has been playing together for so many years is evident,” states Marini. “We love each other and love making music together. Everyone played their asses off on this CD and none more so than our wonderful bassist, Eric Udel. Eric died tragically in September from a fall here in NYC. He was a great musician and a sunny, funny man whom we all loved. We dedicate this album to him as well as our other fallen and still greatly missed brothers, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn” and Alan ‘Mr. Fabulous’ Rubin.
“I’ve often said that the OBBB is the world’s greatest part-time job because of you, our fans. We’ve gotten to see the world and enjoy it in your company. We’ve eaten and drank with you, especially the latter, and you have treated us like kings. Enjoy this music and for God’s sake, PLAY IT LOUD!”
The Original Blues Brothers Band are: Steve “The Colonel” Cropper – guitar; John “Smokin’ John” Tropea – guitar; Eric “The Red” Udel – bass; Lee “Funkytime” Finkelstein – drums; Leon “The Lion” Pendarvis – organ; Rusty “Cloudmeister” Cloud – clavinet, Wurlitzer, piano and organ; Steve “Catfish” Howard – trumpet; Larry “Trombonious” Farrell – trombone; Lou “Blue Lou” Marini – saxophones; Bobby “Sweet Soul” Harden – vocals; Tommy “Pipes” McDonnell – vocals and harmonica; and Rob “The Honeydripper” Paparozzi – vocals and harmonica.
Date: June 17, 2017
At the conclusion of “Philly Dog,” the television host Tommy Smothers came onstage and encouraged the crowd to give a warm welcome to “Mister Otis Redding.” The MG’s initial downbeat was answered by a syncopated fanfare from the horns and a fusillade of accents from the drums as Redding, resplendent in a teal-green silk suit, strode to the microphone, snatched it off its stand, flashed an enormous smile, and issued what was very likely the first unequivocal command to come from the stage at Monterey since the festival began. “SHAKE!” he demanded. “Everybody say it.” And again: “SHAKE! Let me hear the whole crowd.” Between the honorific tone of Tommy Smothers’ introduction and the note of total authority in the singer’s voice and the band’s accompaniment, for the 7,500 astonished young listeners who leapt to their feet and surged toward the stage, it was as if the grown-ups had arrived.
Date: May 28, 2017
Friends, there are no words. I can’t believe we have lost another one of the World’s greatest. Gregg Allman was a friend, a brother and a true Gentleman. Gregg attended our Dedication Ceremony at The Smithsonian this year. Never thought it’d be our final meeting! My thoughts are with The Allman Family.
Date: March 19, 2017
So saddened to hear that rock and roll legend Chuck Berry died on Saturday at the age of 90. Tributes from across the world have been paid to the “hero of rock and roll”, famed for his hit singles Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen. Steve Cropper said “I’m sure all of my guitar playing friends would agree, that we wouldn’t be doing what we do had it not been for Chuck Berry”.
Date: January 24, 2017
Oh, so sad we lost Marvell Thomas. He was such a contributor to the STAX family. Also a great supporter to Memphis Music. Marvell always offered his band for many Memphis charities and other events. It was such a pleasure being around Marvell. My heart goes out to his sisters and family.
Thomas was the son of legendary R&B and soul singer Rufus Thomas. His sisters are also noted singers Carla and Vaneese. He made a name for himself being a highly in-demand keyboardist playing with artists such as Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Little Milton, The Emotions and Etta James, just to name a few.
Date: December 2, 2016
Guitarist and BMI songwriter Steve Cropper donated three solid-body guitars and an amplifier to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History during a special ceremony today, where he also gave a showcase performance of several legendary works he contributed to the American songbook using the instruments. The objects were all used by Cropper during his legendary 60-year career ranging from songwriting and live performance to hit records and movies.
Date: September 29, 2016
Yes we have lost another. One of the best musicians I’ve ever played with. Our bass player (Eric Udel) with the Original Blues Brothers Band. We have toured together for over 15 years and was starting another portion next week. Eric was Matt “Guitar” Murphy’s bass player and replaced “Duck” Dunn when Duck left to tour with Neil Young. Eric was a true brother and a true supporter of the “Blues Brothers Band”. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers go out to all who loved him.
Date: July 25, 2016
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 are 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.
Date: July 23, 2016
I am so deeply saddened by the loss of our original bass player, Lewie Steinberg. A true gentleman and great musician. Lewie played bass on our first hits “Last Night” by “THE MAR-KEYS” and “GREEN ONIONS” Booker T & The MG’s and many early STAX hits. We recorded together on many sessions and preformed several shows as Booker T & The MG’s.
Lewie you are greatly missed. I last saw Lewie at Donald “Duck” Dunns’ funeral. Lewie, God bless and thanks for the wonderful early years and sharing your musical knowledge. My prayers go out to Lewie’s family and friends.
© 2017 Play It Steve