From the Vault...


Blues Brothers & Friends
"Live From Chicago's House Of Blues"

© House Of Blues/Platinum Year of Release: 1997

track listing
  • Intro
  • Green Onions
  • Chicken Shack
  • Sweet Home Chicago
  • I Wish You Would
  • Messin' With The Kid
  • All My Money Back
  • Born In Chicago
  • Blues, Why You
    Worry Me?
  • Groove With Me Tonight
  • 634-5789
  • All She Wants
    To Do Is Rock
  • Flip, Flop And Fly
  • Money (That's What
    I Want)
  • Viva Las Vegas

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Blues Brothers & Friends
    "Live From Chicago's House Of Blues"

    Let's face it... You can't replace an original... When John Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982, the chances for another Blues Brothers movie was hopeless, likewise more material on record. Sad to say, I was quite disappointed when the sequel to the movie was released in 2000, when Dan Aykroyd teamed up with John Goodman and two other "Blues Brothers." (I still say, they should of had Jim Belushi as the newest "Blues Brother" for the sequel.)

    Since John Belushi's death, The Blues Brothers name still lived on in recording: The Blues Brothers Band released Red, White And Blues in 1992, 10 years since Belushi's death. Towards the end of the 1990's decade, The Blues Brothers name was picking up again... Dan Aykroyd (as Elwood Blues) hosts his own radio show, The House Of Blues Radio Hour, featuring music of the Blues, past and present. With the popularity of that show, a sequel was in the works, and it proved to less-than-the-original movie's reviews.

    But speaking of Jim Belushi, surprisingly, he teamed up with Aykroyd in 1997, as Blues Brother Zee, and stepped into the shoes of his late brother's, to help out on Blues Brothers & Friends: Live From Chicago's House Of Blues. With help from fellow musicians, trying to capture what was once labelled as "The Jake and Elwood Rhythm and Blues Revue," it was revised with brothers Elwood and Zee (Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi).

    The album opens with an Introduction, welcoming the live audience, and introducing all of the members of the Blues Brothers Band: Steve Cropper (guitar), Matt Guitar Murphy (guitar), Donald Duck Dunn (bass), Danny Gottlieb (drums), Birch Johnson (trombone), Lou Marini (sax), Alan Rubin (trumpet), Tommy McDonnell (percussion), Paul Shaffer (keyboards). "Green Onions" by The Blues Brothers Band starts out the concert as a great instrumental opener. (Steve Cropper and Donald Duck Dunn were once members of Booker T. & The MGs, who made "Green Onions" famous.)

    Zee and Elwood sing "Sweet Home Chicago," a popular favorite from the movie soundtrack with Jake and Elwood. However, the original version is much better -- yet here it sounds more like two guys enjoying a beer and singing together, having a good time.

    A Friend of the Blues Brothers joins in on the next tune; blues artist Billy Boy Arnold participates on vocals and harmonica -- very impressive blues tune.

    "Messin' With The Kid" was performed by Jake and Elwood on their first album, Briefcase Full Of Blues. Zee and Elwood do a pretty good job on this one. Russian musician Sergei Yaranov helps out also.

    Lonnie Brooks helps out on "All My Money Back," and is a great blues jam, with Brooks on guitar and vocals. Zee and Elwood return on "Born In Chicago," another good tune, showcasing hard-driving Blues. Guitarist Charlie Musselwhite helps out with vocals on another good blues tune, "Blues, Why You Worry Me?"

    Harmonica player/vocalist participates on "Groove With Me Tonight," as he gets the crowd into the hey-hey-hey-hey chants heard on The Isley Brothers/Otis Day & The Knights (Animal House) "Shout." Wilson Pickett's "634-5789" is next, with vocals by Eddie Floyd, having a very bouncy entertaining blues feel. (This song was also in the Blues Brothers 2000 movie, featuring an all-star music lineup, featuring Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett and Jonny Lang.)

    Also very bouncy blues is "All She Wants To Do Is Rock" and "Flip, Flop And Fly;" the latter was recorded by Jake and Elwood on Briefcase Full Of Blues. Of course, Jake and Elwood's is better, yet Zee and Elwood's version is just as good.

    Jeff Baxter and Sam & Dave's Sam Moore helps out on "Money (That's What I Want)" which is similar and just as entertaining as John Belushi's version from the soundtrack of Animal House. Yet the album's closing remake of Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" is probably one tune to avoid -- the vocals are a little off with the music, and if there is one remake version of this song to recommend, it would have to be Bruce Springsteen's.

    Trying to replace Jake Elwood for the Blues Brothers is impossible. Yet it was done for this album, likewise the Blues Brothers movie sequel. In the end, it's verdict is the same: As much as it may be enjoyable (and both had their moments...) It still gives us a sad feeling that in spite of how popular and entertaining Jake and Elwood were, it's an awful shame to see such talent go to waste on a drug overdose. Therfore, it would be best to leave The Blues Brothers as Jake and Elwood as is.

    Live From Chicago's House Of Blues features some great hard-driving blues tunes, with help from other fellow musicians. Jake and Elwood may not have performed some of these songs as hard-driving as heard on this album, yet having their friends help out is what makes this album better than all of the songs performed by Zee and Elwood. And surprisingly, Jim Belushi did record a blues album of his own -- Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts 36-22-36, in 1998. (To be reviewed later on this site...)

    The Blues is still alive -- there are many talented blues musicians out there today, likewise discovering the blues of the past. Some great Blues artists to mention: Robert Cray, Gary Moore, Corey Stevens, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and of course veterans such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy and B.B. King. Likewise, Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd).

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of House Of Blues/Platinum Rec and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #771
    Joe Cocker--Joe Cocker!
    Next Review: #773
    Rolling Stones--Aftermath