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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Dan Aykroyd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dan Aykroyd. Show all posts

Friday, September 11, 2020

Downchild - Live At The Toronto Jazz Festival - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live At The Toronto Blues Festival, from Downchild (The Downchild Blues Band) and it's packed full of blues and stars. Opening with piano boogie, Can You Hear The Music, with Mike Fonfara on keys,  Chuck Jackson on lead vocal and Donnie Walsh on harmonica, Chuck Jackson and Pat Carey on sax, Gary Kendall on bass and Mike Fitzpatrick on drums, this is a lively opener. David Wilcox joins on shuffle, It's A Matter Of Time adding slide and vocal. With great feel and energy, this is an all out party. I'm Gonna Tell Your Mama is packed with energy featuring Gene Taylor  piano and giving Walsh a great opportunity to really hang out there on harmonica. Very cool. Finland's favorite slide player, Erja Lyytinen joins on harmony vocal and slide guitar on Mississippi Woman, Mississauga Man, a cool blues rocker with Cajun kind of rhythm. Shotgun Blues is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Kenny Neal on vocal and guitar. The longest track on the release, clocking in at over 9 minutes a solid slow blues number with plenty of  room for solos by Neal, Jackson and Carey. Very nice. Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd and band leader Paul Shaffer join on R&B classic, I Got Everything I Need (Almost) and the band gets into full swing. Walsh winds up his harmonica again and the party continues. Wrapping the release is Elmore James' TV Mama with Walsh on slashing slide and Walsh back upfront on vocal. Solid closer for a solid release. 

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rocket 88 - Dan Aykroyd

Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM (born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian comedian, singer, actor and screenwriter. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers (with John Belushi) and Ghostbusters and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.
Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952, at the Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in the Canadian capital, where his father, Samuel Peter Aykroyd, a civil engineer, worked as a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His mother, Lorraine Hélène (née Gougeon), is a secretary, of French Canadian descent. His brother, Peter, also became a comedy actor. Aykroyd was born with syndactyly (webbed toes), which was revealed in the movie Mr. Mike's Mondo Video and in a short film on Saturday Night Live (Don't Look Back In Anger). He was also born with heterochromia – his right eye is green and his left eye is brown.
Aykroyd was good friends with John Belushi. According to Aykroyd, it was his first meeting with Belushi that helped spark their popular Blues Brothers act. When they met in a club Aykroyd frequented, Aykroyd put on a blues record to play in the background, and it stimulated a fascination with blues in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy rock bands at the time. Aykroyd educated John on the finer points of blues music and, with a little encouragement from then-SNL music director Paul Shaffer, it led to the creation of their Blues Brothers characters.

Backed by such experienced professional R&B sidemen as lead guitarist Steve Cropper, sax man Lou Marini, trumpeter Alan Rubin and bass guitarist Donald "Duck" Dunn, the Blues Brothers proved more than an SNL novelty. Taking off with the public as a legitimate musical act, they performed live gigs and released the hit album Briefcase Full of Blues in 1978, and were further popularized in a 1980 film. The Blues Brothers Band continues to tour today, featuring original members Cropper, Marini, and Dunn, along with vocalist Eddie Floyd.

Early in the incarnation of the Blues Brothers, John Belushi joined the Grateful Dead on stage on April 2, 1980, for a rendition of "Good Morning Little School Girl" at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, N.J (coinciding with the Dead performing on SNL that weekend). John sang the part usually carried by the late Dead band member "Pigpen."

Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was a regular haunt for the original Blues Brothers back in the early days of the band. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd became fixtures at the recording studio, while fellow Blues Brother Steve Cropper called Cherokee his producing home. Whenever they needed a bass player, they were joined by another Blues Brother, Donald "Duck" Dunn. During this time, Cropper along with producing partner and Cherokee owner Bruce Robb worked on a number of music projects with the two comedian/musicians, including Belushi's favourite band Fear and later Aykroyd's movie Dragnet.

Aykroyd and Belushi were scheduled to present the Academy Award for Visual Effects in 1982, but Belushi died only a few weeks prior to the ceremony. Though devastated by his friend's death, Aykroyd presented the award alone, remarking from the stage "My partner would have loved to have been here to present this, given that he was something of a visual effect himself." Not a few years before, when he and John Belushi were making an appearance on the Today show, he referred to them as "kindred spirits." In the biography "Belushi", Aykroyd claims that John Belushi was the only man he could ever dance with.
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