Album Reviews

The Original Blues Brothers Band

The Last Shade of Blue Before Black

Artist:     The Original Blues Brothers Band

Album:     The Last Shade of Blue Before Black

Label:     Severn Records

Release Date:     10.06.2017


New material meets old tunes on The Last Shade of Blue Before Black, the newest release from a band that has been traveling the road in one form or another since 1978. They’ve been all over the world, some seen in the Blues Brothers movies, some in the Saturday Night Live band, and collectively here on this fun album that was recorded at IWII Studios in Hoboken, NJ.

Original bandleader, Paul Shaffer, is back with Steve Cropper, Lou Marini and a collection of seasoned musicians and former members with jazzy-cool nicknames like “The Honeydripper” or “Sweet Soul” (to name just two). What’s unique about The Last Shade of Blue Before Black is that most of the songs were completed in just one or two takes. Bassist Eric Udel passed away last month and this album is dedicated to him as well as previous members Donald “Duck” Dunn and Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin.

“On a Saturday Night” is beautiful medley of genres. It’s Beach Boys meets Elvis meets big band in a jazz session. “Cherry Street” is funky and shows off the variety of instruments in this album. The title track—also the last on the album—is smooth. Sit back with a drink on the rocks and prepare to be moved with Lou Marini’s soft vocals and is the perfect final number from the band.

Until next time. This album is worth playing again as soon as it finishes.

—Brenda Hillegas


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