The Blues Brothers: an Epic Guitar Musical Comedy Must-watch

If you didn’t have a chance to watch it so far, don’t postpone it. If you had, maybe schedule a re-run. If you didn’t know about it, then it’s your lucky day: the Blues Brothers movies are a must-watch for all blues guitar enthusiasts. Not only is the movies’ plotline and their dialogue enjoyable, but the number of guitar legends that appear in the movie is like an epic overdose of all your favorite concerts.

The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

First thing’s first: let’s see a brief presentation of each movie. The Blues Brothers (1980) is the first one, directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the main characters. The film’s story is set around Chicago (of course it is) and features numerous soul, blues or rhythm and blues musical numbers by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker; as well as non-musical supporting performances by another set of legends: John Candy, Carrie Fischer, Henry Gibson and John Napier. The movie’s story revolved around two brothers, one of whom is a paroled convict, who take on a mission from God to save the Catholic orphanage in which they grew up from foreclosure. In order to do so, they must obtain 5000 dollars to pay the tax assessor and the only plan they have for obtaining that money is to reunite their rhythm and blues band and sing their way up to the required sum. After its release, the movie quickly became a staple of late-night cinema and even slowly morphed into an audience-participation show in a certain cinema in Australia. The audience there and the movie’s fans were so dedicated, that they even got invited to have their own cameo appearance in the movie’s sequel, The Blues Brothers 2000 (1998).

The second movie, called Blues Brothers 2000, managed to outrun the first in terms of popularity and awesomeness, especially considering the number of guitar legends it managed to attract for cameo appearances. The story is similar to the first: Elwood Blues is being released from prison again, but only to find out that his brother and surrogate father are both dead and the orphanage of their childhood had been demolished. Soon enough though he finds another brother of sorts and together they proceed to travel to various familiar locations of the past to discover how they have changed, all the while fighting off Russian mafia (and a neo-nazi racist group), and finding new singing allies. The epic finale consists of a battle of the bands where the Blues Brothers compete against the Louisiana Gator Boys, a gigantic band formed of real-life guitar legends.


And now for the best part: check out the names that comprise the second movie’s acting list (especially the main character’s competition, the Louisiana Gator Boys). We have, among many others, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Clarence Clemons, Billy Preston, Matt Murphy, Joshua Redman, Steve Windwood, Travis Tritt, Jimmie Vaughan, Bo Diddley and Jeff Baxter. The movie goes on to further include (sometimes as musical guests playing themselves) James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Eddie Floyd, Lonnie Brooks, Junior Wells and the members of Blues Traveler.

There is literally no excuse not to watch this movie, or not to watch it again if you’re a blues guitar fan. The parade of musical legends and their funny cameos and sub-plots, as well as the quality music they produce throughout the movie are compelling. Not to mention that even besides the music fan reasons, the Blues Brothers is good enough to watch even for non-guitar fans, so feel free to share it with friends or family that perhaps don’t share your hobby.

If you can’t have enough of this (which we could totally relate to), there’s also a Blues Brothers video game and the soundtrack for both movies is available in specialty stores. Have fun!

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