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Singin' the Blues Brothers at NPAC

March 21st, 2014 9:37 am by Entertainment Staff

Singin' the Blues Brothers at NPAC

Wayne Catania, Kieron Lafferty's Official Blues Brothers Revue celebrates Chicago's rich musical history

Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty aren't the only Blues Brothers tribute artists in the business, but they're the only duo in North America sanctioned by Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi's wife, Judith Belushi Pisano, to don the iconic hats and sunglasses of Jake and Elwood Blues.

Catania and Lafferty will bring their Official Blues Brothers Revue to Greeneville on Sunday, March 23 for a 3 p.m. show at Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $35 for orchestra and mezzanine seats and $25 for balcony seating.

Comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi founded the Blues Brothers as part of a musical sketch on "Saturday Night Live." Belushi and Aykroyd, respectively in character as lead vocalist "Joliet Jake" Blues and harmonica player/backing vocalist Elwood Blues, fronted the band. The Blues Brothers first appeared on "Saturday Night Live" in 1976, and served as the show's musical guest in 1978.

The band soon began to take on a life beyond the confines of television, releasing an album, "Briefcase Full of Blues," later that year, then having a Hollywood film, "The Blues Brothers," created around its characters in 1980.

After the death of Belushi in 1982, the Blues Brothers continued to perform with a rotation of guest singers and other band members. The band reformed in 1988 for a world tour and again in 1998 for a sequel film, "Blues Brothers 2000."

Produced by Aykroyd and Pisano and directed by Paul Shaffer, the Official Blues Brothers Revue integrates the humor and songs from the "Blues Brothers" album and film, while paying tribute to Chicago's rich history of blues, soul and gospel music. Backed by their high-energy, eight-piece Intercontinental Rhythm & Blues Revue Band, Catania and Lafferty belt out some of the Blues Brothers' biggest hits, including "Soul Man," "Rubber Biscuit" and "Gimme Some Lovin'."

Catania's career as a musician, actor and creative writer spans four decades. In the late 1970s, his resemblance to John Belushi opened the door to showcasing his own acting and musical talents onstage and onscreen. Joining ACTRA as a character actor, he was cast in numerous feature films, television shows and international advertising campaigns. He considers being cast as Jake Blues in the Original Blues Brothers Revue the pinnacle of his life's work.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Lafferty was influenced by the great acts that played at his father's nightclub, The Electric Circus. Legends like Sam & Dave, Credence Clearwater Revival and The Doors were the wellspring of his youth. Following in the footsteps of his mentors, he began a career as a musician, playing on the Toronto blues/rock circuit where he gained a solid reputation for his soulful vocals and melodic harmonica lines.

In the 1990s, Lafferty focused on songwriting and released several CDs, including "Sensible Religion" and "Seven Sisters." Well received by critics, the tracks 'Thankful' and 'Money Speaks' earned steady airplay in Canada and over the next few years he toured with his band, E-Key & The Head.

As an actor, Lafferty has landed roles in a number of films including "The Stem" by Alan Royal and "Synchronicity," a rockumentary by Bob Connolly. He and brother Sean wrote the music and the songs for the film and subsequent CD "Signs in the Sky." Filmmaker Paul Jay cast Lafferty in the A&E docudrama "Lost in Las Vegas." Lafferty wrote the film's score and with the help of Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors), those sessions evolved into a CD of eclectic blues called "Boomtown."

Venturing into musical theatre in 1998, Lafferty joined the cast of the award-winning Las Vegas show "Legends in Concert" as Elwood Blues. The Blues Brothers act evolved beyond the Las Vegas show rooms and together with his stage partner Catania, they starred in the "Blues Brothers Revival," a musical written by Victor Pisano and staged in Chicago in 2004. Since that time, their Blues Brothers act has toured extensively across the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Together with Judy Belushi Pisano and Anne Beatts ("Saturday Night Live," "Square Pegs,"), Lafferty and Catania recently finished writing the pilot for an action/comedy/musical TV show based on the further adventures of Jake and Elwood Blues.

For tickets or more information, call the NPAC box office at (423) 638-1679 or visit www.npacgreeneville.com

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