No, tonight was NOT Jazz.

But, remembering that Jazz has its roots firmly anchored in The Blues, we were very, very happy for Aaron and his band of virtuoso players, on this one night, to change us from the BJC to the BBC

And up there, on our stage, it was not so much The Blues Brothers, but The  Blues Brotherhood…as there were NINE of them, in various Covid-safe combinations across the night.

At the heart of this dynamite music machine was enough guitar chops to sustain an industry and populate a museum…

Aaron West with 3 custom Fender Stratocasters and a Dobro.

Matt Smith, lead guitarist from Thirsty Merc, with his red 1966 Epiphone Casino.

Kirk Lorange, with a mid-60’s Fender Stratocaster, purchased in London and set up by fabled luthier, Seymour Duncan.

Kirk’s long list of album session credits includes Aussie headliners such as Keith Urban, John Williamson, Renee Geyer, Kevin Johnson, Dragon, Richard Clapton, The Reels, Debbie Byrne and Doug Ashdown.

Louie Shelton on a 1952 Fender Telecaster.

Inducted into the Nashville Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007, the Who’s Who of artists whose singles and albums Louie produced and/or played on includes Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, Boz Scaggs, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Carpenters, Ella Fitzgerald, John Lennon, Joe Cocker, Simon & Garfunkel, Whitney Houston, Kenny Rogers, Joe Cocker, The Monkees, The Jackson 5, The Mamas and The Papas, Seals and Crofts, Diana Ross, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jnr, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder…to name but a few!!       

At various times across the night, those guitars screamed, squealed and wept in combinations of two, three and four.

Four powerhouse players trading licks, sharing lead duties and delivering soaring solos; each in their own distinctive sound and style.

And alongside them, providing the oxygen that kept that heart pumping, were…

John Whyte on piano and electronic keyboard.

Chris Pearson on a 1972 Fender Precision electric bass.

Mr. Super-Cool, James Sandon – on tenor sax and drums.

Shufflin’ Joe Delalande on drums.

And harmonica player, Mark Doherty, who regularly stepped up out of the audience, with his little silver case of blues harps.

Aaron started the gig on the drum kit, and with his distinctive deep and bluesy voice, provided most of the night’s lead vocals.

Kirk was lead vocal at times. And there were several great Aaron-Kirk duets.

So, if you weren’t in the house tonight, you missed a big, roaring Blues Train which rumbled, rolled and wailed through the Brisbane Jazz Club, in three-four time…carrying the music of Blues luminaries such as Robert Johnson, Son House, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker,  Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter,  Robben Ford and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

And at the end of a memorable night of homage to those masters, the band sent us home with a smokin’ encore of the classic, Kansas City. Ears ringing. Bodies vibrating. Hearts burning. Souls on fire. Wanting more!!

Thanks again guys. All nine of you!!

Alan Smith

Brisbane Jazz Club