Published Mar 16, 2015After countless crazy capers, harmonica-honkin' soul man Elwood Blues (better known to the world as actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd) is settling down and starting his own record label. Fittingly, his Blues Brothers imprint comes via a distribution deal with Blue Note Records.
Billboard reports that the label was founded by Aykroyd and Judy Belushi, widow to Aykroyd's Blues Brother partner John Belushi. The label is looking to sign veteran and fledgling blues artists, who Aykroyd will promote through various ventures.
The comedian hosts the syndicated Elwood's Blues Mobile radio program, and helped found the House of Blues with Live Nation. Once the label roster is deep enough, the imprint plans to put on a revue-style tour.
On the business side of things, Blue Note president Don Was will work A&R for the new label, Judy Belushi will act as creative director, and Blues Brothers manager Eric Gardner will act in an administrator's role.
"Danny has been a beacon for decades for the blues, one of the most challenging [genres] to get into the commercial marketplace," Gardner told Billboard. "In the digital age a lot of labels don't have the wherewithal or the financing to have strong digital strategies and I think that has led to the paucity of strong blues labels. We're almost thinking of this as a public service for dedicated blues enthusiasts."
As for Aykroyd, he said he'll "lay back and suggest things and let Don do what he does best for the first year or two," but added of his own scouting skills, "I always want to find the next Gary Clark Jr."
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd developed the characters of Jake and Elwood Blues in the '70s, taking it from Saturday Night Live onto the big screen with The Blues Brothers in 1980. The pair issued an LP in 1978 titled Briefcase of Blues. Following John Belushi's death in 1982, his brother Jim has appeared onstage with Aykroyd as "Brother" Zee Blues.