Kieron Lafferty (left) and Wayne Catania as Elwood Blues and Joliet Jake, respectively.
The latest incarnation of the long beloved Blues Brothers act is: The Official Blues Brothers Revue, a concert performed by an 8-piece band fronted by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi look- and sound-alikes. The Revue is produced by Aykroyd and Judith Belushi, wife of the late great originator of the Joliet Jake character.
Bill Girdwood serves as tour manager, music director, and front-of-house engineer for the Revue on the road. He’s mixing the Blues Brothers’ soul and blues favorites on a Roland M-480 live mixing console. In addition, the tour is carrying Roland M-48 personal mixing systems (controlled from the M-480), allowing each musician to control his or her own monitor mix from 40 channels grouped in 16 stereo pairs. As each M-48 can store up to 16 presets, the musicians can save their favorite mix settings for each song.
The Roland M-480 live mixing console
The M-48 system allows musicians to control the reverb in their monitor mix, as well as EQ and pan of each stereo group. Plus, they can organize their mixing channels the way they like; for example, a vocalist might want all drum mics to be assigned to one channel except for kick.
“These personal mixers are the whole reason we’re going in the Roland direction,” Girdwood says. “Everyone in the band has their own personal mixer. Once the console is up and running, you just leave them onstage; [the performers] are pretty much on their own, just picking up from where they left off the night before.”