The first thing you notice about Jake Curtis Blue (besides his uncanny resemblance he bears to the late, great comedian, John Belushi) are his manners and mannerisms. In precisely the same way that Belushi spoke with a low, understated vocal tone when portraying Joliet “Jake” Blues in the 1980 iconic film The Blues Brothers, Jake Curtis Blue (real name: Curtis Blakenship) addresses fans, friends (and in this instance, interviewers) with a politeness rarely seen in today’s times.
Blue – based in New Castle, Indiana – makes personal appearances throughout the U.S. in the tribute persona as the ‘illegitimate son’ of John Belushi, wearing the same famed Blues Brothers attire (i.e. trademark black suit, black tie, black hat, black shoes – everything black except for the short-sleeved white shirt), and of course, those omnipresent black Raybans that became so popular after Belushi and partner Dan Akroyd (Elwood Blues) first wore them in the Blues Brothers film. He’s also the owner of a Bluesmobile that strongly resembles the 1974 Dodge Monaco used in The Blues Brothers.
All Access Magazine’s Debra Stocker recently interviewed Jake Curtis Blue (JCB).
AAM: When, and why, did you decide to to a John Belushi tribute?
JCB: In September of 1977 when I was twelve years old, a classmate dubbed me “Brother Belushi” due to my visual similarities. In October of 2012, I decided it was time to step up and begin a tribute persona to John Belushi’s character, Jake “Joliet” Blues. Hence the character I have created, Jake “Curtis” Blue as the illegitimate son, as I have a personal admiration for John Belushi’s accomplishments in theater, comedy and music.
AAM: What have you done, musically-speaking, to learn the John Belushi/Blues Brothers songbook?
JCB: I mostly sing with backing tracks of the entire Blues Brothers songbook available to me. I’m also currently rehearsing with various bands, attempting to form an authentic tribute band along the way – and also to hopefully perfect the authenticity of my performance.
AAM: Have you ever considered bringing a Dan Akroyd tribute artist into the fold, so the two of you could be The Blues Brothers?
JCB: Yes, and in fact, I am currently seeking a professional counterpart to complete the appearance.
JCB: I am currently touring various venues as the “Blues Patrol” in search of potential members for “the band” and to then submerge myself into the heart and soul of the Blues genre.
AAM: To you, what were John Belushi’s most important contributions to the music/cultural landscape?
JCB: His ability to create a character that drew fans of all ages to him, one that still endures today, more than thirty years after he departed from the Earth.
AAM: What events do you have coming up where you’ll be appearing at?
JCB: This Saturday, July 26 I’ll be appearing at the Retro Broad Street Cruisin/Car & Bike Show, in New Castle, Indiana (https://www.facebook.com/groups/251859763974/). Then at the Elvis Festival in Memphis, TN, August 10-16; the James Dean Festival in Fairmont, IN, September 25-28; and another Elvis Festival in Portage, IN, October 10-16.
AAM: Where can people find out more about Jake Curtis Blue?