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Thread: Brass Transit: The Best Chicago Tribute Band, Even Better Than Current Chicago.

  1. #1

    Brass Transit: The Best Chicago Tribute Band, Even Better Than Current Chicago.

    I'm not sure if you guys talk much about tribute bands here, but in the case of Chicago, I think it's a necessary thread. Most here might acknowledge that Chicago took a bit of a dive some time before "You're the Inspiration" was released. The unfortunate loss of Terry Kath left a void in the band that was difficult to fill. When Peter Cetera left, that would have also been disappointing to those who appreciated his vocals. While Jason Scheff may be an adequate replacement, I had not found a truly "great" Peter Cetera sound-alike throughout my time researching this topic. There's no doubt Scheff is trying to mimic Cetera. Kenny Cetera, Peter's own younger brother, has some of Peter's voice in his genes, but doesn't have the fullness of the elder Cetera's voice. It has seemed that, over the past few decades, the band has slipped and become merely a shadow of its former self. I didn't think the sound of old Chicago could ever be performed again.

    That is, until I discovered a tribute band called Brass Transit. They're based in Ontario, Canada but have toured the surrounding region as well. The band consists of lead vocalist Neil Donell, a multiple-Juno Award nominee and "the most recorded voice in Canada." The band's website says he is "possessed of an uncanny ability for mimicry, and with better than four octaves at his disposal, he has, over the years, been called upon to reproduce the voices of literally hundreds of other artists."

    http://www.brasstransit.com/brass-transit-the-band.html

    The other band members have major experience in the Canadian music industry as well and have multiple Emmys and Junos to add to their repertoire. Most importantly, they might be the closest band experience right now to vintage Chicago. Donell sings Terry Kath's, Robert Lamm's, and Peter Cetera's parts, while other members contribute vocals on select songs (such as Don Breithaupt as Robert Lamm on "Wake Up Sunshine").

    Here are a couple performances. I'll let you guys be the judges:







    They may even be more authentic to old Chicago than the actual band itself right now, no offense to the band.

    I'd love to hear some thoughts!
    Last edited by WeatherWiseCDC; 05-17-2013 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Wake up sunshine and Make me smile!....r u kidding me! awesome stuff! Do they tour?

  3. #3
    Glad you enjoyed it! There's a list of tour dates on their website. They mostly tour Ontario and the surrounding American states. There are a few Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Utah, Louisiana, Carolina, and Michigan dates listed as well. Of course, I don't know if more dates will be added. They have a contact page for US and Canada bookings.

    http://www.brasstransit.com/brass-tr...our-dates.html
    Tour Dates
    Arcadia Theatre / Windber, PA
    MAR 21, 2013

    Fundraiser / Port Credit, ON
    MAR 28, 2013

    Stambaugh Theatre / Youngstown, OH
    APR 14, 2013

    Landis Theater / Vineland, NJ
    MAY 11, 2013

    Hoover Auditorium / Lakeside, OH
    MAY 26, 2013

    Turning Stone Casino / Verona, NY
    JUN 21, 2013

    Mohegan Sun Casino / CT
    JUN 22, 2013

    Beaches / Toronto, ON (afternoon)
    JUL 1, 2013

    Port Credit, ON (9pm)
    JUL 1, 2013

    Bay View Music Festival / Bay View, MI
    JUL 12, 2013

    Springfield Summer Festival / Springfield, OH
    JUL 13, 2013

    Elora, ON
    JUL 19, 2013

    Draper City, Utah
    JUL 20, 2013

    Orlando, FL (Private Function)
    AUG 15, 2013

    Culver, Indiana
    SEP 26, 2013

    FMU Performing Arts Centre / Florence, SC
    SEP 28, 2013

    WCU Bardo Arts Centre / Cullowhee, NC
    SEP 29, 2013

    Strand Theatre / Shreveport, Louisiana
    FEB 14, 2014

    LMC Mendel Center / Benton Harbor, MI
    FEB 21, 2014

    Potter Center / Jackson, MI
    FEB 22, 2014

    Markham Theatre / Markham, ON
    MAR 14, 2014

    Meadowvale Theatre / Mississauga, ON
    MAR 15, 2014

    Capitol Theatre / North Bay, ON
    MAR 19, 2014

    Roxy Theatre / Owen Sound, ON
    MAR 21, 2014

    Niagara Falls / ON
    APR 14, 2014
    They have open letters of recommendation and some tremendous words of compliment posted on their media page. Several long-time members of the music industry have said great things about them:

    http://www.brasstransit.com/brass-transit-media.html
    JOE DONOFRIO - Six-time Grammy Award-winning Record Producer
    "This is not just a tribute band, it is t-h-e Chicago experience!"

    KEITH BROWN - President, Aquarius Records
    "Note for note is one thing, but Brass Transit brings the sound of Chicago's music to life!"

    RIK EMMETT - Hall-of-Fame Rock Guitarist, Founder of Triumph
    "Brass Transit presents an evening of first-rate, top-drawer, top-notch, high-class music!"

    DAVID BENDETH - Platinum-selling Record Producer, former V.P., RCA Records
    "I truly hope Chicago gets to hear this band!"
    These guys are really fantastic, and I think they deserve to be heard. They're the most authentic Chicago experience out there right now.

    You can find their set list on their main page. Who else does "Lowdown," "The Approaching Storm," and "Movin' In!"

    The Songs
    25 OR 6 TO 4
    SATURDAY IN THE PARK
    BEGINNINGS
    DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?
    MAKE ME SMILE
    COLOUR MY WORLD
    FEELIN' STRONGER EVERY DAY
    JUST YOU 'N' ME
    QUESTIONS 67 & 68
    INTRODUCTION
    OLD DAYS
    (I'VE BEEN) SEARCHIN' SO LONG
    CALL ON ME
    ANOTHER RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK CITY
    I'M A MAN
    FREE
    WAKE UP SUNSHINE
    THE APPROACHING STORM
    WISHING YOU WERE HERE
    HARD TO SAY I'M SORRY
    MOVIN' IN
    HARD HABIT TO BREAK
    DIALOGUE
    YOU'RE THE INSPIRATION
    LOWDOWN
    Last edited by WeatherWiseCDC; 05-17-2013 at 04:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Pretty good.

  5. #5
    There were tears in my eyes watching that. I got to see Chicago with Terry Kath three times, and this guy is like his reincarnation.
    Drum solos are boring!

    -- Keith Moon

  6. #6
    Let's not forget California Transit Authority with Danny Seraphine and Marc Bonilla on guitar. They don't tour much unfortunately. Their second album is now out. It's on my list. The first one was great.
    http://www.ctatheband.com/newDEV/

  7. #7
    I really enjoyed the three clips.

  8. #8
    Well, it turns out Terry Kath was actually just Peter Cetera slowed down! I suspected as much. Seriously, one guy doing both voices is pretty impressive. And the guitar player and drummer kill. Horn section- adequate. They don't quite swing like the real deal but they're good. I would for sure go see these guys... wonder if they do any cuts from VII?
    Yes, I still have an album. Yes, it's still two bucks.

    http://trurl.bandcamp.com/

    "There's only so much eating of free range mashed yeast and drinking of bottled water made from the tears of the indigenous peoples we took this land from that will forestall the inevitable"-- Micheal, YesFans.com

  9. #9
    As someone who spent his high school and college days in numerous Chicago copy bands, I can appreciate this. Fantastic job on the several clips shown. However, allow me to brag a bit and say that my bands always did the full "Ballet for a Girl in Buchanan" suite, not the "radio edit" version as shown here!
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  10. #10
    Technically they're very good, but like somone said already they don't swing. They sound too precise.

  11. #11
    It appears Neil Donell sings Robert Lamm for the most part as well. I'm not sure if that has changed since Don Breithaupt, the backup vocalist/keyboardist, performed Wake Up Sunshine in the video above. Listen to him sing "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is," "Saturday in the Park," and "Beginnings" here. Pretty darn good! Here's the short promo. Please don't mind the abrupt cuts and transitions in the promo; I guess that's the nature of a promo, haha.



    The dude's really talented. He's been recording voices for radio and has been a session musician for years. Here's a jingle demo reel to demonstrate all sorts of his voices:



    And he, the keyboardist and guitarist all performed in a James Taylor tribute band for a short time as well, although this isn't a focus for them anymore. I'll post this here, even though it doesn't really relate to Brass Transit or Chicago aside from the band members. Just to give you an idea of his vocal ability:



    I appreciate the comments, guys! It's neat to share this with you all.
    Last edited by WeatherWiseCDC; 05-17-2013 at 08:14 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by rapidfirerob View Post
    Let's not forget California Transit Authority with Danny Seraphine and Marc Bonilla on guitar. They don't tour much unfortunately. Their second album is now out. It's on my list. The first one was great.
    http://www.ctatheband.com/newDEV/
    Thanks for the info. I liked the first album and had not heard about a second one. Now I just have to find someone who sells it.
    Twenty years of schoolin' and they put you on the day shift

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    Well, it turns out Terry Kath was actually just Peter Cetera slowed down! I suspected as much. Seriously, one guy doing both voices is pretty impressive. And the guitar player and drummer kill. Horn section- adequate. They don't quite swing like the real deal but they're good. I would for sure go see these guys... wonder if they do any cuts from VII?
    The drummer is Juno Award winner, Paul DeLong, who was Kim Mitchell's drummer on his first three solo albums and ensuing tours. Paul has also worked "with such diverse artists as Tom Scott, Domenic Troiano, David Blamires, Lawrence Gowan, Carlos Del Junco, Carol Welsman, Dave Restivo, Nick "Brownman" Ali, Colm Wilkinson, Doug Riley, Hilario Duran, David Clayton-Thomas, Roger Hodgson and the Canadian Tenors."



    The guitarist is Bob McAlpine, who has worked with artists like "David Clayton-Thomas (2005-present), Roger Whittaker (2005 tour), Gowan (Strange Animal/Criminal Mind tour 1985-86), Rik Emmett, The Canadian Idol House Band, A Foot In Coldwater, Rich Little, Joan Rivers, Shirley MacLaine, and a host of R&B stars including Ben E. King, Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, the Chambers Brothers, Freda Payne and Little Anthony and the Imperials."

    http://www.brasstransit.com/brass-transit-the-band.html

    These guys are all professionals with a ton of experience.
    Last edited by WeatherWiseCDC; 05-17-2013 at 10:36 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by WeatherWiseCDC View Post
    The drummer is Juno Award winner, Paul DeLong, who was Kim Mitchell's drummer on his first three solo albums and ensuing tours.
    Ahh, I thought he looked a little familiar!
    Yes, I still have an album. Yes, it's still two bucks.

    http://trurl.bandcamp.com/

    "There's only so much eating of free range mashed yeast and drinking of bottled water made from the tears of the indigenous peoples we took this land from that will forestall the inevitable"-- Micheal, YesFans.com

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    wonder if they do any cuts from VII?
    I see "Wishing You Were Here" on the setlist, but I assume you were hoping for some of the jazzy instrumental stuff. There are many obvious tunes in the setlist (as would be expected); I only see 6-7 that I would classify as "deep cuts." Naturally as a Kath-era Chicago fanatic, I would be looking for plenty of deep cuts.
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    I see "Wishing You Were Here" on the setlist, but I assume you were hoping for some of the jazzy instrumental stuff.
    That, but also Searching So Long- that's one of my favorite tunes.
    Yes, I still have an album. Yes, it's still two bucks.

    http://trurl.bandcamp.com/

    "There's only so much eating of free range mashed yeast and drinking of bottled water made from the tears of the indigenous peoples we took this land from that will forestall the inevitable"-- Micheal, YesFans.com

  17. #17
    Wow, terriffic stuff. As someone who grew up on the early Chicago records, I can say that they certainly have the sound down pat. The vocalist is incredible, listen to the ad lib on the 3rd verse of 25 or 6 to 4, unreal. Would love to check them out live.

  18. #18
    Good to see some good words about Brass Transit. I'm a big fan after seeing their 1st ever show at the Heritage Theatre in Brampton, Ontario, a few years ago. Not mentioned so far is the bassist Jay Speciale, who provides a good chunk of back up vocals and is a long time friend of mine. Paul Delong, is also a good friend of mine and a killer drummer. I managed to get them one of their first US gigs after sending a link to the promoter at Bemus Point NY, Pops, where they were a huge success and were booked again for the following year. They play quite a few gigs around the Toronto area, however, I will be seeing them at Turning Stone Casino on June 21, and also in Toronto on July 1, which is Canada Day.

    Dave Sr.

  19. #19
    Bumping for others who might find interest.
    Last edited by WeatherWiseCDC; 05-23-2013 at 08:24 AM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by adap2it View Post
    is a long time friend of mine. Paul Delong, is also a good friend of mine and a killer drummer. I managed to get them one of their first US gigs after sending a link to the promoter at Bemus Point NY, Pops, where they were a huge success and were booked again for the following year. .

    Dave Sr.
    Oh Dave, You are such a braggard.

    But I still luv ya. See you on June 22, I presume. Druckers in Scarberia.

    D t B

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