Leonid & Friends

DGS49

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A year or so ago I noticed a music video on youtube that intrigued me - an old Chicago song that was being "covered" by a band from Russia. It was spectacular. They had perfectly replicated (at least to my ear) every element of the original studio recording. The youtube video was a video of the song being recorded in their studio in Russia, and they were obviously having a blast. Every one of the singers and other musicians was fabulous. Just like the band, Chicago, only more so.

This is a phenomenon that I hadn't heard of before; It's a "tribute" band. Everything is just covers of popular Chicago music. Apparently, the band, Chicago, likes them too, because there are links to the youtube videos on the Chicago website.

It turns out, the leader of this band - a guy nearing retirement - just decided to replicate a Chicago song with musicians he knew in Russia. Not having any sheet music, he just listened to the recordings over and over , picking out the different instruments and voices, and writing them down for his project. The result is, like I said, more like Chicago than Chicago.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Youtube videos they took the project forward and have recorded a whole album of Chicago's music, with great success.

Parenthetically, I am very curious about how this is worked out from an intellectual property standpoint. I assume that one way or another, they are paying royalties to Chicago, since they did some touring in the U.S. with great success. I have not read this anywhere, just an assumption.

Unfortunately, their popularity exploded at the worst imaginable time, considering the impacts of the Cajuna Virus. They had booked a huge tour last year...you can imagine how that went. Most of the musicians were doing it part time, but they had recently committed to going full time with the band. This year, they have dozens of dates booked tentatively, on the hope that it can happen.

In a 2019 interview, Leonid indicated that they were going to be branching out and recording music from other artists and groups, as well as being a little bit innovating rather than perfectly duplicating everything.

Interesting story; great music. Coincidentally, one of their dates is scheduled for a venue within a bike ride from my house, in July. I can't imagine that happening, but I might buy tickets anyway. I have linked a sample.

 

Billy_Kinetta

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Saw Chicago with the original lineup a few times. Good job without the horns.
 

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