Behind practically Motown song you know, the backing band was the Funk Brothers. The surviving Funk Brothers will celebrate the impending release of the DVD version of “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” by embarking on a short North American tour tonight (April 9) in Boston. The critically acclaimed film about the history of the Funk Brothers — the Motown Records house band that played on hundreds of hits during that label’s heyday — will be released April 22 from Artisan Home Entertainment.
The group will be joined on the tour by special guests Joan Osborne, Maxi Priest, Bootsy Collins, and Darlene Love. In a unique contest, an open call will be held April 21 at Virgin Records’ Los Angeles studios, where interested parties can sing a Motown song on which the Funk Brothers played. Five finalists will be chosen to return two days later to perform their songs for the Funk Brothers and label execs, at which point a winner will be chosen and welcomed on stage later that night at the group’s show at the Wiltern Theater.
The Funk Brothers’ tour dates:
April 9: Boston (Avalon Ballroom)
April 11: New York (Hammerstein Ballroom)
April 12: Philadelphia (Keswick Theater)
April 13: Washington, D.C. (Lisner Auditorium)
April 15: Toronto (Massey Hall)
April 16: Cleveland (Playhouse Square Center — Palace Theater)
April 18: Detroit (Opera House)
April 19: Chicago (Riviera Theater)
April 20: Minneapolis (the Quest)
April 22: Oakland, Calif. (Paramount Theater)