Deacon Blues was born in the twelfth year of the 21st century. Eleven stellar musicians, composers and educators based in Chicago, they share a unique passion for the Becker/Fagenrepository, better known to the world as Steely Dan.
The genesis of Deacon Blues began when Steve Kikoen, Jon Hey, and Cash Michaels formed an original jazz/rock collective known as Bebop Daddys. The Daddys also featured the renowned rhythm section of Tom Mendel (bass–Hamilton) and Tom Hipskind(drums–Hamilton). Considered a Daddys fan, Donald Fagen can be seen in many a YouTube video sporting his Bebop Daddys “Tee.”
Steve, Jon and Cash formed a bond within the Daddys which has followed them into Deacon Blues. Under Steve’s leadership, and with the addition of newest “Deacon” Thomas Linsk, the group reads as a "who's who" of world-class musicians. Chicago luminaries and Grammy® winners such as Howard Levy (Kenny Loggins, Paul Simon, Béla Fleck), Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny, Wertico, Cain, & Gray); Wally Hustin (Phoebe Snow, Dave Mason, Mark Stern, David Benoit), Chuck Webb (Aretha Franklin, Ramsey Lewis, & Al Di Meola); Sugar Blue (The Rolling Stones); Billy Branch (The Sons of Blues); Khari Parker (George Benson, Destiny’s Child); Richard Patterson (Miles Davis, Boz Skaggs), and Bob Lizik (The Beach Boys; Brian Wilson) have been featured as special guests with the band. Recently, original Dan session musician and legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie appeared with Deacon Blues at one of their sold-out Arcada Theatre shows. The band also plans on featuring famed bassist and producer Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny, The Impossible Gentlemen) and prolific drum legend Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius) at future shows as well.
This stunning collective is essentially the personification of what The Dan did on record. Steely Dan is well known for attracting only the top studio musicians in the world for their albums. The Deacons are doing what The Dan did on record – but they’re doing it live on stage. Speaking of “The Deacons” – that is actually the moniker of Deacon Blues’ alter ego – their original band. With support from legendary Chicago FM radio station personalities such as Bob Stroud (WDRV–The Drive), Richard Milne & Terri Hemmert (WXRT–Chicago’s Finest Rock) and Scott Mackay (WERV–The River) as well as WGN Television, The Deacons will be debuting their first album of original music, in a similar musical landscape as ‘The Dan,’ in 2017.
Deacon Blues has structured their live repertoire to encompass a wider range of the Dan's prolific material - including rarities as well as repertoire from the Dan’s 1991 reunion prototype — The New York Rock & Soul Revue. Deacon Blues has consistently played to sold-out audiences, and has appeared on regional and national television. As the song goes . . .“Close your eyes, and you'll be there.”