|The Lamont Cranston Band|
From the rural hometown settings of Hamel, Minnesota and the river banks of Minneapolis/St. Paul, the blues influence surfaced as early as the mid 1960's for what was to become "The Lamont Cranston Blues Band". By 1969, The Lamont Cranston Blues Band was well on their way to becoming the legend that it is today. You can't seem to go anywhere today from coast to coast without running into someone that has heard of the band. They are one of the founders of the Minneapolis music scene which is flourishing more than ever to this day.
From the clubs, concert halls and festivals to the auditoriums and stadiums, the Cranstons have shared the bill with Muddy Waters, Luther Allison, Albert King, Albert Collins, Jimmy Rogers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Charles Brown, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Thackery, Junior Wells, Keb Mo, Jonny Lang, Robert Cray, Son Seals, Charlie Musselwhite, Sam Lay, Earl King, Mighty Joe Young, Sugar Blue, Otis Rush, Elvin Bishop, Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts, Little Feat, Mick Fleetwood's Blue Whale featuring Ron Thompson, Delbert McClinton, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, Kim Wilson, William Clarke, Tinsley Ellis, The Climax Blues Band, Tower Of Power, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Animals II, Kansas, Yes, Jeff Healy, Wilson Pickett, Bonnie Raitt, The Blues Brothers and many many more. One of the biggest thrills was opening for The Rolling Stones on a leg of their North American tour in 1981.
Their visibility increased in the 1980's when RCA reissued the band's smash hit release "Upper Mississippi Shakedown", selling over 100,000 copies and cracking the lower reaches of the Billboard charts.
Lead singer, guitarist and harmonica giant, Pat 'Lamont' Hayes has also enjoyed his own success touring with Bonnie Raitt as a member of her band on her 1990 "Nick Of Time" tour; blowing harmonica duets with Charlie Musselwhite in Minneapolis and during a 1994 Hollywood trip after Pat received an invitation from Dan Aykroyd to be a special guest performer at a private pre-grand opening bash at Dan's new 'House Of Blues' nightclub, where he performed with Charlie and his band the first night and with The Blues Brothers band the next. Pat has been hailed by Bonnie, Dan and many others as being one of the best harmonica players around. Dan even called on the boys to play the grand opening of his new Chicago House Of Blues in November 1996, Cleveland in 2004 and Atlantic City in 2005.
The Cranston hit 'Excusez Moi, Mon Cheri' (written by Pat's brother Larry Hayes) was recorded by The Blues Brothers on the flipside of their 1979 hit "Soul Man", as well as on the soundtrack of the Tom Davis-Al Franken movie "One More Saturday Night", along with their biggest hit "Upper Mississippi Shakedown".