Yoko Kanno, Steve Blum, Seatbelts join Cowboy Bebop’s ‘The Real Folk Blues’ tribute music video

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Cowboy Bebop fans have a lot to be excited about recently. Last week Seatbelts returned for a virtual session to perform “Tank!” Today, we get a tribute performance for “The Real Folk Blues” featuring Cowboy Bebop composer Yoko Kanno and Spike Spiegel’s voice actor Steve Blum.

Composer Mason Lieberman, Sunrise, and Funimation have joined forces to produce a musical collaboration for Yoko Kanno’s “The Real Folk Blues” to benefit COVID-19 relief.

Click here for the best available price for Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series Blu-ray on Amazon.

There are a lot of special guests in the music video including Yoko Kanno, The Seatbelts, Steve Blum, Beau Billingslea (voice of Jet Black), and notable members from the game and anime industry. All the proceeds from this track will be donated to the CDC Foundation and Doctors without Borders (MSF) to help with the battle against COVID-19.

“The Real Folk Blues” is a song known to many fans, and it was the main ending theme for the Cowboy Bebop series. It was produced by Yoko Kanno and performed by singer Mai Yamane and Seatbelts, a band Kanno formed to help create music for the series.

The tribute song is an extended version with many musicians, singers, and rappers, and fans can help support the COVID-19 relief by getting the song on Bandcamp. The online music store will waive its revenue share for today only. If you’re a vinyl collector, a special vinyl edition is available for pre-order on Qrates. If you want to stream the song, it’ll be available worldwide through Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music on May 8, 2020.

“This song was originally the end credit theme for Cowboy Bebop, a generation-defining anime series,” explains project organizer Mason Lieberman. “This project grew out of the goal of creating something fun and beautiful with the huge number of available musicians who have been sidelined as COVID-19 shuts down our entire industry. As it snowballed and grew, I realized we needed to use this as a valuable opportunity to give back to others and support everyone else who has been impacted by this crisis. I am greatly honored to present this smorgasbord of musical talent; many of my personal heroes are present on this release, and it is a tremendous joy to see them all working so hard for the greater good in this exceptional time of need.”

And if you missed out on last week’s Seawtbelts’ virtual session of “Tank!” you can check it out below.

Here’s the full list of special guests and musicians for “The Real Folk Blues” tribute song.

Music Direction/Arrangement – Mason Lieberman (RWBY, Beyblade Burst, Rising of the Shield Hero, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros.)

Special Guest Band – The Seatbelts

  • Trumpet – Koji Nishimura
  • Trumpet – Eric Miyashiro
  • Trombone – Yoichi Murata
  • Vocals – A-sha Mai Yamane
  • Percussion – MATARO
  • Upright Bass – Hitoshi Watanabe
  • Drums – Yasuo Sano
  • Electric Guitar – Tsuneo Imahori

And Special Guest:

Vocals – A-sha Mai Yamane

Mix / Additional Guitar – Masahiro Aoki (Mega Man, Street Fighter V, Astral Chain, and more)

Mastering Engineer – Jett Galindo (La La Land OST, Barbara Streisand, and Green Day)

Organ – Robbie Benson (Band leader of Super Soul Bros)

Keys – Ed Goldfarb (Pokémon: The Animated Series)

Guitar – David McLean (Beyblade Burst, One Minute Melee, host of Animyze)

Synth/Additional Sound Design – Jason Walsh (Overwatch Contenders, PUBG Mobile, and League of Legends)

Bass – Matthew Hines (Touring bassist with recent gigs including the Jonas Brothers, Ledisi, Summer Walker, Kiana Lede, Bazzi)

Drums – Kevin Brown (Touring drummer with recent gigs including Jason Hawk Harris, the Southern California Brass Consortium)

Saxophone – Zac Zinger (Street Fighter V, Jump Force, Mobile Suit Gundam: Side Stories)

Flute – Kevin Penkin (Made in Abyss, Rising of the Shield Hero)

Lead Vocal – Shihori (Fairy Tail, Macross Frontier, Irregular at Magic Highschool)

Lead Vocal 2 – Úyanga Bold (2020’s Mulan, League of Legends)

Lead Vocal 3 – Raj Ramayya (Lead vocals on Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Wolf’s Rain, Made in Abyss)

Backing Vocal 1 – Dale North (Composer for Dreamscaper, Wizard of Legend, Sparklite, Nintendo Minute)

Backing Vocal 2 – Dawn M. Bennett (Voice actress for anime and game series like Dragon Ball Super, Fairy Tail, RWBY, Borderlands 3)

Backing Vocal 3 – Kaitlyn Fae (Singer, actor, writer, director, co-host on the nerd video podcast, PanGeekery)

Rap 1 – Substantial (Legendary jazz-hop rapper, Nujabes’ collaborator)

Rap 2 – Mega Ran (Nerdcore rapper)

Rap 3 – Red Rapper AKA Zaid Tabani (Street Fighter, the EVO worldwide fighting tournament’s main theme, and Rooster Teeth’s Red VS. Blue)

Poem – D.B. Cooper (Voice actress and director on Hearthstone, Bioshock 2, The Amazing Spiderman 2, 2016’s Ghostbusters, DC Universe Online)

Spoken word – Beau Billingslea (Jet Black)

Ending Tag – Steve Blum (Spike Spiegel)

String Director/String Arranger/Orchestrator/Disco slide king – Lance Treviño (Film composer for titles like Beyblade Burst God, Hanazuki, Chef’s Table,)

String Copyist/Orchestrator/String Mockup – Dallas Crane (Multimedia composer and personal assistant to Austin Wintory)

Strings

  • Violins – Molly Rogers, David Morales Boroff, Felicia Rojas, Jeff Ball
  • Violas – Joe Chen, Molly Rogers Isaac Schutz, Jeff Ball
  • Cellos – Andrew Dunn, David Tangney
  • Upright Bass – Travis Kindred

Music Video – Zaid Tabani and Dallas Crane

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John Nguyen
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