Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd) picks up his brother Jake (John Belushi) when he is released from prison. They return to the orphanage where they were raised and are told by Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman), that they need to raise money to pay the property taxes for the orphanage or it will be closed. While there, they also visit with Curtis the janitor (Cab Calloway), the man who inspired their love of the blues. He sends them out and they attend a church where the Reverend Cleophus James (James Brown) is preaching and Jake is inspired with an idea to raise the money for the orphanage, putting their Blues Brothers band back together for a big show. Along their journey they run into Ray (Ray Charles), Mrs. Murphy (Aretha Franklin), a Nazi (Henry Gibson), the Good Ole Boys band and their leader Tucker McElroy (Charles Napier), officer Burton Mercer (John Candy), and Jakes jilted girlfriend (Carrie Fisher). All this leads to the ultimate fundraiser and "encore".