“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

Solemnly intoning these words, Elwood Blues and his recently paroled brother Jake set off in a decommissioned police car looking like a pair of G-men in porkpie hats rather than what they really were: a couple of down-and-out blues musicians trying to put their band back together and raise money to save the orphanage where they were raised. The Blues Brothers were on a mission from God.

Nearly 40 years after John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd created The Blues Brothers, the music and spirit of the band’s original incarnation continues to thrive. What started as two friends sharing their love of blues music led to a double platinum album and The Blues Brothers movie released in 1980. The mission continued even after Mr. Belushi’s death in 1982, with the creation of the House of Blues nightclubs, a second film, and ongoing musical performances from the Official Blues Brothers Revue, which has performed at the Vineyard’s Union Chapel and the Old Whaling Church.

Judy Belushi Pisano and John in the early days. — Peter Simon

On March 16, Mr. Aykroyd and “Blues Sister” Judy Belushi Pisano announced another leg of the mission: Blues Brothers Records, a new label dedicated to identifying, developing and recording blues artists. The imprint’s recordings will be distributed by Blue Note Records, a flagship label of Capitol Music Group. Working with Mr. Aykroyd and Ms. Belushi Pisano is Don Was, the president of Blue Note whose work with Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, B.B. King and Ziggy Marley has earned him three Grammy Awards.

In a statement released by Blue Note, Mr. Aykroyd said “Judy and I are excited to partner with the master ear for talent Don Was and Blue Note Records in fulfilling the true ‘Mission from God’—to find, develop and nurture emerging blues performers. After all, that’s where American music began in the first place and now it is in the hands of the next generation.”

Ms. Belushi Pisano, a longtime Vineyard resident, has been named creative director for the label. It’s an apt role for the woman who has been an off-stage band member from the start, when she scoured thrift shops for the black suits, skinny ties, white shirts and Wayfarer sunglasses that her late husband and Mr. Aykroyd wore for concerts taking place everywhere from basement bars to warming up Saturday Night Live audiences to opening for the Grateful Dead. She designed the band’s logo, co-authored a compendium to the first film called Blues Brothers: Private, and coaches members of the Official Blues Brothers Revue.

“A continuing thread in our Blues Brothers world is gratitude,” Ms. Belushi Pisano said in an interview with the Gazette. Blues Brothers Records continues the work begun in 1988 when Mr. Aykroyd and Ms. Belushi Pisano were among the founding co-chairmen of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, whose mission includes providing financial and legal assistance and performance opportunities for musicians.

Ms. Belushi Pisano and Don Was, president of Blue Note Records work out the deal. — Courtesy Judy Belushi Pisano

“From the beginning, when we were forming the band, John and Dan approached it respectfully,” Ms. Belushi Pisano said. “When we did the album for the film, Atlantic Records had suggested that we call people whose songs we wanted to record and say ‘we’re thinking of putting your song on our album and we’d like half the publishing.’ John and Danny didn’t want to do that. They said, ‘they wrote the songs. We’re gonna sing ‘em. And they should have the money.’”

Ms. Belushi Pisano is also proud of what the Blues Brothers have accomplished in reviving the careers of older musicians. R&B legends James Brown and Ray Charles, both of whom performed in the first Blues Brothers film, were vocal about how that the movie reignited their careers. There was also a ripple effect of mainstream interest in the blues when The Blues Brothers remake of Soul Man by Sam & Dave sold more than three million copies. Ms. Belushi Pisano remembered speaking with “Queen of the Blues” Koko Taylor, who said that her world turned around after the film’s release. Although she wasn’t in it, the popularity of blues music made it possible for Ms. Taylor to support herself again.

Blues Brothers Records is casting a wide net in its search to identify talented musicians for its recordings. The label has an open submissions policy; anyone can submit his/her music for consideration. Ms. Belushi Pisano also wants to acknowledge bar bands that aren’t famous but bring so much to small venues and communities.

It’s possible that Blues Brothers Records will revisit old friends and support artists who Ms. Belushi Pisano describes as older and in danger of being forgotten. She sounds exuberant in talking about the talents of 85-year old Matt “Guitar” Murphy, an original member of the Blues Brothers Band who as recently as two years ago played Madison Square Garden as part of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival.

“There’s no age limit to music,” Ms. Belushi Pisano said. “You play as long as you can play, and most people do. We’d like to showcase that and of course the young talent that will help keep the music alive. We’ll bring in new influences and new sounds. We’re just a small label but we hope it can have a positive influence in this world and keep the sounds going.”

Blues Brothers Records is accepting audio and video links at submissions@BluesBrotherRecords.com.