The Blues Brokers, Part 2: A Paying Gig

November 3, 2016

Our good friend Todd Young had a big role in the evolution of the Blues Brokers as we were just getting started.  Todd was a mortgage originator for Wilson Bank & Trust in our Mt. Juliet branch, and is a very talented guitar player and singer.  Our little band had a good time playing at the bank’s annual Oktoberfest event, but I don’t think any of us had any designs of taking this thing any further…except for Todd.  It was his never-ending enthusiasm that propelled us to play more, and he landed our first travel gig.

We had played at Todd’s daughter’s wedding.  Not long after that, he came to me one day saying he had us booked for a weekend gig in Evansville, Indiana, with all expenses paid and our name on the marquee at a hotel!  It sounded great, and I could tell he was really excited, but I gently reminded Todd that we all had day jobs and families and church, among many other commitments. I told him I didn’t think we could do it.  I also reminded him that we only knew about 11 songs!  Our entire playlist lasted about 35 minutes, and this gig called for two nights of 5-hour sets.

If you know Todd, you know he won’t accept no for an answer when he has his mind set on something.  To make a long story short, we ‘learned’ (and I use that term very loosely) 30 more songs in about 10 days.  In case you’re wondering, 40 songs still doesn’t cover 5 hours, so we played some of those songs twice each night.  With limited practice, we still didn’t get them just right, but they got better every time!  I don’t think the horn players could feel their lips for several days afterward, and although we had a good time, it was a long, difficult weekend for all of us.  That probably includes the folks running the hotel, because we never were asked back.  I’m pretty sure none of us ever wanted to go back to Evansville either!  Still, we had officially become a band, and we actually got paid to play.

Nearly 10 years later, the Blues Brokers have evolved into a full 10-piece soul band.  It’s safe to say those of us who’ve been around that whole time will never forget the first (and only) time we truly took our show on the road.

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