Interview by Blake Maddux –
Concord, NH native and current Marblehead resident Brooks Young has been fronting his eponymous band since 2006.
Along the way, he has opened for—among others—B.B. King, Pat Benatar, Huey Lewis & the News, and The Wallflowers. This Tuesday, he will add George Thorogood (click for my 2015 Lynn Happens interview with him) to this list when he warms up the crowd for the veteran blues rocker at Lynn Auditorium.
This show will give Young the opportunity to test drive the new Brooks Young model guitar, custom-made by Marques Guitars in Manchester, NH.
The full-time musician, husband, and father of three recently spoke to Lynn Happens by phone about landing gigs, making a living, and his unlikely first-time venture in to acting.
How did you get this opening spot for George Thorogood at Lynn Auditorium?
George Thorogood and the Lynn Auditorium called up my manager and asked if we’d be interested in playing the show. They saw a bunch of the other people we’d played with throughout the year. And being local in the Salem/ Marblehead area, Lynn’s pretty close by, they thought it’d be a great match-up. They were looking for somebody who has a good fan base to play the show, you know, not somebody just to fill time. They wanted to add another big name that was somewhat local to the bill, and I’ve always wanted to play a show with George Thorogood, so I was like, “yeah, that would be great.” So the venue and George, they reached out to us and they got it all confirmed and I said I’d love to do it. It was that simple.
Who are the members of the Brooks Young Band and how long have you played with them?
The drummer is Dave Lombard, and he’s been with me almost from the beginning. … He’s on pretty much every recording. Then we have Rachel Green on bass, and she has been playing bass with me for quite a while. We took a break with her for a bit, but she’s back now. She’s on the first two albums and she’s been back in the band now for a bit. … Then I have Mike Liane. Him and I actually went to high school together. We were in guitar class together. … He’s been in the band now for a bit, and we just actually opened for Bryan Adams a couple weeks ago, and that was kind of his first show with us. I’m really just happy to have him, you know. … Then on keyboards we have Joel Morse. He’s from New Hampshire, right in the neck of the woods where I grew up, and he’s a very talented keyboard player. This will be his first show with us and I’m really excited for it.
Is music a full-time job for you?
Yeah, you know, that’s kind of what my main focus is at the moment. I record a lot so a lot of my songs get put in TV. One of my songs, “I Believe”, was actually just in a documentary for Harry Carey, who was the voice for the Chicago Cubs. One of my other songs was just actually used, believe it or not, a very ballad-ish song that’s one of our most popular songs, called “Dream Away” was just placed in WWE Monday Night Raw. So I get a lot of things like that. I’ve had song placements in other TV and movies and stuff like that.
How did you land an appearance in the Ghostbusters last year?
I got a phone call one day, and I didn’t recognize the phone number, so I didn’t answer it. … I listened to the voice mail and it says, “This is Lindsay from Ghostbusters casing. We’re curious if you would like to be in the new movie. Please give us a call back.” And I’m like, Who the hell is this? Is one of my friends playing a prank on me or something? So I call back expecting one of my buddies to answer the phone or whatever, and sure enough, it was freaking Ghostbusters, and they’re like, “This is Ghostbusters casting, and we saw your bio and your photo and we see that you’re a musician in the area. We would love for you to be part of this.” So I was like, “yeah, sure.” They wanted me to come down for two days in Boston to film in a certain scene. So I went down, I had to go to some parking lot near Logan Airport, and a tour bus came and picked some of us up. We filmed over at the Wang Theatre. … I’m myself in the movie, and if you watch the movie you can see me during the concert scene. I’m right in front of the stage in front of Kate McKinnon, and you can see me up close and personal about four times.
With all of the things that go into being a professional musician, are you able to set aside time every day to write songs?
That’s what I’m working on right now. I’ve been getting ready towards the end of summer and fall to go back in the studio to do a full album and a lot of random things pop up. We got booked to open for Bryan Adams, now George Thorogood, so I had to really sketch my time for writing. It either comes to me and sometimes it doesn’t. So I have to write when I feel like it’s the right time, I guess. But when I know that I have studio time booked, the pressure’s kind of on, and I like that. I like knowing that I have a time for the studio, ‘cause it gives me the motivation of knowing that I need to write.
George Thorogood with Brooks Young Band. Lynn Auditorium, 3 City Hall Square. Wednesday, July 26. Doors at 5:30, show at 7.