Snohomish coffeeshop duo mulls future after contest

Wired! Band started out modestly. This year they claimed the top prize at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn.

Friends and longtime musicians, Kevin Sutton, 51, and Rick Jacobson, 52, used to wrap up a night of music at the Wired and Unplugged Internet Coffee Shop in Snohomish by playing a few songs.

Sutton, a guitarist by night and Mariner High School history teacher by day, and Jacobson, the drummer and a computer expert, soon added Jacobson’s son to play bass.

They became the Wired and Unplugged Internet Coffee Shop Blues Band.

“It was kind of a joke band,” Sutton said.

Still, they started picking up gigs. The younger Jacobson moved on and was replaced by Keith Bakke, a renowned local bass player who used to do gigs with LeRoy Bell.

“He’s the pro,” Sutton said. “He’s the ringer.”

Wired! Band was formed. The guys played festivals and local gigs. Then, they were encouraged to head to Memphis to compete in the annual International Blues Challenge.

Two years ago, Wired! Band was a semi-finalist.

“We set a goal at the end of that to come back in a year and do all the things right that we knew we could do right,” Sutton said.

They did, and they won.

“The nature of the contest is that it’s a beginning point,” Sutton said.

Where the band will go is hard to say. It’s unlikely the trio will quit their day jobs to pursue a life on the road.

They did win a slot playing on the Blues Cruise this fall, alongside big names such as Taj Mahal and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

For now, they’re content to keep performing for their loyal local fans, and search for where the new beginning will lead them.

“In a couple of years, maybe we’ll know, but its different for everybody,” Sutton said.

Catch Wired! Band at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Oxford Saloon in Snohomish. There’s a $5 cover.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; jholtz@heraldnet.com.

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