Callie On The Job:The Number 9 Blacktops - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Callie On The Job:The Number 9 Blacktops

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MARION -- When you think of a local business you probably think of a brick and mortar store, but there's local businesses that are also made up of strings and sticks. Callie learns what it takes to be a part of a band in this week's Callie On The Job.

It's not hillbilly and its not rock n roll. It's rockabilly, and The Number 9 Blacktops has been rocking out in southern Illinois for more than a decade.

Band founder, Jim Rotramel, says, "It's all hot rod songs. It's based off the 1950s greaser culture, so it's songs about hot rod cars, fast motorcycles, whiskey and girls, all the cool stuff."

The group has written a lot of rockabilly music. They have five original albums on the market and they've toured in 11 different countries.

"By no means are we a successful band, but we do tour a lot so there's a lot that comes with it. The marketing, the insurance, the taxes on it, the song rights, the song writing," Rotramel says.

So you might be wondering, how does one become a rockabilly musician?

"You've got to have a lot of tattoos. The most important part is looking cool so we try to focus on that and the music is way down there at the bottom of it," Rotramel jokes.

Rotramel, along with his band mates Kasey Rogers and Cody Beckman, have been playing instruments and singing for a long time. 

"We've all been musicians since we were little. We were too lazy to be playing sports so we played rock n roll instead," he said.

Since then they've traveled the world playing rockabilly music that was written in southern Illinois.

"This is fun. We love playing in a band, but it's got to be profitable, also. Support local music. I always say my favorite kind of music is local music, regardless of the genre," Rotramel said.

To learn more about The Number 9 Blacktops, visit their website.

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