Their fan base throughout the school grew quickly and carried particularly strong in close friend John D'Amico, who would sit in on practices and watch videos of the duo's performances in awe. Since John had a knack for music, he was often looked to as a performance coach at rehearsals and shows. John, inspired by the act, picked up a harmonica and began to teach himself to play. By the end of 1997, John joined BBNG on stage and became a fully-fledged member of the band as “Brother Zee Blues” (pictured above, left), Jim Belushi's real world counterpart.
For the first years of the threesome act, BBNG were mainly performing at school and town events. Many shows followed, adding different towns, weddings and fairs. Eventually the boys got older, and the novelty of watching them sing to a record/CD got stale. Fed up with the lip-sync accusations and the emptiness on stage behind them, John posted a want ad in search of a back-up band that would be experienced enough to be able to work the "paying gig circuit.”
After several months, BBNG was contacted by a bass player and a keyboard player, who wanted more than a band; what they wanted was a full-blown “show.” Next their current drummer and a lead guitar player completed the original 7-member line-up, known as “Soulhouse 7.” This broke the show up to a two stage set up. Soulhouse 7 would open, in plain clothes as a classic rock cover band, then the three boys would change off stage, and return for a Blues Brothers main event.
The band decided after a couple years to add a live horn section (sax, trumpet and trombone), and after several personnel changes, the band dropped the “Soulhouse 7” name and returned primary focus to BBNG.