By Jim Misunas
LARNED — It’s safe to say that Jeff Broer can pretty much handle anything thrown his way.
Whether it’s a late-minute change to a parade entry or entertaining, Broer easily shifted roles Saturday.
Pilot Lewis Young was honored during the parade at the grand marshal. Young was flown countless missions of mercy for Angel Flight Central program, which provides free transportation for those requiring medical treatment.
After the Santa Fe Trail Days parade was done, Broer joined his friend, Bill Twitchell, as they quickly started belting out original tunes in downtown Larned on their acoustic and electric guitars. Broer showed off his public announcing voice before following up with his rock and roll persona.
“I’m always looking for musicians who want to be creative,” Broer said. “I enjoy jamming with people.”
Broer goes back several decades to the time when he performed for a group, The Barons. The Frogs, and The Invaders also performed during that era.
He’s recorded dozens of songs, highlighted by “Rocking on the Santa Fe Trail,” “Pawnee County Shuffle,” “The Redneck Rap,” and the always popular “Draggin the Gut.”
He’s much rather perform an original song with unique lyrics rather than perform someone else’s work.
“It all started when someone asked if I could help,” Broer said. “If someone asks, I’m always willing to help. It makes sense to give something back to people if you’ve been provided with a gift of music.”
He’s switch from electric to acoustic guitar depending on the type of music he’s performing.
“If you’re playing some rock and roll, you’ll play electric guitar. If it’s country, then I’ll use an acoustic guitar.”
He’s a self-taught player who teaches guitar lessons free of charge to local students. He teaches the mandolin, bass and guitar.
“The first time I picked up a guitar, it inspired me,” he said.
He drew inspiration from “the Yardbirds,” and performers such as Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. Page gained fame first for “the Yardbirds,” and later when he founded “Led Zeppelin.”
Broer moved to Larned when he attended school and providing lessons is his way of giving something back.
“Everyone was always so nice to me and giving lessons is a contribution to the community,” he said. “I like it when our young people are being creative.”
Broer provided some acoustic guitar with harmonica player Jim Long during Friday’s session at the Larned Community Center.
“Everyone enjoyed themselves and had a good time,” he said. “We played some fun games, including a freeze game where we found out who had the fastest behind in Pawnee County.”