By Joshua Mellin | November 10th, 2011
Last time we checked in with J.C. Brooks & The Uptown sound, they were hosting a sweaty dance party at the Hideout. In the year since, they’ve steadily gained momentum. They spent the winter performing in the musical Passing Strange, and joined Wilco, performing at their Solid Sound Festival at The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Signing to Bloodshot records and emerging with a fresh album, Want More,, the band is embarking on a full tour of the U.S., looking to bring the raw sound of Chicago’s Uptown to the masses.
Debuting their new album to an excited crowd at the Double Door in Chicago, de facto master of ceremonies guitarist Billy Bungeroth had them entranced from the onset and J.C. had them dancing immediately.
Title track “Want More” and “Everything Will Be Fine” have both long been live set staples, and “I Got High” is a new personal favorite. Although their cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” complete with a dash of “Theologians” shined as usual, it was their energetic take on Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope,” complete with back up singers, that really got the party started.
The resurgence in popularity of soul music may be a response to a throwback of interesting social and political times, but there’s nothing retro about the Uptown Sound. J.C.’s live set is the furthest you can get from gimmick, these are talented musicians coming together to play music they love, and have grown considerably tighter. Reviving soul? No, JC Brooks & The Uptown sound are advancing it.
J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound upcoming tour dates:
Nov 10 – Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA
Nov 11 – The Satellite, Los Angeles, CA
Nov 12 – Soda Bar, San Diego, CA
Nov 13 – Congress Hotel, Tucson, AZ
Nov 14 – Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ
Nov 16 – The Mohawk, Austin, TX
Nov 29 – Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON
Dec 01 – Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH
Dec 02 – The Basement, Columbus, OH
Dec 04 – Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN
Dec 14 – Black Cat, Washington, DC
Dec 15 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
Dec 16 – Mercury Lounge, New York, NY