A Good Read, a Good Listen, and a Good Drink: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound

 

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.

In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.

 

I’ve effused about JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound’s rump-shaking soul and phenomenal live show more than once. They are just really fucking good, people! And in advance of their return … Continue reading

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound Return to Cleveland + mp3

In the time since we lost wrote about JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, you may have seen their name thrown around some more, garnering more fans with their incredible live shows, and being added to this year’s Lollapalooza lineup. And maybe you’ve become curious enough to want to experience the ass-moving power for yourself. Or, at least, you damn well should have.

But do you want more (eh? See what I did there?) to entice you? Check out the video for “Sister Ray Charles” (eh? See what they did there?) below and download the mp3.

 

 

Download: “Sister Ray Charles” – JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound

 

Now that you realize the regret that would dog you all the days of your life if you didn’t experience this fantastic band of entertainers live, mark your calendar for August 19, when JCBUS will return to the Beachland Tavern. R.A. Washington and the Family Dollar will play support (Washington was named among the most interesting people of 2012 by Cleveland Magazine) and DJ Charles McGaw will keep the sounds rolling between sets. I cannot properly express here how worth your … Continue reading

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, St. Louis, MO, 4.21.12

Nate Burrell has once again generously allowed us to feature his great photography here on NTSIB. This Record Store Day found JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound in St. Louis where they made an in-store appearance at Euclid Records, then played an intimate house party.

About the house party performance, Nate says, “It was a sweaty mess that saw an unfiltered JCB and crew pouring out energy over two air tight 45 minute sets. Although not on a stage…they performed like they were at the Apollo and had everyone in the room singing their praises by the night’s end.” (Which echoes my sentiments after seeing them play the Beachland Tavern back in November.)

Nate goes on to say, “St. Louis and KDHX helped break JCB into a wider audience, and our city shows them hella love every time they come around. And they show us love back by putting on these types of rare shows.”

Going a little experimental this time out, Nate used PX 600 Silver Shade film for Polaroid. I’m a fan of Polaroids, and I think you’ll agree that Nate caught some beautiful and dynamic shots.

 

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JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound at the Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH, 12.1.11

Hey, kids! Trying to get back on the pony after a tumultuous time, so here’s my criminally-overdue review of an incredible show.

I was in love and angry that night I headed down to the Beachland to see JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. In Cleveland, we know a lot about being in love and angry. It’s a way of life, from how we feel about our sports teams to how we feel about the way our local government treats our city to the personal stories that play out on every street, every day. And there are many ways to deal with this way of being – some constructive, some violent, some destructive in subtle ways.

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound saw to it that I worked it out through physical abandon. What I’m saying is, dudes’ll make you dance.

It’s clear from the get-go that JCBUS come with the strong intent to grab the crowd and move it. Echoing charismatic performers who have come before, the Uptown Sound started the show by playing an intstrumental groove, a little appetizer to give a taste of what was coming. Then over the boogie, keyboardist Andy Rosenstein prepped the crowd … Continue reading

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound in Cleveland TONIGHT!

 

CLE, who of you will be out at the Beachland booty-shakin’ with me tonight? JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound will be working out their soul thang in the Tavern.

 

 

You can download an mp3 of the above song from Rolling Stone.

Then get yourself to the Beachland and say hey. As always, I welcome you to buy your favorite blogger a drink.

Thu, Dec 1 | 8:30 PM (8 PM door)
JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
Aphrodite’s Hero
DJ Charles McGaw
$12.00
Tavern | All Ages

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JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound: If Life Was Easy As a Song

 

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound release their Bloodshot Records debut, Want More, today and it is a fine, fine soul album that feels and breathes and dances with a deep shimmy, not playing out as a lifeless set-piece as can easily happen when a modern band takes up a sound closely associated with an earlier era. Lyrically, it’s a relatable album that speaks in real terms instead of heart-shaped metaphors. Musically, it’s a straight-up rump-shaker of rich grooves that just seems to grow richer with each listen. And, personally, I was singing along within two or three spins of the album.

JC was kind enough to answer a few questions for us…

 

 

When and why did you start singing? How did the Uptown Sound come together?

Because my mom was always singing, I started singing around the house as a toddler. I did Chorus in elementary and middle school, and formed my first band in high school. JCBUS came together because Ben, our bassist, and I answered an ad put out by Billy, our guitarist, who was looking to make aggressive dance music.

 

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(Guest) Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Nate Burrell’s Best of 2010

Regular Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog Jennifer is taking a well-deserved vacation, and NTSIB friend Nate Burrell was kind enough to contribute his favorite photos of 2010 from his own collection. In addition to being a hell of a nice guy, Nate is a great photographer, and we’re very pleased to feature him again.

The Black Keys:
To Summarize: this band kicks ass. They have since 2002, and they are finally getting their due respect on a wider scale in 2010. Their most recent release, Brothers, opened them up to popular outlets, due to its groove-thick gnarly sound and the hit single Tighten Up; but don’t be fooled- their catalogue prior to this year’s album is disgustingly good. Get learned if you haven’t already.
www.theblackkeys.com


Dan Auerbach stepping to the edge of the stage for the sold out crowd at the Pageant – St. Louis, MO.

Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three:
After successfully touring the US and the UK, as well as having been named Best New Discovery at 2010’s Newport Folk Festival, this St. Louis-based American Roots Music band is definitely a band to look for. Absolutely awesome … Continue reading