You know you're not just another indie band when the mayor-elect of Chicago personally invites you to play his inauguration concert. Rahm Emanuel is one of many esteemed fans that JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound have picked up since their humble beginnings, when they were just dreaming about getting the cool kids to shake it at the Empty Bottle. Wilco's Jeff Tweedy befriended the post-punk soul group after they scored a viral hit with their amped-up re-imagining of his song "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", performing it with them at Chicago's Park West and inviting them to appear at Wilco's Solid Sound Festival alongside heavy hitters such as Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and the Band's Levon Helm. The taste-making crate diggers at the Numero Group were impressed enough by the band's take-no-prisoners live show to include them in their Eccentric Soul Revue, where they had the pleasure of collaborating with the spectacular Syl Johnson. The Uptown Sound has shared stages with a staggering array of artists, from legends like Robert Plant, Buddy Guy, and Chicago, to indie faves Peter Bjorn & John and the Dismemberment Plan, and soul stirrers Fitz & the Tantrums, Lee Fields, and Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens.
Erupting with raw emotion, JC Brooks unleashes his soulful shouts and heart wrenching falsetto over the relentless rhythm of guitarist Billy Bungeroth, drummer Kevin Marks, and bassist Ben Taylor. The Uptown Sound is a force to be reckoned with, leading the Chicago Tribune to call them "the real deal" and MOJO Magazine identifying them as "one of the hottest US soul acts", while the New York Times praised their "neo-soul glory" and the Onion AV Club declared their first album "relentlessly catchy". It's live, it's compelling, it's now, it's theatrical. So theatrical, in fact, that they were recently tapped to star in the critically-acclaimed run of the Tony Award-winning musical "Passing Strange" at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts.
Now preparing for the release of their Bloodshot Records debut, "Want More" with producer Jimmy Sutton (JD McPherson), this is a band whose time to shine has arrived. Whether they're wowing crowds in the US, Canada, or Europe, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound has toured, warred, scored, and they're not to be ignored. Bear witness, for these young men are on the move and they're ready to make you dance by any means necessary.