• Bands like these live and die with their singers, and the bulky but baby-faced vocalist has all the right moves, from extemporaneous soul-shouts to Marvin Gaye-worthy crooning.

    — Riverfront Times
  • Those who have seen JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound perform usually describe their reaction in two words: blown away.

    — KDHX St. Louis
  • JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound describe themselves as a post-punk soul band, but their sound is so much more expansive than that. Uptown Sound is on par with soul musicians from the heyday of the genre’s popularity.

    — Paste Magazine
  • ...enveloping stage presence and palpable charisma.

    — Rolling Stone
  • Brooks trained as an actor, and even by soul man standards he's an outsized showman (with an equally outsized pompadour), shimmying, swiveling, sliding and jumping around the stage, his singing ranging from Otis Redding raspiness to Curtis Mayfield falsetto sweetness.

    — Chicago Tribune
  • JC Brooks looks and performs like a cross between Chuck Berry and H.R. of Bad Brains in their primes, but his skintight R&B and post-punk soul upend expectations of a retro act.

    — Washington Post
Hometown: 
Chicago, IL

In a1970 Playboy Interview, Ray Charles described soul as “people who do things from the heart.” In performance and on record, it is undeniable that JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are 100% soul and are fond of getting crowds twisting and writhing on the floor, something that’s been sorely missing from live music.

JCBUS maintains the work ethic of never just "giving a concert" but putting on a SHOW, extravaganzas packed with theatricality, tons of heart and buckets of sweat.  They just can't help it.

Formed in Chicago in 2007, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound consists of the theatrically-trained JC Brooks (lead vocals)--he's appeared in Ragtime and the Tony award-winning Passing Strange, Billy Bungeroth (guitar), who moonlights as a director at the famed Second City theater, Kevin Marks (drums, vocals), Andy Rosenstein (keys, vocals), and Ben Taylor (bass).  And, dang, when these boys get locked in, they can turn the scruddiest rock club into a revival tent.

JCBUS has toured North America and Europe, attracting an enthusiastic grassroots following while garnering the support of the likes of NPR and AAA radio with their eyeopening cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” (which they performed with Jeff Tweedy at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival in 2011--google the video, it's a riot). UK's taste-making MOJO Magazine called them “one of the hottest US soul acts right now.”

They've collaborated with soul legend Syl Johnson and were hand-picked by the New Chicago Boss Rahm Emanuel to play his inaugural party in Grant Park in 2011.

Hey man, if the Rahminator can do it, then ain't it time that you, too, found time to get down with the Uptown Sound?

 

 

Recommended if You Like: 
Otis Redding
Curtis Mayfield
Prince
The Cure
Mayer Hawthorne
JD McPherson
Janelle Monae
Charles Bradley

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