Known for their high energy live shows, and described as “if Otis Redding individually whipped each member of the Velvet Underground off of heroin, and transformed them into a disciplined, show-stopping Stax soul band” and “a mix of Motown and soul, mixed with a bit of Fugazi”, Chicago’s JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound have just released the limited edition 45 “I Got High” b/w “The River” on Bloodshot records. Having already shared the stage with Chicago luminaries Syl Johnson, The Impressions, The Notations, and longtime innovators of the new Funk and Soul movement Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings among others, JCB&TUS are ready to carry on the tradition of good music originating out of The Windy City. Earlier releases on Vampisoul, performances at Numero Group’s Eccentric Soul Revue (as the house band), and features on NPR, BBC 6 and the NY Times among others have solidified them as a solid, 100% Soul band. Their original “uptown sound” has landed them on stages from Lollapalooza to Chicago Mayor Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s inauguration party and many places in between. If you are not 100% in all aspects of your music, you’re not getting any of those gigs. To promote their August to October tour from New York to Denver, crossing the West Coast as well, the limited, 500 piece 7″ is now available.
“ I’m just… an individual, y’know? I get compared to Otis Redding, James Brown, and all that; one cat called me the black David Byrne. That’s cool, but dig, I make music that people have to dance to. I make music that people have to make love to. I’m sure Sam Cooke did that too, but I’ve also got some songs you could burn your house down to. Which Sam didn’t have. So we’re all individuals. Feel me? ” -JC Brooks
“I Got High” is a cross between the old sound of JJ Barnes and the newer sounds of Myron and E (Timmion) with the energy of the English Beat and raw power of The Jam thrown in for good measure. A breakup tale that results in partying rather than destruction, this upbeat side, with a groove that seems like it never ends, gives me even more hope in today’s music world. High sounds like it was recorded in the late 60’s (on the vintage equipment to get the real sound right no less) in some basement recording studio. If you didn’t know it was a Modern Soul record you wouldn’t believe it. JC Brooks hits all the high notes perfectly, and the back beat laid down perfectly by Kevin Marks, while Billy Bungeroth’s guitar and Ben Taylors bass go hard as Andy Rosenstein’s keys get the job done too. “I Got High” is a A Post Punk pervaded Soul future classic. The B side, “River” is a Gospel influenced slow burner that has been killing audiences during their live shows. Brooks (a trained actor), may say he is just playing the part of a Soul singer, but I call bullshit. This guy is the real deal (and he’s got the genes to prove it). His mother was an accomplished Funk turned Disco diva from New Jersey. You don’t get compared to Sam Cooke because you’re a shitty singer and entertainer.
The band themselves describes the record: ““Despite being an uptempo dance number, I Got High, was written in that post-break up period where you’re just in a haze. It’s about making a decision to party instead of feeling bad. I think it makes for a good dancing because it’s a dance song that is aware that sometimes you hit the town to celebrate life and other times to escape it. Both are valid in my eyes. Last year while in such a haze, I spent a lot of time out on the town mostly winding up where Soul DJs were spinning vinyl so I thought it would be fitting to get a vinyl release of this song about those days.”
Spoken from the heart, this 7″ is another under the radar winner.
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound – I Got High
Buy this record here.
Here more of JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound here.
Check out the remaining dates of their current tour:
8/15 Rehoboth Beach, DE at Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats
8/16 Asbury Park, NJ at Asbury Lanes
8/17 Brooklyn, NY at Brooklyn Bowl
8/18 Cockeysville, MD at Hot August Blues
8/19 Cleveland, OH at Beachland Tavern
8/24 Springfield, IL at Old Capitol Blues & BBQ
8/25 Bloomington, IL at Bloomington Center for Performing Arts
8/31 Portland, OR at Mississippi Studios
9/1 Seattle, WA at Bumbershoot
9/4-8 Las Vegas, NV at Book & Stage at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
9/9 Los Angeles, CA at The Satellite
10/10 Denver, CI at Larimer Lounge