Last Wednesday was one of those times when you stumble into a show you won’t soon forget. You usually stumble out, too.
As it were, we hit up the Tonic Room on Chicago’s north side to see little-known but soon-to-be-famous JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. And we couldn’t have had better timing. JC and the crew are breaking out. They’ve been on the scene just a year or so but have managed to capture soul, funk, R&B and even rock in their sound. And it’s all Chicago, as it should be. But don’t expect these cats to pull up stakes and leave if they hit it big. As guitarist Billy Bungeroth told Centerstage Chicago’s Jeff Minn:
A lot of people think Chicago is the step on the road to another destination. It’s not. Chicago is the destination. We live in the greatest city on Earth. Mind it, support it. If you dig music and you like to dance and you like heart-drenched ballads and funky post-punk workouts then there’s a dude named Mr. JC Brooks in Chicago I think you ought to go and see.
JC is a student of soul music, but he started in an indie-rock band. That should give you an idea of the versatility of the sound. Need further proof? In the video below, you’ll hear King Floyd’s “Groove me Baby,” and “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” a Wilco cover that has become JC’s most popular song.
It was a good night for Chicago music – a rising star with soul, in a small venue with an eclectic crowd.
These guys can bring it.
Below is some video from the show at the Tonic Room. Watch it. Also check out this photo gallery from Wednesday night.