What does post-punk soul look like? Six and a half feet of raw emotion and sweat, with one leather boot planted in gutsy R&B, the other in taut minimalist grind. Snarling at the crowd beneath an afro pompadour, while indulging in a sly wink, singing to you directly, and here to make you dance. What does post-punk soul look like? It looks like JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound.
JC Brooks was born the son of a Jersey funk diva, his voice erupts with heart and heartache over the ferocious rhythm and star-time charisma of guitarist Billy Bungeroth, drummer Kevin Marks, keyboardist Andy Rosenstein, and bassist Ben Taylor. With a take-no-prisoners live attack and lyrics speaking of the torment and triumph of these tumultuous times, it’s no wonder that the Chicago Tribune called JC Brooks "the real deal". This is a soul band rallying against our disaffected and disengaged era, connecting with people the old-fashioned way, by whipping them into a frenzy with honest appeal and unbridled enthusiasm.
The Uptown Sound has attracted a true-blue grassroots following, with MOJO Magazine identifying them as "one of the hottest US soul acts". Since unleashing their Bloodshot Records debut “Want More” (“A lively set of gritty old- school soul and funk injected with raw garage-rock aggression” - KEXP), they’ve barnstormed North America and Europe relentlessly, while burning up NPR and AAA radio with their stomping cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” (which they performed with the song’s composer, Jeff Tweedy, at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival).
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound have toured, warred, scored, and they're not to be ignored. Bear witness, for these young men are on the move and they know what post-punk soul looks like. It looks like the future.
The Revelations featuring Tre Williams made a name for themselves in both traditional and progressive soul circles with The Bleeding Edge, their debut album released in 2009. Now, after months in the studio and on the road, the Brooklyn-based band is back with Concrete Blues, a powerful follow-up release.
The new album is a daring hybrid of classic southern soul and modernist blues and R&B. The album’s ten new songs are divided into thematically linked “sides”. The first “side” deals primary with social issues associated with poverty, contemporary economic conditions, the prison system, etc, while the second “side” focuses on personal relationships. In addition, the album offers three bonus tracks that were included in The Bleeding Edge, in recognition of the massive regional airplay the songs garnered at Deep South soul and blues radio over the past two years.
The album was recorded in Memphis at the late Willie Mitchell’s famed Royal Studios with the full participation of Mitchell’s son Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, who co-produced the sessions with Bob Perry. The band’s core members, guitarist Wes Mingus, drummer Gintas Janusonis and vocalist Tre Williams were joined on the sessions by the Hodges Brothers whose work with Al Green is a hallmark of the Hi Records sound. Along with ‘Teenie’ Hodges (guitar) and brother Charles Hodges (organ), the sessions also drew Stax alumni James Alexander of the Bar-Kays on bass and Lester Snell of the Isaac Hayes Movement on piano. Additional sessions for Concrete Blues took place at Chopshop Studios in Brooklyn.
The Revelations are a powerful performing unit and have shared stages with, as noted, Benny Latimore as well as Bobby “Blue” Bland, Denise LaSalle, Lenny Williams, J. Blackfoot, Otis Clay, Bobby Rush, Swamp Dogg and other soul greats. They will be touring this fall and into 2012 in support of Concrete Blues.
With a sound dancing between gutbucket soul, N'awlins grit-down funk and horn fueled Motown pop, Mingo Fishtrap is an anomaly in the contemporary music scene. With each album, the group gravitates closer to the classic sounds that inspired them to learn their craft. What's old is new again; with young audiences flocking to see a live show that lays its musical roots more in 1967 than 2012. And that's just fine with bandleader Roger Blevins, Jr.
DJ Jack Dutone (Brooklyn Soul Club/Automatic Reaction)
Jack Dutone is a vinyl slingin' mad man known for his frantic mix funky soul, pounding rock n roll, raw r&b, and latin boogaloo heat. Jack is currently the resident DJ for the monthly Brooklyn Soul Club party.