Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “I Got High” by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound from the 2011 album Want More on Bloodshot.
One of KEXP’s favorite Chicago-area exports is soul-funk quartet JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, a strong force in the current soul revival. This year saw the release of Want More, the group’s first record for renowned label Bloodshot (former home of Ryan Adams, Neko Case, and Old 97’s, among others). The album is packed full of the hits that have made the band’s concerts a raucous cacophony of heart and soul. Really, it’d be a crime to simply call their performances “concerts,” — like soul peers Fitz and the Tantrums, their sets become full-on extravaganzas packed with theatricality, tons of heart, and buckets of sweat. Of course, the band’s origins in theater don’t hurt: guitarist Billy Bungeroth directs at the famed Second City theater, while Brooks himself has received numerous accolades for his performances in Ragtime. Either way you cut it, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound are the perfect example of a band that’s translated from raw and fearsome live act to studio production flawlessly. The guitars, brass, and banging pianos on “I Got High” are all cut to perfection, and JC Brooks’ vocal tenacity is anything but restrained.
Watch the excellent video for “Everything Will Be Fine” below and catch up with the band on their website.