Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, July 24

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Album Tue Oct 25 2011

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound's Latest A Testament to the Rise of Neo Soul Rock


It's all been many years coming for Chicago group JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. With national acts like The Dap Kings and Black Joe Lewis creating a real market for classic soul with a Millennial twist, the time is certainly right for Brooks and his talented company of musicians to make a big splash with their latest album Want More. Officially out today on Bloodshot Records, Want More is a hip-shaking romp through classic soul covers, homages, and original tunes that keep you, yes, very much, wanting more.

These guys have done a lot over the last few years. Besides garnering thousands of downloads from local fans for their peppy version of Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" (a cover that could have bit them in the ass something fierce if they'd failed to win over Wilco's Jeff Tweedy), the group gained attention from a national audience hungry for Wilco tunes. A broader crowd of listeners could now certainly see the influence of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke on the group's sound, which only gained them street cred as a band who certainly wasn't using this popular cover song as a one off.

After years of honing their sound with tracks and live shows (including a fantastic set at Gapers Block's seventh anniversary party at the Metro) the band found a great setting this past spring to showcase their talents in live theater. Performing a demanding role as not only an orchestra for Passing Strange, Brooks himself filled in a key role as narrator for the production. (Read our review.) Not too long after, the group had joined the ranks of Chicago label Bloodshot Records and Want More was poised for release.

Truly, the album showcases the range of what JCBUS can do. There are James Brown-ian screams of delight and musical interludes featuring the top notch Uptown Sound musicians Billy Bungeroth (guitar, vocals), Kevin Marks (drums, vocals), Andy Rosenstein (keys, vocals), Ben Taylor (bass, vocals). Songs like the title track "Want More" will prove to not only be great for fighting off road rage while stuck in Chicago-area traffic snarls (I've seen to that, personally) but also will be great in a live setting. The covers of "To Love Someone (Who Don't Love You)" and the Wilco track are both solid, and make you see that this band isn't just there to rehash old tunes. JCBUS makes these tracks their own. With a catalog of covers that could stretch back into the less-known Stax, Chess, Vee-Jay, and Okeh Records' archives, and any number of current influences, I can't wait to see what the band starts to dive into as they tour up this album. They've already proven they're not a simple soul revue, so as they move forward, it's going to be electric seeing how they step it up.

[mp3] - JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound - "Everything Will Be Fine" from Want More

Catch JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound tonight at 6pm for free at a very rare in-store performance at Dusty Groove Records at 1120 N. Ashland Ave. (where you can also purchase the album, naturally).

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound celebrate their album release with a show this Friday at the Double Door, along with Chicago ginger duo White Mystery. Dancing is mandatory. The Double Door is located at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets are $10 (adv.), $12 (at door, if available), Doors 8pm, Show 9pm. 21+.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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