Chicago's JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound play Kung Fu Necktie with Sunny Day in Philly on Thursday night, December 15. They'll be here for a double header with Gary Clark Jr., for a Free At Noon on Friday, December 16, 2011
XPN Artist To Watch, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are hopelessly nostalgic, in love with the Chicago soul scene from the 1970s. self-described as heavy-soul, and guitarist Billy Bungeroth explained that the group marries classic soul with contemporary sound thus: they take rock and R&B from prior to 1975, before it lost its novelty, and the then underground punk and hip-hop movements of the same period. "Our music is just re-imagining that first era with the knowledge of the second underground era," he explained in a 2009 interview, after their debut album "Beat of Our Own Drum," was released. Since then, they have collaborated with the likes of Syl Johnson, Renaldo Domino and Nate Evans from the Impressions. They've also released another album, "Want More." Their shows are outrageously fun, and it's difficult to believe that singer JC Brooks isn't a soul legend from the '70s when he belts out their danceable, lyrically packed tunes. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are reincarnating a moment in music history by breathing fresh air into it. Here's to hoping they never move on.
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound will be performing here at WXPN and World Cafe Life on December 16 at noon. Make sure to come out for a show that's sure to be as soulful as it is fresh.
And just about every listener feels the pull as keenly with the Peace Creeps on stage or through headphones. Don't miss them on the stage with Beck & Cauthen this Friday at noon.
Boasting a trio of self-produced albums under his belt, Gary Clark Jr. is a rising star of the thriving music scene in Austin, Texas. He began playing guitar at the tender young age of 12, and has since expanded his repertoire to the harmonica, bass, and drums; he's also the winner of multiple accolades, including the Austin Music Award for Best Blues Band in three separate years. But he plays more than just blues, cutting through genres to produce a stunning blend of reggae, rock and soul. Though still only in his 20s, Clark has shared the stage with legends like Jimmie Vaughan, Sheryl Crow, and Eric Clapton. And, this past summer, he played the XPoNential Music Festival (http://www.xpn.org/events/xponential-music-festival/2011/artist?artist=23). Clark can sing some sweet R&B but mostly he's a blistering blues and rock artist at heart
In Augst, he released his third offering, an EP entitled "The Bright Lights EP." The four-song collection has already gotten rave reviews, with Rolling Stone describing Clark as a mind-blowing young blues guitarist. If anything, this tantalizing release has built Clark an eager audience, excitedly anticipating a full-length.
Gary plays The Mercurry Lounge in New York City on Debember 13, 8x10 Club in Baltimore on December 16, and Red Palace in D.C. on December 17.
Gary Clark Jr. joins JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound for a free noontime concert this Friday at WXPN and World Cafe Live. There's no better way to start the weekend, especially if it's a double dose of blues and soul.
JD Souther is a veritable country-rock living legend, writing songs over his impressive career for the likes of The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne. He's on tour in support of his latest album "Natural History," and will be here for an XPN Free At Noon on December 2, along with a special set by Magnolia Memoir.
After Souther relocated to Nashville, he wrote for an even greater variety of artists--India Arie, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, and Brooks & Dunn and over time has accumulated numerous awards for hit records, Grammy nominations and gold and platinum albums. He's also a successful solo artist, releasing several charting albums in the '70s and '80s. In 2008, he released his fifth solo album. Though "If the World Was You" is undeniably Souther--hearty, solid country-rock--the years of change are evident in this collection. Now he's back with a follow-up, released just this past May.
"Natural History" is retrospective and hearty, full of a mix of obscure recordings from Souther's long history, a new song, and plenty of reclamations from his past - the Eagles with 'The Sad Cafe', 'Best Of My Love' and 'New Kid In Town', and Linda Ronstadt with 'Faithless Love' are now all Souther's again. Souther described the result as "smoky and rainy", almost like "film noir", full of occasionally jazzy acoustics and his sophisticated vocals.
Don't miss JD Souther at this Free at Noon, as he brings some truly inspired country rock to the World Cafe stage. There's not a better way to start the weekend!
And, be sure to catch him for a full show on Saturday night, December 3 at Sellersville Theater.
Magnolia Memoir brings the sultry danceability of jazz to contemporary rock. Self-described as "Billie Holiday meets the Killers with a dash of the Clash," LA-based Magnolia Memoir is making waves. Vocalist and songwriter Mela Lee boasts a five-octave range and a girlishly sweet voice, which has been featured in numerous movies, television shows and commercials. With Alexander Burke as music director and keyboardist, bassist Gordon Bash, guitarist Aron Forbes and Matt Lucich on drums, the ensemble will be doing a special acoustic set opening for J.D Souther this week's Free at Noon show. They are currently touring their EP "What's A Good Girl Do?" and their debut album "The Perfect Crime" will be released on eOne Music Group in February.