It was a night devoted to soul and funk music courtesy of Kings Go Forth and J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound. I found myself back at the Majestic this Saturday night after a long hiatus from this fun venue downtown, along with a few hundred others to listen (and dance) to the big band sounds of Motown, albeit with a 21st century crew of musicians. And fine musicians they are… both bands put on a dynamic, high-energy live act leading with Chicago’s JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. It took a couple of songs for the band (and the crowd) to warm up and get things moving, but move they did with a mix of original tunes and covers including favorites Baltimore, Tainted Love and Wilco’s I Am Trying To Break your Heart. The floor was packed by the end of their hour long set!
A break and Milwaukee’s Kings Go Forth took the stage next with their multi-generational 10 piece ensemble. Led by Black Wolf and Andy Noble (of Lotus Records peerage), the band packs a punch with two lead vocalists, bass, rhythm and horns section, percussion and drums. The song book for the evening was a mix of soul numbers, some disco and lots of fresh funk plucked from their debut full length release The Outsiders Are Back (Luaka Bop), 7″ singles I Don’t Love You No More, High on Your Love, and more. The arrangements and production quality of their shows (and the recorded material) is slick and draws from styles of the likes of The Temptations, Otis Redding and Gladys Knight and the Pips. The band’s infectious energy makes for a fun concert experience and provides a refreshing take on soul music without sounding pretentious or dated.