The Legendary J.C.s

Few frontmen are as wildly energetic as the Legendary J.C.s' Eugene Snowden. Backed by a fierce, taut eight-piece, he adroitly re-creates the soul-revue sensations of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Snowden brings his own endearing quirks to the indelible personas created by such greats as James Brown and Al Green, two men with whom he has shared a stage over the years. The Legendary J.C.s' (it stands for Joint Chiefs) songs are mostly originals Snowdens wrote or cowrote. Lyrically, each has a timeless quality that speaks to universal themes of love, loss, and redemption. The greasy grooves are time-honored, goosed by punchy horns, and put across with maximum verve.

Snowden cofounded the tight-knit, multinational, interracial ensemble about a decade ago in Orlando. The common thread that unites the J.C.s — a rather disparate group of men ranging in age from mid-20s to mid-40s — is a love and understanding of old-school R&B. It's that adoration and respect for the Southern, blues-based heritage that invigorates Snowden. "The music itself gets me juiced," he says. "And keeping the music alive is enough of an impetus to keep me rocking and rolling and loving it."

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Wade Tatangelo