Curtis J
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Curtis J

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | INDIE

Brooklyn, NY | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Rock Folk




"Yankee Racers highlight 'Duologue' with an eclectic mix of tunes and an array of regional musicians at Off Broadway"

“Their tunes weave electric guitar, piano and fat hooks as the vocals conjure folk-punk and bluesy rock in one sweet, well-annunciated swoop. Their shows are an aesthetically diverse success. Yankee Racers should be proud of their song “The Note,” as it most clearly displays the band’s impressive chameleonic ability. On cuts like “Morning Train,” Brewer’s vocals are engaging…shaded histrionically sweet toward its ruby climax. Call it artful mania — as the very thing that makes Yankee Racers such an amazing group”

Will Kyle, KDHX -

"Yankee Racers' Curtis Brewer Proposes With Latest Music Video"

“Curtis Brewer of local folk/pop group Yankee Racers created more than just some visual stimuli to accompany “For Ever,” their song from the group’s upcoming American Music album — he created a new family. As the song ”For Ever” progresses, Brewer is joined by banjo, standup bass, cello and Jatcko’s piano, swelling to a quintet as it moves into a driving bridge/outro. In the official music video. proceedings take an extra personal turn at the 5:30 mark, as Brewer looks directly into the camera, presents a ring, and proposes in Polish. The entire affair is intimate and moving, among the most heart-on-your-sleeve moments ever captured on film.”

Daniel Hill, The Riverfront Times - The Riverfront Times

"To Europe With Love"

Curtis J is one of St. Louis' most respected guitarists. Possibly best known for his work in Kentucky Knife Fight, Curtis J has also been hard at work of late on the new release by Yankee Racers, the malleable musical collaboration with Knife Fight bandmate Nathan Jatcko. Yankee Racers is set to release their newest album, American Music., in early summer 2014. The album will feature original art and design by Budka, with special packaging editions to be released throughout the year. This record is another unusual experiment from the two-man groupthink that forged their debut release Duologue as a collaborative album, featuring 22 assorted St. Louis musicians performing material outside of their respective usual genres. For American Music., Jatcko and Brewer pushed themselves in new directions, writing without drums or electric guitars and stripping the production down to a sharp collection of American folk- and pop-inspired songs. The lyrical subject matter tackles love in America in all its forms: lost, found, and obstinately given. - Eleven Magazine

"Homespun: Yankee Racers, American Music"

“Brewer, perhaps best known as the fiery lead guitarist for the blues/noir rock band Kentucky Knife Fight (to which Jatcko also contributes), shows his deft fingerpicking and dulcet banjo plucks on American Music, Yankee Racers 2014 release. On “What It Takes” the music takes the form of a circular folk ballad, laying a simple melodic bed for Brewer’s searching lyrics and capable vocals. He sticks to the upper end of his tenor voice, as his earnestness matches his expressiveness. The twinkling waltz of “Stealing Romance,” borrows some folk-style harmony vocals and highlights Brewer’s pinpoint guitar solo.”

Christian Schaeffer, Riverfront Times - The Riverfront Times

"Curtis J's "Reverb" Is a Dedication to a Departed Friend (premiere)"

"Reverb", Curtis J's grooving new single, has been a long time coming. Before gearing up for his debut seven-inch vinyl as a solo artist, "Expectations", the artist garnered acclaim for his role as Kentucky Knife Fight's guitarist. After touring with the likes of the Old 97s, Rev. Horton Heat, and more, "Reverb" feels like the amorous blues that Curtis J has had culminating within him from the first moment he hit the stage. The consummate rocker is more confident with his delivery than ever with his new solo project, and that swagger emanates from its accompanying music video, too.

Yet, not everything has gone as planned. Curtis J's newest tune might set him on the map, but the artist isn't one to forget where he comes from or who helped raise him up to the bar he's set for himself today. This song is dedicated to the dearly departed, the artist reveals to PopMatters in a statement:

"We create, having little idea of where it will lead and how it will leave an imprint on you. The same can be said for my friendship with the recently departed St. Louis keyboardist Nathan Jatcko. He changed the way I play, write, and produce more than any musician in the history of my career. I had full intentions of releasing this video and vinyl with this true friend and 14-year collaborator, but unfortunately, I am releasing this in memory of him.

"I have demos of the first sessions where Nathan and I tried to arrange this song 'Reverb'. The remarkable thing, as with everything he contributed to, was that his time was impeccable, and his first ideas felt like the final product.

"Nathan and I knocked the studio recording out in one day, but like artists of any medium, the result is the product of years of practice and experience. What we were most excited about is that this was just the beginning of where we were going. Though I will walk these subsequent steps without him by my side, I gained so much confidence and love of creating music through of our collaboration that his influence will be embedded and audible in the music to come.

"The video was directed and shot by videographer Brian McClelland of Blip Blap Video (videographer for Kristeen Young, Bottle Rockets, Beth Bombarra). It was shot in the streets of New York and with our trio, the Curtis J Social, in a legendary Manhattan studio noted for hosting the Ramones, Madonna, and Billy Idol. He is the best independent creator we could have worked with and we are in pre-production for the next video (to be released in early spring). He's incredible and so focused, yet relaxed. The whole experience was like having a conversation over coffee with a friend." - PopMatters


2018 - Curtis J "Expectations" 7-inch Vinyl

"Expectations" is the debut 7" vinyl record from New York groove-rock musician Curtis J. This new recording (released on Friday, February 2nd 2018) features his two singles "Alone & Mistaken" and "Reverb.” PopMatters debuted the music video for the Side B single saying..."His song, "Reverb," feels like the amorous blues that Curtis J has had culminating within him from the first moment he hit the stage. His newest tune might set him on the map, but the artist isn't one to forget where he comes from or who helped raise him up to the bar he's set for himself today."

On "Expectations," Curtis J has created a melancholy magic all his own, melding a dark brew of thick guitar riffs, pumping drum sounds, and moody indie-rock backdrops for these salacious stories: Side "A" being a guileless tome of loss and dejection, Side "B" unfolding the consequences of sexual depravity and manipulation. Curtis J delivers powerfully melodic performances with his 4-piece rock n' groove wrecking crew, featuring keyboardist Nathan Jatcko, Bassist Andy Hainz, and drummer Jerry Mazzuca. 



Curtis J is an American musician, songwriter, and social activist. He initially garnered acclaim as the fiery guitarist in the band Kentucky Knife Fight before migrating to New York City to form his own group. After successful US and European tours with the likes of Murder by Death, Old 97's, and Rev. Horton Heat, he developed into a polished solo performer á la "Live at Sin-é" era Jeff Buckley and dynamic band leader akin to My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. 

PopMatters says “The consummate rocker is more confident with his delivery than ever with his new solo project, and that swagger emanates.” His new collective, The Curtis J Social, performs songs that are engaging, communal, and carries his desire to bring people together through sonic events and social advocacy. 

With allusions to David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, and St. Vincent, Curtis J is a student of songwriters poised to become an instructor. His music emotes literate and introspective lyrics while tolling the lines between groove and indie rock. More Joni than Springsteen, more Byrne than Cobain, he mixes the genuine emotionality of songwriting with enough rock and roll bravado throughout to keep you guessing on what he's been listening to.  


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