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South Miami, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

South Miami, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Blues Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"the Blues Brothers of Miami"

Authentic and original blues and oogie are about as plentiful in South Florida as fans of Dick Cheney are in the Oval Office. Sure, there's the occasional cover band that emulates the tried and true, but as far as a band that bases itself in the blues and serves up original material... Well, it suffices to say they are few and far between.

All of which makes Miami's Juke especially enticing. The three-year-old Miami band is helmed by singer, harpist, and local club promoter Eric Garcia, along with drummer Ulysses Perez, with a revolving cast of drummers and bassists. Juke's current incarnation is prepping its formal studio album debut for sometime later this year. But in the interim, they're offering an opportunity to catch up with the story so far via a collection of early home demos somewhat rudely titled Lungbutter... the Basement Blues Tapes. "Lungbutter is the stuff you cough up when you're sick, and this is kind of a coughing-up of our recordings," Garcia explains. (On second thought, maybe that clarification would have been better left unsaid.)

Fortunately, the seven songs contained herein mitigate the gross-out factor. They're ignited by an unabashed bluesy bluster, echoing the kind of aggressive edge, menace, and mayhem that would likely find Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf wailing their approval.

Opening track "Burnin' Hell" provides truth in advertising, with Garcia spearheading a rousing, carousing onslaught with a fierce guttural snarl. "Mile High Freak" and "That Last One" pay heed to deliberation via sinewy rhythms and restless rumination. The sprightly back-alley shuffle of "Tiem" contrasts with the swinging tempo of "On Notice," while each song shows the band's ability to vary the template and manage the mood. Ultimately, it's that assertive stance that helps keep this Juke jumping.
- the Miami New Times

"Interview with Eric Garcia aka “Uncle Scotchy” of Juke"

Are you from Miami originally? If not when did you move here and what made you want to stay?

“I actually thought that I was 3rd generation Miami (or “Miamuh”) until I recently found out that my grandmother was from Key West, and not Miami. So I suppose I’m kind of a “Conch” too. The scientific term for what I am is “Jewban” I think. My Ma came from a nice Jewish family and went to Miami High. Then one day she buys a brand new ’66 Mustang Fastback from a handsome Cuban car salesman and here I am.

I guess growing up here was something like if “I Love Lucy” was shot on the set of “Cocaine Cowboys,” if that makes any sense. I actually have always despised Miami; even as a child I couldn’t wait to leave, and I have several times. But one thing or another keeps dragging my ass back here… If I die in Miami I’ll be so disappointed in myself.

What’s the first instrument you learned how to play? (and if it wasn’t the harmonica, then how’d you end up getting so damn good at it?)

“I played a little bass at the end of high school ’cause my best friend played guitar and we’d fuck around and try to play Metallica songs. Then, at 17, I went to the University of California at Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!) and my roommate puts on the album “Hard Again” by Muddy Waters and I heard James Cotton just blowing the fuck out of the harp. I asked my roommate, “What the hell is that?” He said, “That’s a harmonica, dumbass.” I had heard the harp before, but it never sounded like that; so I decided that I HAD to learn how to play that thing. Over the years I annoyed countless people with my practicing. I was one of those assholes who always had his harmonica with him and was always ready to jam with everyone, whether they liked it or not.

I actually had an ex-girlfriend who tried to make a rule forbidding me from playing around her. We’d fight all the time about it. I’d yell, “One day I’m gonna play this on a stage in front of people, and they are gonna pay me and they are gonna fucking love it!” She’d scream back “NEVER!!!”

So, I guess to answer your question, practice. Duh. I used to fall asleep in bed with the thing, man.”

The harmonica has always seemed to me like one of those things that’s easy to pick up but hard to master; would you agree with that?

“That is exactly the truth. I fucking despise the clown that gets up there and starts huffing on it like half a ‘tard. Learn your shit… I did… On top of that, it pisses me off even more that the crowd usually goes crazy when random, douche-singer whips it out and makes sounds like he’s sawing a cat.

On the other side of that, there is actually a large, underground faction of harmonica elitists out there. They seem not unlike the crowd that hits every Star Trek convention. They idolize ridiculously good harmonica players and argue via blogs and chat rooms about which are better and why. Chromatic players (the big harmonica with the button) despise Diatonic players (ten-holed harmonicas like the ones I play) and call them idiots. Diatonic players hate Chromatic players, saying that they are soulless snobs. It’s a huge, dorky battle that has been going on for years and I want no part of it. I don’t even much like soloing anymore. It’s more about comping and making the song as a whole sound better where it fits.

I stopped wanting to be the world’s best harmonica player many years ago.”

What came first, being a musician or being a booking agent? Which would you say gives you more ulcers?

“Ha! I became an official member of my first band in San Diego in ’94. Then I wound up befriending and recording with one of the top bands out there at the time, Superunloader. That seemed to get me a lot of cred with the music scene out there. So, I was bartending at this little dive at the time called The Dog. I told them I could get Superunloader to play and they couldn’t believe it. I was getting all the top bands in town to play this little shithole. I guess it got kind of trendy and the place was always packed. Next thing I knew, real live music venues came calling and I wound up being the booking agent for a couple of the coolest clubs in town.

Now, that sounds all cool and fun, but it’s really not. Booking bands is a much more stressful, time consuming occupation that anyone can imagine. There is little reward if everything goes great, and loads of shit on your head if you fuck up. It’s almost like being an umpire or referee in sports….no one knows your name unless you blow a call.

Being a musician isn’t really stressful as long as you are playing. It’s when you can’t get a gig or paid that is stressful. There is nothing better than being a musician and playing a good gig at a great venue. You wake up the next day after a great show, and you feel better than normal all day…then it fades again at night.

Booking bands for a club and playing music are actually two opposite acts. Someday I hope I’m in a position to make a decision between the two.

As someone who plays more of let’s say a niche style of music, what’s your experience been performing in Miami? Are there a lot of other blues-type of acts around town (I know there are a few like Big Poppa E for example)? Any other local bands you’d recommend for people who dig your sound?

First of all, I hate traditional blues bands today. They are so stereotypical, boring, and hinder the evolution of the genre. “Blues” is a really cool, important music. But what the great guys did, they did. That being said, Poppa E is awesome. He’s got his own style and trancey-groove thing goin that I can always chill to. King Bee is a great band. They are finally recording again and have a new singer. I think they are searching for a newer identity and when they find it, it’s gonna really turn heads.

The Deaf Poets are kind of cool, but they take themselves entirely too seriously. I get early Black Keys in skinny pants with hipster attitude kind of vibe. Good luck to them. Looks like they’re doing pretty well.

I like Ketchy Shuby and dig what they are trying to do.

Otherwise, I have a lot of local bands that I like, but no one is doing what we do. Maybe there is a reason for that, huh?

What was the hardest part of getting this album together? What would you do differently when/if you get to work on the next?

The first album, “Lungbutter –the blues basement tapes”, was released in 2008. It was all home recordings with musicians that are no longer in JUke.

This is the first time that the lineup is 100% solid. No subs. If one guy can’t make a gig, we don’t play. Evan Lamb, the guitarist/background vocalist, is great at arranging and organizing what’s going on so I can do my thing. He really runs the show. I’m really the only “untrained” musician in the band. Evan, Brian Lange (drums) and Taylor Byrd (bass) are all badass musicians and I’m crazy-lucky to have them.

As far as “Down Low Cool”, it was really a rush-job cause we wanted to have something that represented us when we found out we’d be playing at Wanee (festival) last month. I really like the songs we put out, but we would love more time with it. We recorded the whole thing in basically a couple days and the mixing and mastering was good considering the timeframe, but should have taken more time.

I’ve got lots more songs and I’d like to record about 5 or 6 more, remix/master these 5, and put it all together in one album. The important thing at this point though, is that we have something worth listening to. We play way too many gigs and are constantly asked for CD’s, so we just wanted to make sure we had something to give. We are headed to San Diego to play some shows in the end of June and we are doing a tour to Texas and back in September. If we didn’t have a disk, we’d be just a pack of 4 dummies on the road.

Would you say blues and dive bars go hand in hand? What’s your favorite place to go be in the audience when you’re not on stage?

Man, I used to be so fascinated with dive bars. I loved them and could hit one every night. But I’m not a young man anymore, and nothing good generally happens at 3:30 am when you are arguing the Rolling Stones vs. Led Zeppelin with a stranger at the Seven Seas. To be honest, I dig a night a week with a bottle of whisky and music at home. I get to hear the music I like, ya know.

I do like to go to The Stage to see bands. Not just because I work there and booked the band, but it’s a great place to see a show. As I explained before, booking bands isn’t the most awesome job in the world. So if the venue doesn’t excite me, I simply wouldn’t do it.

What’s the story behind you sometimes used moniker Uncle Scotchy?

“Ha, I was just basically looking for a name for my one-man-band thing that I do…. most one-man-bands have cool little names and kind of a shtick. I mean, if you didn’t know me and opened the paper to see what was going on, you could see “Eric Garcia” performing at one place, or “Uncle Scotchy” at the other… Which one do you think most would pick? I even made a fake bio for Uncle Scotchy on my band page on Myspace and Reverbnation… It’s just a great name and it stuck, like great names tend to… I think my propensity for drinking scotch whiskey doesn’t hurt, and the fact that i’m older than the guys in JUke and always pretty much handle shit, like an uncle might.”
Tell me a little about the inspiration behind the album cover and I believe one of the tracks?

Ah, you speak of Down Low Cool and my girlfriend, Valerie, on the cover. First of all, I certainly didn’t want my mug on the cover. I hate artists that just put a big pic of themselves on a record. Isn’t it self-promoting and revealing of one’s self enough to have people listen to songs that you played and wrote yourself? Why not just put the word, “Me!!!” on the cover? Valerie happens to have some modeling experience and is very pretty. “Too pretty” according to the photographer, Greg Gibbs. I wanted kind of a trashy, old-school, Blue Note Records feel to the cover. The jackalope on the wall really brings it all together, I think.

As far as the song, Down Low Cool, I wrote that in about 10 minutes with a riff I had been playing with, on the morning after a Bardot gig. I was hungover as hell, but kind of content with it. I was broke and single at the time, but it was cool. I had just played a fun gig and wasn’t concerned about the future or anything other than what I was gonna drink later that night… That’s Down Low Cool.

I know you guys play a lot of music festivals as well, how is that different from playing at a regular venue and do you prefer one over the other?

Wanee really opened my eyes and confirmed the opinion that I had that as far as JUke being a legitimate festival act. We feed off the crowd a lot, so when I see all those eyes locked into us I go nutz. For days after that show, people were stopping Evan and I at Wanee and taking pictures with us, asking about some of the songs…. These people were there for the goddamn MUSIC. Not to get laid or to front in any way.

I’m sure that if we played only festivals, I’d miss playing bars. But I really trip on the collective energy of festivals.

Anything you want to talk about coming down the pipeline for Eric Garcia and/or Juke?

“We finally have some momentum and the CD release looks really cool. I know that Miami is the absolute worst place for JUke to be at. On the other hand, I guess we don’t have a lot of competition. As long as we keep getting out of town and working I’m not too worried about it.

I’m not in this to get rich or famous. I’m doing it cause I have to. I have great musicians/people in my band, I adore my girlfriend, and I have plenty of gigs.

I’m down low cool, dude.” - YO miami

"Get down and dirty with the sounds of JUke"

Born in Miami, JUke represents a new class of musicians capturing the angst and rawness of a sound once lost. “If you’re over the age of 30, you’d consider us a rock band, and if you’re under 30, you’d think we’re a blues band,” says Juke’s singer/songwriter/harmonica aficionado, Eric Garcia. Also comprised of guitar maestro/vocalist, Evan Lamb, along with smooth as a cat bassist, Taylor Byrd, and voltaic drummer Brian Lange, JUke is looking to introduce music lovers to the soulful moody world of dirty blues with a twist of alternative rock.

Eric and Evan first met at Titanic Brewery & Restaurant near the University of Miami many years ago. The two realized they had the same appreciation for music, and after a few jam sessions, JUke was soon formed. After the departure of their original bassist, the band then went on to find their true sound. In 2009, they released their first album, " Lungbutter‑the Blues Basement Tapes." The album is available for download on iTunes and their site here.

2014 has been an exciting year for this soul gripping, laid-back local band as they have been playing throughout Florida. In April, the band performed at the 10th Anniversary Wanee Festival and The Downtown River Jam. A month later, they played at the Orange Blossom Jamboree where they were supported by an array of fans. Be sure to catch them this fall at the 18th Annual Magnolia Fest and Bear Creek Music & Art Festival in October and November, respectively.

As the band continues to travel around their home state, they've had the pleasure of having their fans follow them every step of the way. “We really value our followers, and we’re trying to perform at more festivals,” adds Garcia. The band understands the importance of having a relationship with their fan and frequently distributes most of their music for free. According to Garcia and Lamb, “The best fans are the ones who get free music. We make more money by giving stuff away.”

JUke is perpetuating the traditional blues genre with a feel good, nasty edge. Garcia’s lyrics reveal a sense of uneasiness that often comes with the trials and tribulations of being in love, but are coupled with a wild passion for seeking out a good time. This is exemplified in songs such as “Sande’s Song” and “Down Low Cool.” Their sound is reminiscent of the Jeff Healey Band, with a twist of Blind Boy Fuller and a hint of Sublime. - Gillian Speiser


Lungbutter - 2009
Down Low Cool - 06/01/2012



Hailing from Miami, JUke is a new breed of Post-blues and the brainchild of singer/songwriter/harmonica whiz, Eric Garcia, who was dissatisfied with most dated, non-threatening traditional blues. Eric felt the need to bring the angst and power back into the type of music that seemed to lose some of it's relevance and impact.

Teaming up with guitar phenom and singer, Evan Lamb, was the catapult that made JUke go and realize Eric's vision. The addition of powerhouse drummer, Brian Lange, and the endless grooves from bassist, Taylor Byrd, have completed the unique hybrid that has become JUke.


JUke's songwriting is one of the things that separate them from the pack. The subject matter and lyrical content has long been hailed by their fans and only adds to their legend. Couple that with their performance and musicianship, and you have a band you can learn to love.


JUke's  first  album, " Lungbutter‑the  Blues Basement Tapes"  is  available  on  iTunes.

The recording of  their   sophomore   album, " Down   Low   Cool"  is out now! JUke's in-your-face live shows and stories of love, loss and pain make them the band to see!!!

Band Members