Northbrook Garage
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Northbrook Garage

Northbrook, Illinois, United States | SELF

Northbrook, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Rock




"Concert Photos: BEAT ‘N’ SOUL Night 1 with Northbrook Garage, Rivercity Tanlines and The Beatdowns at Off Broadway"

All photos by Kate McDaniel. See more at my Flickr stream. 88.1 KDHX is a media sponsor of Beat ‘n’ Soul. - KDHX

"Northbrook Garage wins first-ever Rock the Green"

Rock and blues band Northbrook Garage won the first Battle of the Northbrook Youth Bands June 10 at the Village Green. About 500 people came to watch six local bands compete at Rock the Green, an event sponsored by the Northbrook Park District, Northbrook Arts Commission and Northbrook Youth Commission.

The six bands, chosen earlier as semi-finalists, were The Beijings, Vital Autumn, Southern Fear, Northbrook Garage, The Axidents and 42.

Each band, contained at least one Northbrook resident and played for 20 minutes, while a panel of five judges ranked them according to sound quality, musical ability, originality and audience appeal. Audience members also were able to vote, and they agreed with the judges, choosing Northbrook Garage.

Northbrook Garage band members are three 13-year-old boys, Sam Harkey, Eric Doar and Eric von Holst, and 11-year old lead vocalist Elenna Sindler. The boys have been playing together for about two years. They met Sindler at a Northbrook Junior High School talent night about six weeks ago and asked her to join the group. The band gets its name from a Northbrook landmark, a family-owned auto repair garage that closed in 2008 after 165 years in business.

The first-place prize was four hours of studio recording time and a chance to perform at the Park Fest concert on June 29. The band 42 captured second place and $200 worth of musical merchandise. All the bands took home gift cards from Chipotle.

The five judges for the event were Rich Mullen, guitarist in the band Punch; Jim Konsbruck, owner of the Northwest Music School, director of the Chicago North campus of the Day Jams summer rock day camp, and a member of the music faculty of Valparaiso University; Bob Tjarks, vice-president/sales and marketing at Gand Music and Sound, director of Camp Musictech and bassist with The Kingfish; Marnie Pilgrim, lead vocalist and keyboard player of Alter Image and Chris Lundholm, lead guitarist for Versitile.

The event was held to provide a showcase as well as a competition for young bands in Northbrook. - Local Tribune

"Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Orgone Find the Soul Sweet Spot at the Pageant"

Anyone who caught Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Duck Room in 2008 -- or their appearance at the Pageant later that same year -- knows that anything can happen at their shows. Tonight's surprise was the appearance from a quartet of kids from Northbrook, Illinois, who play in a band called Northbrook Garage. Jones traded lyrics with impressive vocalist Elenna Sindler on "She Ain't a Child No More" and then ordered the Dap-Kings to surrender drums, bass and guitar to the rest of the band so they could perform the song. "The babies are bringing back soul! Ain't that something," Jones exclaimed after the rousing performance. - Riverfront Times

"Garage Band Rocks On, Does Homework"

Listening to the band Northbrook Garage is deceiving.

The bluesy guitar riffs, dynamic bass lines and steady, driving drum beats layer beneath Elenna Sindler's soulful vocals to create a mature, full-fledged sound that band members describe as "garage rock 'n' blues with a slice of indie soul."

But drop in on a rehearsal and you might hear band members complaining about some decidedly younger concerns. While rehearsing Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," drummer Eric Doar tells his colleagues, "I was just cleaning my room for two hours. That stunk."

The musicians covering Payne's 1970 song are barely teenagers. But they've been gathering major recognition, from a recent shoutout in Paste magazine to a performance at the same concert as rapper Lupe Fiasco. (Referring to their cover of "She Ain't a Child No More," Paste wrote, "Watch Northbrook Garage's version...and just try not to smile.")

It all started with a fifth-grade talent show at Greenbriar Elementary School. Friends Sam Harkey (guitar) and Eric von Holst (bass) teamed up to share their musical passion and enter the competition. The following summer, the duo became a trio when they added childhood friend Doar.

While in seventh grade at Northbrook Junior High last year, the three boys, now 13, were content to play as a threesome without a true lead singer. "Whenever we would suggest a singer to them, they would act like we weren't even in the room," said Sam's mother, Brooke Wilson.

That changed at a school talent show last April. At the "Snaps and Snacks," the boys agreed on two things: the talent show had "a silly name," and that they had to have 11-year-old Elenna as their lead singer.

The musical tastes of the band's members—ranging from classic rock to jam bands to R&B and soul--lie in stark contrast to the music being marketed to today's preteens.

"I learned a lot of music from my parents," Doar said, with a nod toward the adults at a regular practice session. The other members agreed.

"I don't really love the music today," said Harkey. "I like older music. Well, not old, but before this era."

Even the band's name pays homage to another generation. Closed in 2008 after 165 years at Shermer and Meadow, Northbrook Garage was the oldest family-run auto shop in the United States. "When it closed down," Harkey said, "we thought it'd be great to use that as our name."

The band has covered songs ranging from Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" to Sharon Jones' "She Ain't a Child No More." The latter cover earned the band a mention on record label Daptone's Facebook page and a Twitter shoutout from Sharon Jones herself, in addition to the Paste mention.

Northbrook Garage recently performed at the Merle Reskin Theatre for NBA superstar Dwayne Wade's "Chicago Has Talent Showcase." The band played to a capacity crowd on the same stage as Wade and rapper Fiasco.

"They actually listened to our music," Doar said. "It was all encouraging, they didn't say anything bad."

The junior high band members have been enjoying the limelight that comes with being rock stars. "It's really cool to walk into school and see people wearing our shirts," Elenna said.

Added von Holst, "When you play those first notes on stage and the fans start cheering, that's when you really feel like a rock star."

Behind the scenes, the parents run the show, operating the band's website, uploading videos onto Facebook and YouTube, and helping to set up gigs. And during the shows, it is the parents, rather than their children, who feel butterflies.

"Watching them play feels great, but it's also nervous and emotional," said Brian Sindler, Elenna's father. "I think the parents are five times more nervous than the kids are."

Concerts take practice, and the band members say the music is their top priority, "right below school," according to Doar. Between loads of other after-school activities, like football and hockey, the band makes time to practice at least once a week.

"You always have to sacrifice something if you really want it bad," Elenna said.

The band members fell silent, nodding in agreement with their singer's profound statement.

Then the boys started wrestling each other, snapping back to reality from rock stars to 13-year-olds. - Northbrook Patch

"Whiz Kids: Middle School Band Debuts Its First Single"

Name: Northbrook Garage (Elenna Sindler, Eric Doar, Sam Harkey and Eric von Holst)

Grade: Middle school students

School: Northbrook Junior High

Accomplishment: This band out of Northbrook just recorded its first debut single “So What”, and these junior high students are already turning heads. After covering Sharon Jones’ “You Ain’t A Child No More” the singer herself and Paste magazine gave a shout out to the band via Twitter, telling listeners to keep an eye out for this group.

Key to Awesomeness: The talented youngsters pays homage to an older generation by covering music like Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” and Freda Payne's "Band of Gold." Northbrook Garage describes their music as “real indie rock ‘n soul.” They play multiple instruments and have landed gigs around Chicago. The group even got to share the same stage as Lupe Fiasco at Dwayne Wade's "Chicago Has Talent Showcase." Not to mention the fact that one of their YouTube videos has more than 5,000 views--and that's all before high school. - Northbrook Patch

"A Few Chicago Music Bites"

The idea of 12-and-13-year-olds playing rock and roll might naturally induce a bit of skepticism, but locals Northbrook Garage are proving that tweens can make some damn fine music. Take it from Sharon Jones, who said of them: "The babies are bringing back soul! Ain't that something!" See for yourself when the band plays the Abbey tonight, March 18th. Details here. - Windy City Rocks

"Sharon Jones Performs With Middle-School Admirers"

Remember Northbrook Garage? The middle school quartet that previously covered Sharon Jones trekked five hours from Chicago to St. Louis to catch Jones and her Dap-Kings, and got more than they bargained for.

Last month, NBG performed Jones’ “She Ain’t a Child No More” at the Northbrook Days Festival in their Northbrook, Ill. hometown, which was documented in a charming YouTube video.

Jones persuaded the young group of soul-shakers to the stage to help out with the song they once covered. She traded lines with NBG’s lead singer Elenna Sindler and attempted to get the young girl to mimmic some shimmying dance moves (Sindler declined). The rest of NBG usurped their respective instruments from Dap-Kings drummer, bassist and guitarist, riding out the rest of the song.

“The babies are bringing back soul!” Jones shouted following the performance.

“We’re still speechless,” NBG tells Paste.

Watch the video below: - Paste Magazine

"Watch a Teenage Band Cover Sharon Jones' "She Ain't a Child No More""

A band of Illinois teens that call themselves Northbrook Garage have released an awesome cover of “She Ain’t a Child No More.” The song comes from Sharon Jones’ and the Dap-Kings’ excellent album from earlier this year, I Learned the Hard Way.

The quartet came together in elementary school and, according to their website, named the group in honor of the longest-running mom and pop garage in the country, which is located in their hometown.

NBG performed the song at the Northbrook Days Festival Aug. 6, along with renditions of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” at the festival. Kind of makes us wish we spent our milk-guzzling tween years rocking out as well.

Watch Northbrook Garage’s version of the song below and just try not to smile: - Paste Magazine

"Junior High rock 'n' rollers Northbrook Garage"

is a pretty ripping band. It has played with Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings. It has a sweet gig booked at a garage and soul revue coming up in St. Louis. Its singer, Elenna Sindler, can belt it out like no one’s business. Sam Harkey really wails on guitar. Oh, and the band members are totally in junior high. No big deal.
But actually, yeah, it’s a huge deal. After Harkey, bassist Eric von Holst, and drummer Eric Doar met in grammar school, they tooled around aimlessly as a three-piece rock ensemble. After meeting Sindler at a junior high talent night, the group meshed, and has been really clicking ever since, especially when staying true to its members’ musical loves—garage rock, blues, and indie soul. The A.V. Club had a very confusing conference call with the North suburban quartet to preview its opening slot at the Abbey Pub this Sunday.
The A.V. Club: How did you guys book this sweet gig at the Abbey Pub?

Eric von Holst: Sam’s dad booked it. We’re very excited.

Sam Harkey: I just hope everyone has a good time.

Eric Doar: We’re hoping to impress a lot of people and try some new things.

SH: We want to play stuff that people don’t usually hear from our age group.
ED: We want to exceed [sic], and then keep getting better. At least that’s what we hope to do.
AVC: How did you come together as a band?
SH: We just like to play more mature songs.
ED: With kids our age, it’s always about pop, rap, and hip-hop.
SH: We just try to play the actual music we grew up hearing from our parents when we were young and stuff.
ED: Yeah, we grew up with that music. I heard it from my parents and brother. I just never had a taste for hip-hop. I liked classical music.
SH: Classical, like classic rock, you mean.

AVC: How do you guys decide what songs to play?
SH: We all have individual interests, and then we just show each other stuff we like.
EVH: We mostly like the same things, though.
AVC: Like what?
ED: Eric von Holst and I like Umphrey’s McGee, Phish, String Cheese Incident, The Grateful Dead. Those are the bands that influence me a ton.
SH: I like Pink Floyd, Cream, a lot of classic rock. ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, some blues.
Elenna Sindler: I like R&B and bluesy stuff, like Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse.
EVH: I also like Paul McCartney. He’s a good bass player.

AVC: So, you guys just played with Sharon Jones in St. Louis. How did that happen? Did her label just call you guys up?

ES: Sam’s dad put the video of us covering her on YouTube, and they really liked it. Daptone put it on their site, and they thought it was great we were playing it. So they said, “Hey, come on. We’d love to meet you,” and they invited us to the show. Out of nowhere, Sharon Jones invited us on stage. We had no idea that was going to happen. We had backstage passes, too. It was awesome.
EVH: It was an amazing experience for us, playing in front of 1,500 people. It was really great.
ES: It was really great. It was just so out of the blue. It was crazy amazing. I fed off of Sharon Jones’ energy, which was very high.
SH: We can’t emphasize enough how great it was. We say it over and over again how great it was to play with The Dap-Kings.
When Binky Griptite gave me his guitar, I thought, “Oh my god, we’re going to play with them,” and I started going crazy.
AVC: Elenna, how did you get invited to join the band?
EVH: When we were watching last year’s talent night, Elenna was the first act. We didn’t know what was going to happen, but she started singing and she was amazing. We started joking around that we should ask her to join our band, but then Sam’s dad went up to her to ask if she actually did want to come try out. So, she came in for a practice.
ES: I was actually looking for a band at the time. It’s ironic. I was either thinking about starting a band or finding one. It’s fate or something.
AVC: And how old are you guys again?
ES: I’m in seventh grade, and the guys are in eighth grade.
AVC: How involved are your parents? Are they the ones running your website, Facebook, and Twitter?
EVH: Our parents are a great contribution to our band. They help a lot. They work a lot to pull stuff off, and organize all the practices and times. They support us a lot.
ES: We are very thankful and grateful to them.
AVC: Are any of your parents musical?
EVH: My dad plays oboe in two orchestras, the Evanston Symphony and the Northwestern Symphony, I think. He’s very good at oboe. He majored in music.
SH: My dad and Elenna’s dad are singer-songwriters. They used to be in bands, but now they’re just solo.
ED: My dad was in a band when I was growing up. He played rhythm guitar and sang.
AVC: How long have you all been playing?
EVH: I’ve been playing bass since third grade. I started playing standup bass in orchestra, and then I played in the fifth grade jazz band and switched to electric.
ED: I’ve been playing drums since fifth grade.
SH: I’ve been playing guitar since fifth grade, but in fourth grade I started playing trombone, and I still play that too.
AVC: Are you guys in other clubs and stuff? How often do you practice?
ES: We practice basically every week. If we have gigs coming up, we might practice a lot more, like four times a week or every other day.
ED: I’m actually at a hockey game right now, stretching while we’re talking.
EVH: Oh, who are you playing?
ED: St. Jude’s. We’re gonna kill ’em.
AVC: Have you guys been to any other concerts than Sharon Jones? Seen anything good?
ED: I’ve been to two Grateful Dead concerts and one Allman Brothers. Eric van Holst and I just went to see Umphrey’s together. [Excited “oh my god it was so good” giggling ensues.]
SH: I’ve been to Green Day, Wilco, and some others.
EVH: I went to see Tom Petty, and that Umphrey’s show.
ES: I haven’t really been to any concerts, other than Sharon Jones. Now I feel embarrassed.
AVC: Do you have any artists you’d love to play with? Are you dying to meet anyone?
SH: Almost every practice, Eric comes up with an Umphrey’s McGee or Phish song, and is like “Guys, let’s learn this. Let’s learn that.”
ES: And then Sam tries to play Cream or Led Zeppelin, just noodling around. We haven’t done those yet, though, because of me.
SH: We try to learn songs by famous artists, but songs that not many people know about. We like abstract offshoots.
ES: For me, it would be awesome if we could play with Paramore. [Sam agrees.]
ED: Who?
ES: They have a girl singer. You’ve heard them, but you just don’t know their name.
SH: For me, I would have loved to played with Nirvana. They’re one of my top five bands. I’d also like to play with Pink Floyd, Cream, or Led Zeppelin.
EVH: Umphrey’s McGee. They’re from Chicago, and I don’t know. I’ve loved them ever since they started. My brother showed them to me, and I fell in love with them. We’ve played with other famous people, though. We could play with Umphrey’s eventually. - A.V. Club


"So What" debut single (NOW available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby).



Smoky, soulful vocals. Chunky, melodic licks. Solid, barnstorming rhythm. If you heard Northbrook Garage without seeing them, you’d never guess the members are still in junior high. Their talent, arrangement style, and synergy are way beyond their years. From deep cut covers to infectious originals, the sound of Northbrook Garage is unexpectedly unique.

The guys of Northbrook Garage -- Sam Harkey, Eric Doar, and Eric von Holst -- have been honing and tightening their sound since grammar school. When they met vocalist Elenna Sindler at a junior high talent night, the band was complete. NBG has an undeniable chemistry evident both on and off the stage. That vibe translates into tight grooves and that indescribable “something special”.

2010 was a big year for Northbrook Garage—from winning a battle of the bands (just weeks after becoming a quartet) to high-profile gigs around Chicagoland and live performances at the legendary KDHX in St. Louis. So far, 2011 brought NBG in the studio, where they recorded their debut single “So What” (now on iTunes), playing the International Pop Overthrow Festival, and now performing on the upcoming Kidzapalooza stage at Lollapalooza.

Described as Soulful Americana and Rootsy Groove, NBG finds the pulse in music and expresses themselves through their eclectic sound. The result is not typical of their generation, but could just be where their generation is going. As exclaimed by Sharon Jones after inviting them onto her stage to jam with the Dap-Kings, “The babies are bringing back soul! Ain’t that something!”