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...burst onto the Minneapolis music scene in the mid-nineties with a unique sound and show that made them one of the most popular and influential musical groups of their time. Their striking sound and energy is a blend of many influences, including roots styles like jazz, blues, gospel, and reggae, but also contemporary stylings of funk, rock, dub, dance, and hip-hop.  This five-piece of multi-instrumentalists often switch instrumentation from song to song, keeping the sound and performance fresh.  With four lead-vocalist/songwriters in the group, the Chiefs developed an adventurous vocal approach with gospel-styled harmonies and arrangements that made their original songs shine.  Over their 25 years of listening and playing music together, these five childhood friends have developed a strong intuitive style of improvisation that gives their performances a fiery spontaneity and rock solid grooves. 

Since their first public appearance in June 1995, the Chiefs have steadily honed their sound, show, and songs to a point where they are one of the most exciting bands performing today. Their music and particularly their concerts uniquely combine the intensity of punk and gospel with a Midwestern authenticity that could only come from Minneapolis

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In June 1997, the SJCs released their debut CD, Mornin' Train, on their own Firetrunk Records label. Their second CD, Lost Stepchild, released in December 1998, is also available through Firetrunk/Groove Garden. Both albums were awarded "Best R&B Recording" for their respective years by the Minnesota Music Academy, beating out such acts as Prince, Next, and Greazy Meal. CDs can be ordered from this site via e-mail or found at the Electric Fetus

(Click on the Group Images for  Higher Resolution Versions )


"The Jayhawks and Soul Asylum may sell more records than the Sensational Joint Chiefs, but few current bands have done more to reshape local music than this five-piece funk band."  - Mpls Star Tribune, 6/6/97

"A word to the wise: keep a close eye on the Chiefs. During the ‘80s, The Replacements, Husker Du, and Prince defined the Minneapolis scene; the millennium’s turn may rest in the hands – uh, hips – of one of the smoothest, funkiest bands around.   - Minnesota Daily, 6/5/97

"The Sensational Joint Chiefs. Man, they only get more and more cookin’ so if you haven’t seen ‘em yet get into it and get involved… Cancel any previous plans you may have for this one."   - Pulse Magazine, 9/24/97.

"The Joint Chiefs are the acknowledged leaders of the Twin Cities’ young funk and soul underground."   - Mpls Star Tribune, 8/3/97

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vocals, trumpet, percussion

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vocals, guitar, bass

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vocals, guitar, bass, percussion

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vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards

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The SJCs are currently available to perform  for   private functions. For more info, call James at (612) 879-8676

Some Highlights
-Voted City Pages Top Ten Best New Bands for both 1996 & 1997.
-Winner of  "Best R&B Artist/Group" at  both 1998 and 1999 Minnesota Music Awards
-Debut Album,  Morinin' Train -winner "Best R&B Recording" 1998 MN Music Awards
- Second Album, Lost Stepchild, -winner "Best R&B Recording" 1999 MMA Awards and City Pages Top Ten Albums 1999
-Consistent airplay on regional radio stations
- Original SJCs music used for soundtracks in 6 independent feature films
-Numerous television and radio appearances


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