THE DEMOLITION DERBY OF ROCK:
Uppertown is a Minneapolis-based rock band founded by Rob Hudson (guitar and vocals) and Becca Hudson (drums and attitude). In April 2021, Bassist Billy Dankert (Gear Daddies drummer) joined the band after a national search. “When I answered the ad, I thought they were looking for a product tester/influencer for a new line of fashion-forward men’s briefs” said Dankert. “When they said, ‘no, we’re looking for a bass player’, I was like, “Oh, Okay.”
All three are veterans of the Minneapolis music scene, but this is their first musical collaboration together. Although their sound is influenced by Twin Cities punk pioneers The Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum, Uppertown draws from rock icons such as The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Social Distortion, Bob Dylan, The Cars and Talking Heads. Uppertown is heavily influenced by blues legends Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Blind Blake, Willie McTell and John Lee Hooker.
The band is named after a real neighborhood-“Uppertown” is the ‘wrong side of tracks’ or the place you avoid driving through if you don’t want eggs or garden produce peppering your car. While Uppertown the neighborhood was a very real place at a moment in time, it’s grown into a larger archetype, with which many of the have-nots in America can relate. Both Rob and Becca’s early life stories shared many common themes, the primary ones of poverty and deprivation united them and the creative outlet of music became a cathartic and healing release.
When they set their minds to start making music together, they had some decisions to make: Rob learned guitar as a teenager, and played in various garage bands throughout college and beyond. He’d played drums in school as well, but for this collaboration, it was decided he should be the ‘front man’. Following successful performances (and some failed auditions) in a few area theaters, Rob had the confidence and charisma to be front-and-center on the stage. Becca had been a musician since elementary school; playing several woodwinds throughout her school years, and picking up a guitar after college, where she occasionally performed as a solo acoustic act in coffeehouses and bars in the early 2000s. Now she wanted a new challenge; and with Rob’s tutelage and months of lessons, she could carry a beat on the drum kit they purchased on Craigslist, as they struggled to get through a cover of David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”.
Gaining confidence with live gigs in bars and on social media, they kept practicing and writing every day. Fast forward a few mere months, and the duo found themselves in a recording studio with local Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer, Kevin Bowe recording what would become eight of the 12 tracks on their debut album, “Creep’s Room”. The remaining tracks were recorded in their humble home studio with Dankert, who would go on to mix the entire album.