Sunday, January 27, 2008

Me and Ms. Jones

Ms. Sharon Jones, teaching a young man from the audience a lil' somethin' about that ladies

I’ve been really excited to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings perform ever since I heard about their sold-out Apollo show last year. Well I got my chance to hear Ms. Jones and her band on Friday night at Walter’s, and I can say that all the hype about their live show is well-earned. From reading past show reviews, it doesn’t seem like Sharon deviates much from a basic concert itinerary; she kicks of her shoes mid-set so she can really get down and dance, she invites a pasty young lad on stage, coyly asks him if he has a girlfriend, and serenades him to the song “Be Easy” until his face turns a bright tomato color. And then there’s that rad cover of Janet Jackson's “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” that I really think should be recorded one of these days. But I didn’t mind, the set was so intimate, it seemed like Jones’ one-woman show was put on especially for us.
The Dap-Kings were on point as well, giving Sharon the room to shine while their excellent musicianship proved to be the icing on the cake. Guitarist and emcee Binky Griptite was a capable presenter (and he's also a solo artist with Daptone Records.)

When I wrote a concert preview about the show, I hastily concluded that while Jones and the Dap-Kings’ music was very much a nod to the past, it transcended novelty nostalgia and represented something very new and current. After the show and purchasing the band’s very amazing first album, Naturally, I wondered if that was true. Do we need an updated interpretation when we already have JB, Gladys, Aretha and Booker T?

We might not need it, but I’m certainly glad it’s being done. I only recently became a soul fanatic in college, and I revel in the fact that there are artists like Jones and the Dap-Kings regularly touring and bringing a renewed interest to the musical form. And while there are times when songwriter, bassist, and Daptone Records’ head honcho Boscoe Mann follows the old soul formula to an almost faulting tee

There are songs like this one, where the group gets it just right, and then some

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?

Jones and the Dap-Kings are on tour for the next couple of months, you should definitely see them if you have the chance. If you don’t, buy one or two of their records. And you can currently see Sharon Jones in the film, The Great Debaters! She has a really small part, but I liked the movie a lot so there :)

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