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Monday, June 9, 2008

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

By the sound of them, you would think Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings started making funk-threaded soul music together in the 1960s. Few devotedly retro acts are as convincing. Few singers as skilled as Sharon Jones at stuffing notes with ache and meaning might be willing to invest in a sound so fully occupied by the likes of Bettye LaVette and Tina Turner in the Ike years, too. But what Jones brings to the funkified table has legs of its own -- eight of them, to be exact -- and they belong to Binky Griptite, Bugaloo Velez, Homer Steinweiss, and Dave Guy -- her Dap-Kings.

Jones, like James Brown, was born in Augusta, GA; there she sang in her church choir, and from fellow parishioners picked up the kind of back-patting she needed to convince her to go mainstream. As a teenager, she moved with her family to Brooklyn, where she immersed herself in 1970s disco and funk with an eye toward cutting a record of her own. Instead, studios came calling and with them steady work -- by her twenties, Jones was turning in backup vocals for gospel, soul, disco and blues artists, most of it uncredited. In the '80s, however, Jones' sound was deemed unfashionable, and instead of pushing ahead with her soul diva's dream she went back to church singing. She also took a job as a corrections officer at New York's Rykers Island.

It wouldn't be until 1996 that Desco Records would rediscover Jones' sweat-basted, lived-in talent. With that label's house band, the Soul Providers, Jones released several singles in the late '90s; their warmth and genuineness propelled the act across the Atlantic, and Jones picked up a moniker -- the queen of funk -- that stuck. Jones released her first full-length with the Dap-Kings, Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, after signing with Daptone Records in 2002. Years of touring behind it, as well as cutting singles with other artists (including Greyboy) ensued. In 2005, Jones reteamed with the Dap-Kings for the winking groovefest that is Naturally. With it, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings proved that, no matter how late in the game, they are hell-bent on breathing life back into boiled-down funk and soul.

Dap Dippin (Daptone 2002)



It's hard to believe that Sharon Jones' debut LP is a product of the year 2002, for several reasons. Given the excellent singles she recorded for Desco beginning in the late '90s, it seems like she would have gotten the opportunity for a full-length sooner; plus, her brand of raw, heavy, hard-driving funk is such a throwback to the '70s, and she pulls it off so well, that you wonder how she could have escaped that decade without at least a few rare, classic 45s (in the vein of labelmate Lee Fields). It's not hard to believe she once made her living as a prison guard, based on the tough-as-nails, no-nonsense performances she belts out on Dap Dippin' With Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the first full-length release on Desco's descendant, Dap-Tone. Backed by the Dap-Tone house band (a conglomeration of studio pros with connections reaching back to the Desco orbit), Jones delivers a storming set of tunes that would have sounded perfectly at home on the James Brown's Original Funky Divas compilation. The style and quality are pretty consistent all the way through, but it's hard not to single out the nearly unrecognizable cover of Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done for Me Lately," which is transformed into a churning blast of funk full of biting guitars (and nary a synth or drum machine in sight). Other highlights include the chunky leadoff track, "Got a Thing on My Mind," the would-be dance-craze "The Dap Dip," the slow-burning "Make It Good to Me," and the trials-and-tribulations tale "Ain't It Hard." Plus, label head Gabriel Roth throws in his usual "authentic" trappings -- the fake live introduction running down Jones' "hits," the intentionally dated copy on the back cover -- that make the whole package even more fun. All in all, a terrific debut.

1. introduction
2. Got A Thing On My Mind
3. What Have You Done For Me Lately?
4. The Dap Dip
5. Give Me A Chance
6. Got To Be The Way It Is
7. Make It Good To Me
8. Ain't It Hard
9. Pick It Up, Lay It In The Cut
10. Casella Walk

http://rapidshare.com/files/50471257/DB1103-DapKings.rar

found on : http://deaconblues1103soul.blogspot.com


Naturally (Daptone 2005)



In a desert of computerized over-produced faux-R&B, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ "Naturally" is a cool glass of water for anyone thirsty for Real Soul and Funk Music. On this, their sophomore release on Brooklyn’s own independent Daptone Records, they have succeeded in transcending the boundaries of time to bring us face to face with the naked body of vintage Soul.

From the first track, a funk-infused shuffle, the Dap-Kings carve a deep and heavy groove which only gets deeper and heavier as the needle cuts further into the flesh of the album. Through ten solid tracks, ‘Naturally’ explores the many moods and tempos of a group that is quickly earning a reputation as one of the hottest live acts across the nation, stretching their versatility to map out the full panorama of the idiom in which they so effortlessly reside. They are able to bring us back to 1970 not with the usual bell-bottomed conventions and wah-wah clichés employed by so many retro-funk wannabe’s, but by reaching back to the original source of all that good music: sincerity, integrity, melody, and an unwavering loyalty to rhythm.

In arrangements punctuated by bold horns and tastefully accented with piano, vibes, and strings, the Dap-Kings road-tight rhythm section expertly frames the skeleton of a classic Soul album, breathing life into a body of songs penned exclusively for Sharon Jones’ unique voice. In turn, she masterfully and instinctively reaches beyond the basic melodies into her gospel-soaked roots to pour every drop of herself into each note that passes her lips, elevating the music from craft to art. With every moan she reminds us that before Whitney, Mariah, and Jay-Z, there was Tina, Aretha, and J.B.

Whether it’s the hard-hitting funk of ‘My Man Is A Mean Man’ you crave or the transporting balladeering of ‘Stranded’ or ‘All Over Again’, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ ‘Naturally’ is destined to occupy a permanent space in your heart and in your record collection.

1. How Do I Let A Good Man Down?
2. Natural Born Lover
3. Stranded In Your Love
4. My Man Is A Mean Man
5. You're Gonna Get It
6. How Long Do I Have To Wait For You
7. This Land Is Your Land
8. Your Thing Is A Drag
9. Fish In My Dish
10. All Over Again


http://rapidshare.com/files/55179922/DB1103-SharonJNat.rar

also found on : http://deaconblues1103soul.blogspot.com




100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone 2007)


After the often upbeat, always exciting sounds of 2005's Naturally, the band's next outing comes off as a slightly more tempered affair. The title track opens with an indefatigable statement of purpose, dropping into a late-stage, sub-halftime groove so Jones can fully "take [her] time" lamenting her missing man. Elsewhere, her voice effortless treads the heights and depths of its range with timeless aplomb. At times, these tracks court the uninspired flavor of the wholly derivative, but in all, 100 Days, 100 Nights makes for a very welcome addition to any avid listener's contemporary soul music library.

01. 100 Days, 100 Nights
02. Nobody's Baby
03. Tell Me
04. Be Easy
05. When the Other Foot Drops, Uncle
06. Let Them Knock
07. Something's Changed
08. Humble Me
09. Keep On Looking
10. Answer Me

http://rapidshare.com/files/60224321/SJ_DK_100_2007.rar

found on :http://letsgogetit.blogspot.com

8 comments:

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One of the best and most important soul bands in the history, I really like their style in the music, thanks!

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