Holy cow!!! You’ve got to see Sharon Jones live! All I can say is I showed up with a bad cold and by the time I left I felt great…In this day and age of performers doing the “soulful thing” (Can’t you see how I’m FEELING it by my histrionic hand and facial expressions and overwrought vibrato?) it’s hard to put in words the energy given off by Jones, who not only has something to say and really seems to need to sing it, but is clearly the real deal. While perhaps not possessing the pipes of Aretha or Patty LaBelle, Jones is more down home and totally for real. She is singing out of her own life experience and would have sounded right at home with Otis Redding on any Memphis soul record.
Jones is also one of the most magnetic performers I’ve ever seen, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her once she hits the stage. Her energy kind of reminds me of James Brown; coincidentally, they both hail from Augusta, GA and in a recent interview Jones said that her mother knew Brown. Clearly they’re both coming out of the same culture and their music reflects this.
To top it off, the Dap Kings, Jones’ back-up band is everything you could possibly want from a soul band. Funky and tight, without sounding slick (in a smooth jazz kind of way) they keep the music coming non-stop, one song segueing into another, going 30 or 40 minutes before breaking. The Dap Kings could have backed James Brown any day of the week.