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Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: Soul of a Woman

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Soul of a Woman
(Daptone Records)

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I first heard of Sharon Jones through a friend and knowingly nodded as he spoke of her music . I knew nothing about her and was honestly embarrassed that I  didn’t. He spoke of her and her greatness with such reverence. I promised myself as soon as I got a chance I’d get hip on something I obviously was ignorant to. For a while I never got around to it, but the time finally came.

This duo of Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings are Grammy nominated for starters. They’re a funk/ soul band, which is part of the reason why I was unfamiliar with them. Funk is a genre I’m not all that educated in, but it seems that the group was created just for me. They’re considered a revivalist group for their 1960s and 70s funk style.

The band originated in the mid 90s after Sharon Jones (corrections officer turned singer) was discovered for her vocals on a record called “SwitchBlade.” The song was initially intended for a man, but it landed Jones her second solo, “The Landlord” on the Soul Providers’ album Soul Tequila. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me and explains my friend’s reaction to us seeing her name on a poster.

Besides Sharon Jones, the amount of immense talent that makes up The Dap-Kings is mind boggling. It’s the collaborative effort of a range of musicians ranging from the saxophone players to percussionists.

Soul of a Woman is definitely funky when it comes to the production but Jones’ super soulful vocals balance it all out. It’s a classic sound that takes me directly back to my childhood. It’s groovy, catchy, and dramatic. It’s simple but effective and doesn’t feel forced or overthought. “Girl (You Gotta Forgive Him)” was the song that really sat with me. I could feel every emotion that was being relayed in the song’s message. It’s a woman to woman conversation on forgiveness. It feels authentic and full of experience.

“Rumors” is my next favorite tune. The melody is contagious and the beat reminds me of a great episode of Soul Train. It’s kind of hard to believe this music wasn’t actually made in the 1960s. Then I suggest you play “Come and be a Winner.”  The vocals are playful but still in sync. The horns carry the track and compliment the vocal melody. This body of work only reflects and encapsulates true funky soul stirring music. That is exactly what it is.  I enjoyed this album especially during a time when I had deadlines, chores, and a huge to do list. It puts me at ease. Try it.

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About Phoenixxrocks

I'm a music professional for over 15 years. I am a fan of music first. I have a diverse ear and appreciate quality effort and input in a record. I appreciate all forms of art, but am bias to live instruments and conceptual songs.
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