Saturday, November 19, 2016


Not the way I like to wake up, not by a long shot. Checking the stats here this morning, I saw a comment from overseas buddy Espen, "Shit week just took another dump, Tom." posted with a link. As I was copying the URL of the link he posted I see the end of it "sharon-jones-dap-kings-dead". Fuck. I love Sharon Jones. After I read the thing E linked to, I went to Facebook. First comment I see, from Lady Spinsta, "One more for shit week." I've had it. I want shit week out of my house immediately.

I can still remember the first time I heard Sharon Jones's music. Tower Records, 2005, it was her "Naturally" CD. The R & B section at this record store was mostly current stuff, and what vintage soul or R & B there was was familiar stuff. The cover of that CD gave no clue of the era in which it was released, but it looked like some old stuff that I may have missed and/or should have known. I'd never heard of Daptone Records, or Sharon Jones, or the Dap Kings. Back then Tower Records had these great listening stations where you could just scan the bar code and listen before you bought it. So I gave it a whirl. After sampling a few tunes I still couldn't figure out when it was recorded, whether it was new or old. It really wasn't either. It was classic.

So that whole Daptone mob entered my sphere that day, not just Jones, all of them, because at the end of the day if it wasn't for Daptone Records, and the Dap-Kings, most of us would have never heard of Sharon Jones. After being told by record execs that she was "too fat, too black, too short, and too old" she marched on, and after hiring her to sing backup at one of their sessions, and ultimately signing her, Daptone gave her that shot that she needed, and unknowingly gave her the opportunity to live out her life doing what she loved to do. Twenty years of soul and funk, that's no small gift.

Check the video above. Nine and a half minutes at full throttle, at age 55. Unbelievable. And the only thing bad about it is a guest appearance by Prince, appearing from the wings to play some jag-off guitar. If you watch it from the beginning, you'll get so wrapped up in it that when Prince begins to play, you'll be thinking "Get him outta here, he's just ruining the whole vibe." You should watch the whole thing just to get an idea of her endurance.

This was supposed to be about her, a bio, you know the routine. It deviated and it got too personal. But, you know what? It feels personal. I've never met Sharon Jones, or the Dap-Kings, or anyone associated with Daptone Records, but they feel like family. I can't think of a reason for that, other admiration for the fact that everyone involved seemed to always be doing things right. I'll just leave at that. You can read her bio, about her records and her battle with cancer at other other sites. I just want to sit here and think about how great it is that Jones and the Dap-Kings found each other.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - This Land is Your Land mp3
at Evil Vince
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - You're Gonna Get It mp3
at I Am Fuel You Are Friends
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Just Dropped in (To See What Condition My Condition Is In) mp3
at Passion of the Weiss
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Genuine mp3
at Corey Barksdale (?)
Miss Sharon Jones - Documentary trailer
at YouTube
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Live on KEXP
at YouTube 34 minutes
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - More videos
at Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones, Soul Singer With Dap-Kings, Dies at 60
at NY Times
Postscript: Sharon Jones, 1956-2016
at The New Yorker

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