All Hail Sharon Jones, Unstoppable Soul Sister!

Sharon Jones, still bringing soul power to the people. Photo: Daptone

Although soul sister Sharon Jones is continually referred to as a throwback to a funkier 20th century, she’s here, now, and still fighting to bring more humanity (and less autotune) to our increasingly digital music. And we’re the better for it.

So I made time for Filter Mag to review Give the People What They Want, the latest throwdown from Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings. Postponed by a cancer scare but thankfully here now, like the blessed Jones, to remind us all what’s worth listening to, and supporting as well.

That Filter‘s cover story belonged to my beloved Pixies — which I didn’t know before I wrote my review and who I am interviewing next week for Salon — just made everything flow much more smoothly.

Stream Sharon and Dap’s cool animated video above and scan my Filter review of Give the People What They Want below, and pick up both if you can! Jones and her funky crew hit the road in February.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Give the People What They Want

What’s in a title, indeed. This refreshing collection of steady soulful grooves was originally slated for an August release, before its potent force and frontwoman was diagnosed with stage-one cancer.

But it’s going to keep more than that to stop Jones from bringing her throwback funk to the people, especially on heads-up stomps like “You’ll Be Lonely.” (“After I’m gone,” she reminds us, closer to mortality than before.) That confident swagger is mirrored nicely on the heated opener “Retreat!” and even its less confident follow-up message to the soul sisters, “Stranger to My Happiness.” Jones remains a master of the slow burn as well on the lilting “Making Up and Breaking Up,” reliably fueled like all of the Dap-Kings precise backing by an appreciation for James Brown and everyone who copied him.

Although it perhaps lacks the wasted acrobatics and distracting volume that populates today’s popscape, Give The People What They Want nevertheless reminds us that it’s both range and heart that helps compelling soul music survive both a century of cynics and existential close calls. 74%-84%


Interview: The Dap Queen
by Mo Herms
Sharon Jones is a little woman with a big personality, who gestures, laughs and sings constantly during conversation. Her stories all connect back to singing, and she needs to sing a few lines of some song during conversation to help make a point. Hell, she winds up singing a few lines of something when she’s telling jokes. The woman is always singing…

Review: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Naturally
by Mo Herms
No, it is not a time warp, it really is old school funk coming out in the year 2005. Although when Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings first began releasing singles (and I do mean 45s) a few years back, all the collectors thought they’d stumbled upon some lost gem from the heyday of soul. They were soon revealed to be a modern day equivalent, copycatting the style to such an extent they had to go on tour to prove their authenticity. The first album was so perfect within the genre that some disregarded it as being too spot-on; not so with their second release, Naturally