Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings — Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
Coming across Sharon Jones a dozen or so years ago was a
revelation. Jones and her intensely tight backing band the Dap-Kings came
straight out of 1960s soul and funk; it was a time machine. Almost. Because at
the same time, there was something new and vibrant about the recordings, due as
much to Jones’s personality as to her remarkable vocal skills. The live shows
were the same, but more so. The evening set up like the sort of revue that
younger fans had maybe only seen on scratchy old videos, but by the time Jones
and the full band were on stage, the fire was lit and wouldn’t go out until the
house lights came up. With fans being invited on stage to dance, Jones kept the
energy of the club on high, the powerful band going right with her.
Just the other day I featured Naomi Shelton doing this tune, “Humble Me”, from her newest album “Cold World”. Today it’s Sharon Jones’ turn. She recorded this song for her amazing 2007 record “100 Days, 100 Nights”. It’s still a classic modern soul album in my eyes and this track has a piano line written by Sharon Jones in the studio that really nails the gospel feel to the song perfectly.
While she has surely done plenty of great music since, going back to this record now feels like it’s some of her best work she’s ever done.