Sharon Jones... No Comment, listen! 45 minutes show, legally downloadable (thanx a lot Mike... again)
As the middle act in NPR Music's opening-night SXSW showcase, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings rocked the house. They brought a 3-piece horn section — two saxophones and a trumpet — on one end of the stage, with a swaying guitar section on the other end. At one point Sharon Jones pulled a random man from the audience and sang to him as they danced together on stage. Later, she did a call and response with the crowd, getting everyone to sing along with her.
The group already had an impressive resume. Their first album together came out in 2002 — released, like their two albums to follow, on the independent label Daptone Records. Ever since, Jones and her dynamite nine-piece band haven't slowed down, playing world-class venues as well as almost every major U.S. music festival. At 53, Jones is as prominent and hard-working as ever, maintaining a relentless touring schedule and building a reputation for stupendous live shows.
The group's classic soul sound comes with an energetic, punchy edge. Just a few weeks after this SXSW performance, the band will release its rollicking fourth album, I Learned the Hard Way. Recorded entirely on a vintage 8-track at Daptone Studios, the album is a bold and winning follow-up to 2007's 100 Days, 100 Nights.
In the past few years, the group's music has been used on the soundtracks for films such as Up in the Air, American Gangster and The Great Debaters, in which Jones made her on-screen acting debut. And, of course, The Dap-Kings' horns make a prominent appearance on Amy Winehouse's best-selling Back to Black.