Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul, and always will be. Ditto for Michael Jackson and his King of Pop distinction. Sharon Jones made that abundantly clear in a recent "A-Sides" interview. Having said that, there's still room for another queen in the worldwide music castle. Jones is the self-professed "Queen of Funk." The lead singer of the appropriately named Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings is as good as it gets when it comes to soul and funk dominance. Whether you jumped on the bandwagon after seeing them perform at a festival show, caught on after the Dap-Kings backed the late great Amy Winehouse, or followed them since their debut LP Dap Dippin' the band can make any hips shake and your ears dance along with your pants.
I caught up with Jones backstage before her sold-out show last month at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Westchester, and spoke to her about her evolution (she bloomed late -- having worked as a corrections officer and bank guard early on), and her anticipation of joining other "divas" on stage for a VH1 special. Oh, and she also performed an impromptu performance of "Mama Don't Like My Man" and made it look so damn easy. A great way to start "A-Sides" in 2012 methinks...
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.