Word of mouth is a powerful thing. My friend first told me about Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings about a month ago after he got back from seeing her at The Apollo. He told me that she was sort of like the female James Brown and had rocked the theater with her powerful voice.
I was reading Stereogum last week and lo and behold I came across a link to the video for their single "100 Days, 100 Nights." Wowee! It is so amazing. Turns out the video was filmed using two vintage television cameras purchased on Ebay for $50 each. The video looks like it came to us directly from The Ed Sullivan Show and took me a minute to explain to some of my friends that this was a new artist.
100 Days, 100 Nights is actually Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings third album on the Brooklyn-based Daptone Records. Sharon Jones, born Sharon Lafaye Jones in 1956, grew up practicing and performing James Brown songs with her brothers. Turns out they were all from the same town. According to the press release, it sounds like it wasn't until 2001 that Ms. Jones finally caught a break, found a home with the newly created Daptone Records, teamed up with the Dap Kings and released an album. Seems like timing is everything. The popularity of this old soul sound has increased tremendously this year with the success of Amy Winehouse's Back to Black as well as Mark Ronson covers album Version.
The next step for me was purchasing the new album on itunes on Tuesday night. The title track it the most obvious hit, but I really enjoy the record from beginning to end. She has an amazing voice that needs its time in the sun. It might not have the same immediacy of Black To Black, but it's filled with heart and soul from beginning to end. It might be more about that great video right now for me, but the album really does deserve it's chance to shine.
Like I said, word of mouth is a powerful thing. Go tell a friend about Ms. Jones!