Today is a quiet one. I mean that quite literally. It is cool and grey out and one of those days where you just want to go back under the covers and hide. It is quiet… too quiet… The stereo is broken and the house is unable to be filled with the glorious sounds of music. Instead I am listening to this on my lap top. Nothing wrong with that, but it is not the same thing… Not even close… and this album begs to be turned up to 11. It deserves that.
Last night I saw My Morning Jacket at the Gibson Amphitheatre. It was a great show but filled with seemingly unfixable technical glitches… and either their roadies are now full-fledged band members (they were on stage that much) or are looking for work. When I saw them this summer we happened to be sitting behind the board and watched as one lighting glitch after another went down. Odd.
If it was the Gibson, then I am thinking I may skip future shows there… Seeing Paul Simon a few months ago was an acoustic nightmare. He was great, but they never quite got the sound mix right. I expect a lot more.
The opening act was a group I had wanted to see live for a while. And they did not disappoint.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights
If you take Etta James, Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and James Brown and give them a nice shake, this is what you get… the glorious and non stop ball of energy called Sharon Jones. She shook and shimmied last night and just R&B’d the crowd. The band is so incredibly tight and talented and takes you right back to the fabulous ’60s.
I first heard the band in a Dap Tone sampler disc that Scion was giving out! It might have even been at the LA Autoshow years back. I still have it and still listen. It’s great. See, that is why sometimes it IS worth taking free stuff.
But it was not until having a chat with Jennifer at the local library that I really started exploring her. I have said it before, but the BEST way to discover new music is just to talk about it with other people. Jennifer is a student and works at the library and has a whole other perspective than I do. She would see me taking out some music and would always say if you like that, you should listen to this… We then started a regular thing where we recommend bands to each other, and I have latched on to some great stuff. Sharon being one of them!
This is her third album and while I think I like the first two better, this one is a new classic.
Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (2002)
100 Days, 100 Nights (2007)
I Learned the Hard Way (2010)
Soul Time! (2011)
The other thing I really like about Sharon is that her success came later in life… She has been singing for a long, long time but it was not until her 40’s that things really started to click. This truly inspires me… and like Olympic swimmer Dara Torres says, “Never put an age limit on your dreams.”
“In the absence of any recording contract as a solo singer, she spent many years working as a corrections officer at Rikers Island and as an armored car guard for Wells Fargo Bank, until receiving a mid-life career break in 1996 after she appeared on a session backing soul and deep funk legend Lee Fields.”
I’d say she more than paid her dues… So here’s to her success and that of the band… and realizing that it is NEVER too late to make beautiful music!