Friday, October 17, 2008

M Week continues with even more music, from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Zoo Concert on July 25, 2008

Tiny Sharon Jones came on stage, and within mere moments, she had the entire crowd right where she wanted them--in the palm of her hand! She was smokin' hot, having a blast--so were we!

I can't wait to see them perform again. I believe I'll get the chance, too, because this was their second time in Portland performing before awestruck, soul music lovers. I just know they'll come back to Portland, I just know it. Lamont, Leland and Lindsay saw their first show, at the Doug Fir over on E. Burnside. It was a sell-out, or I would've been there, too. In fact, they got in through a friend who works there--he could only get three tickets, and it was a work night. I'm no spring chicken, you know. Anyway, the kids bought me two of their CDs which I have on the iPod they gave me for Mother's Day.
Sharon hand-picked these three women to come on stage with her for a song, to gyrate and dance and live it up, making memories.
She really got them going, too!
This shot tells the truth about Sharon Jones, the secret that my camera caught. There's really two of her--that has to be the truth. How else could she boogie full-tilt, song after song, all over the stage?
At one point, Jones mentioned that she was from Augusta, Georgia, just like James Brown. Then she went right into his song, "There Was a Time," taking off her high heels and dancing every single dance mentioned in the lyrics (see the bottom of the post.) It was outta sight great! Funky to the infinite power!

Only once all evening did she get still enough for me to get a photo that wasn't blurry--using available light as requested by the artist.

Here's all about Sharon Jones from Wikipedia:

Sharon Jones is an American soul/funk singer and lead singer of Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, who are widely considered to be at the forefront of a revivalist movement that aims to recapture the feeling of soul and funk music as it was at its height in the late 1960s to mid 1970s. Despite trying to forge a career as a professional singer since an early age, it has only been in her middle age that Jones has experienced breakthrough success.


Born Sheron Lafaye Jones, on May 4, 1956 in Augusta, Georgia, she moved to New York at an early age and lives there now, recording for independent Brooklyn based recording label Daptone Records. As a child, she and her brothers would often imitate the singing and dancing of James Brown, who was also from Augusta Georgia. A regular gospel singer in church, Jones often entered talent shows backed by local funk bands in the early 1970s. Session work then continued with backing singing, often credited to Lafaye Jones, but 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.

The session was organised by Philip Lehman and Gabriel Roth, co-owners of the now defunct French record label Pure Records. Jones was the only one of three singers who were called into the session to show. Having completed all the backing parts herself, Roth and Lehman were suitably impressed with her performance and recorded a solo track with Jones entitled "Switchblade". This track, along with another entitled "The Landlord" were included on an album by the Soul Providers called "Soul Tequila". The Soul Providers -- with members of the Brooklyn bands Antibalas and the Mighty Imperials -- would later go on to form the Dap-Kings, Jones' current backing band.

When Lehman and Roth relocated to Brooklyn, New York City, a new label was set up called Desco Records, now also defunct. The Soul Tequila album was re-released as Gimme The Paw which omitted The Landlord but kept Switchblade. Jones however recorded and released three 45 singles for the Desco label, Damn It's Hot (part 1) backed by (part 2), Bump N Touch (part 1) backed by Hook and Sling Meets the Funky Superfly (a medley cover of Eddie Bo and Bobby Williams tracks), You Better Think Twice backed by I Got the Feeling (a James Brown cover). The 45s gained some notice amongst 45 soul and funk collectors, particularly because in the early days of Desco Records some collectors may have believed the 45s to be originals from the early seventies as they were never dated. These 45s were also released on a compilation CD, the Desco Funk 45' Collection, alongside various other artists in the Desco stable. The Desco label itself had now established a firm reputation amongst enthusiasts. Desco continued to release 45 singles and also released LPs by Lee Fields, Sugarman 3, The Daktaris and The Mighty Imperials as well as a further compilation of funk 45s. The Mighty Imperials album proved to be the last release on the Desco label and due to a difference of opinions label owners Lehman and Roth parted ways in 2000. Lehman started another independent, Soul Fire Records, now also defunct whilst Gabriel Roth went on to start Daptone Records with saxophonist Neal Sugarman of Sugarman 3.

Launched on the back of the popularity of Desco Records, Daptone Record's first release would be a full length Sharon Jones album. A new band, the Dap-Kings was formed from the ashes of the Soul Providers and the Mighty Imperials. Some of the musicians went on to record for Philip Lehman's Soul Fire label, some formed the afro-beat band the Budos Band. From the original Soul Providers, Roth AKA Bosco Mann on bass, guitarist and emcee Binky Griptite, percussionist Fernando Velez, trumpet player Anda Szilagyi and organist Earl Maxton were joined by original Mighty Imperials, saxophonist Leon Michels and drummer Homer Steinweiss plus Neal Sugarman from Sugarman 3.

In 2002 and together as Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings they released an album Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings for which they received immediate attention and acclaim from enthusiasts, DJs and collectors. With two more albums under their belt, Naturally (2005) and 100 Days, 100 Nights (2007) they are seen by many as the spearhead of a revivalist soul and funk movement. They are particularly well-respected amongst their fans and contemporaries for successfully capturing the essence of soul as it was at its height in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Among her influences are James Brown, Otis Redding, Ike & Tina Turner and Marva Whitney.

Jones had a small part in the 2007 film The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker, as a juke joint singer named "Lila". Her performance of Lucille Bogan's "That's What My Baby Likes" is featured in the film, and Jones' additional covers of 1930s-era songs are included on the film's soundtrack. Her appearance in The Great Debaters forced Jones to turn down a stint as back-up singer for Lou Reed’s Fall 2007 live show built around his Berlin album.

"There Was a Time"

There was a day, there was a time
When I used to play
There was a time when I used to play
But take me now, baby, don't worry about later
Teach the dance I used to do
They call it the Mashed Potato

There was a day, now dig this
There was a day, they call it the Jerk
Everybody relax and watch me work

In my hometown where I used to stay
The name of the place is Augusta, GA
Down there we have a good time
We don't talk
We all get together in time, for rhythm with you
So come and walk

There was a day that I used to do
The name of the dance
They call it Boogaloo
I may not do the dance as well as you
But baby, you can bet your bottom dollar
That you never hear me holler
I do the best that I can do

There was a time, sometimes I dance
Sometimes I dance, sometimes I clown
But you can bet you haven't seen nothing yet
Until you see me do the James Brown

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