Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - 100 Days 100 Nights

Having just reviewed Nicole Willis last month, somebody thought it would be good to point me in the direction of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Now apparently the Kings used to back Amy Winehouse, but for what ever reason they parted company with that wayward soul and landed firmly on their feet in finding Sharon Jones, whose vocal talents I think are up there with Aretha and Mavis. Now I don't like to compare this with Nicole but if you buy this thinking it will be full the same bright airy dancing tunes as on that LP then you may be disappointed. This LP goes more for the mid tempo bluesy, funky, soul vibe with lyrics more concerned about how a women is gonna love her man and how he better return the favour, for she ain't sufferin' fools gladly.
The Dap Kings are more than competent in creating an authentic 60's inspired back drop of melodies and beats straight outta Stax or Atlantic with their subtle but effective funky guitar, big bass, and even bigger horns. This sound though never over powers Sharon's vocals, which are always at the forefront so there are none of these 'what did she just say' moments.
Stand out tracks for me has to be the Mowtown sounding "Tell Me", which is one of the more up-tempo tracks, must be the old Northern Soulie in me, and title track 100 days 100 nights, which starts of quite bubbly before changing to a more blues tempo, as Sharon gives it full emotion as she relates how it takes a women 100 days and nights "To know a man's heart" and just as long for him to know his own! So boys if you've been with your lady anything over that it must be true love!!
On the copy I have (might be on all, not sure) there is a bonus track entitled "The Collection Song" which breaks away from the rest of the LP and sounds like very early James Brown circa 'I Feel Good', with its short sharp guitar stabs, rising bass line and repetitive horn, which is once again performed to perfection.
Biggest surprise for me though is that all the songs are were written by the band, as the sound and style is so rooted in 60's Memphis it is hard not to believe you are listening to some obscure rare as hens teeth collectors piece that must cost a fortune. One last thing I will just add though is that it may sound old, but it is definitely a modern classic.

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