I, and I imagine lots of other people, found out about Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings after the DKs performed backup band duties on much of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”. I was totally willing to give them love for successfully recreating the sound of soul music circa 1965, but then I bought “100 Days, 100 Nights”, which pulled Winehouse (as well as Mark Ronson) out of the equation and I was quite unimpressed. Not to say Jones isn’t a good singer, and The Dap-Kings aren’t a good band. It just didn’t hit my sweet spot-it sounded like an admittedly faithful Xerox of early Sixties R&B. To me, it was the type of soul music that hipsters or white music snobs say is representative of the fact that soul music is still being made because they can’t love any contemporary R&B unironically (i.e. R. Kelly).
At any rate, it’s entirely possible that I just didn’t give “100 Days” a chance. To be fair, it sounded great coming over the expensive and loud speakers at Virgin Megastore. It just didn’t have the same effect when played on my personal stereo. Sharon and the DKs are releasing a new album today called “I Learned the Hard Way”, and it’s gotten some pretty sterling reviews. I’m gonna pick it up and see if it will convert me. We shall see, I suppose.
It’s the only thing of interest to me hitting stores today, but you might be interested in a couple things. There’s a David Byrne/Fatboy Slim collaboration album (which, incidentally, features Sharon Jones as a guest vocalist). There’s also the first-ever completely solo album by Slash-notice I said *completely* solo, which means Slash’s Snakepit doesn’t count. Jakob Dylan is releasing his second solo effort, the always entertaining Angelique Kidjo (who I saw opening for Dave Matthews about ten years ago and blew me away) has a new one, and for the first time in eight years, we’ve got a new record by Peter Wolf, local favorite and former leader of the J. Geils Band. Hey, remember when Peter decided he wanted Maurice Starr as his producer? Or was it Michael Jonzun? Ah well…they’re brothers. Same shit. Must have been a Boston thing.
As usual, you can get a full list of this week’s releases here.