Mrs. Wife and I had a proper night out last Saturday. We saw Daptone recording artists Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Ever hear of ’em? Fantastic. They’re funk/soul/rhythm and blues masters. The Dap-Kings are the band you hear backing Amy Winehouse on her stunning Back to Black album. We saw them, appropriately enough, at the beautifully refurbished Count Basie Theater.
It’s a big show with a dozen people on stage. It’s an old-style R&B review with a Master of Ceremonies, opening acts and members of the band given solo turns. But Sharon Jones is the real master. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen someone work a crowd the way she did. She told a great story about how she honed her skills in a wedding band. The band was a bunch of Italians and initially there was some push-back when the leader wanted to hire her. He told his band mates, “I can hire a white girl, but none of them can sing like SHE can.” That settled that.
If they come within shouting distance of your town, do yourself (and your soul) a huge favor and go see them. I guarantee you an unforgettable night. Here’s their tour schedule. Lucky Clevelanders can see them this Saturday night at the Beachland Ballroom. I have half a mind to drive out there and take in the show. And I’m not kidding. Here they are on a segment from Later with Jools Holland. By all means, turn it up, baby.