Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings have been making fantastic records since 2002’s Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Their live shows are energetic soul revivals, fusing the classic sounds of 60s & 70s R&B with a modern sensibility. Lead singer Jones, whose style is influenced by the likes of Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin & Betty Wright, has an amazing voice that can thrill, chill & amaze you. The group has grown in popularity & stature in recent years, releasing several more well-received albums, and doing a series of can't miss performances as both an opening act & a headliner. But in 2013, just after completing the album Give The People What They Want, Jones was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. The album’s release and subsequent tour dates were postponed while she underwent surgery & chemotherapy.
The singer is now healthy & ready to get back on the road, and a tour kicked off earlier this month at The Beacon in New York. The album was released in January, and like the group’s previous discs, it’s a fantastic collection of songs, kicking off with “Retreat,” a funk-ified challenge to an unfaithful lover. Throughout the disc’s ten tracks, Jones & her band shout, jump, rattle & groove together, as their driving, percussive backing provides a perfect match for her excellent vocals. Songs like the wonderful “Making Up & Breaking Up” sound like they could have been recorded at Stax in the 60s or 70s. Then there’s “Get Up & Get Out,” which drops a little touch of Motown into the mix.
Although the disc runs a scant 34 minutes you’ll be spinning it over & over again to hear the tasty grooves on tracks like “Long Time, Wrong Time” & “You’ll Be Lonely.” And you won’t dispute Ms. Jones is a queen of soul in her own right after listening to powerful ballads like “Slow Down, Love.” If you’re a fan of Stax, Motown or the Philly soul sounds of the 60s & 70s, this album is for you. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings take the classic sounds of yesterday & fuse them with their own style, to create real music that stands out amid much of today’s manufactured pop and R&B. Give The People What They Want is now available in stores & at online retailers such as the iTunes store. The iTunes version boasts a couple of bonus tracks & a music video on the Deluxe Version of the album. Here’s a link to the video for “Retreat!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrOYkHjdpdM&feature=kp.