Tag Archives: Daptone

New Sharon Jones video: Matter of Time

Video: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – “Matter of Time”

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings "Matter of Time" OFFICIAL VIDEO

From Soul of a Woman, due November 17 on Daptone.

We were first turned on to Sharon Jones in 2007 when I (mistakenly, and which was debated at length in the comments) called Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black the best soul record in decades. Commenter “Matt” told me to go listen to Miss Jones and I’ve been forever in debt since.

I first saw Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings shortly after that article posted. It was revelatory. In the era of beard-stroking indie rock was this band of crack musicians fronted by a firecracker of a performer who took their jobs as entertainer seriously. Deadly seriously, as it turns out.

Sharon Jones was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and documented her fight against it, while trying to also return to her passion and career fronting the Dap Kings, in the film Miss Sharon Jones! It’s a careful, honest look at the struggle and triumphs of serious illness. Jones, who was the personification of energy and strength on the stage, struggles throughout the film with the physical, emotional and financial strains of her illness and shows her vulnerability throughout and fights her way back to the stage and the road shows that pay her bills–and the bills of her bandmates, road crew and label staff. To know how the story ends, despite where the film ends, is heartbreaking.

Daptone Records announced Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ final studio album, Soul of a Woman will be released on November 17, 2017. Just typing those words, “final studio album” makes me sad. I hate that we’ll never see her perform again and that she won’t be creating new music. It’s hard to embrace the adage that we should “not be sad that it’s over, but be happy that it happened” when such a talented and big hearted woman has been taken away. But I’ll do my best and I’ll dance in my living room with as much vigor as I can muster. It’s what she would have done.

Post-script: Another Daptone flame was snuffed out by cancer recently when Charles Bradley died on September 23, aged 68. He was a James Brown impersonator in his past and used that time as a sort of apprenticeship that made his own live shows absolutely spellbinding. Seeing the clips of Sharon Jones talking shop and dancing with him brought an actual tear to my eye. The world has a little less soul and a lot less heart in it now. Fuck cancer.

Sharon Jones: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Como Mamas video: Count Your Blessings

Video: The Como Mamas – “Count Your Blessings”

The Como Mamas "Count Your Blessings"

From Move Upstairs, out now on Daptone Records.

There are times when — even if you don’t believe in anything — gospel music is exactly what you need. The Como Mamas will fill a void in your heart that you didn’t even know was there.

The Como Mamas are Ester Mae Smith, Angela Taylor, and Della Daniels, and I want them to adopt me. (I am an orphan after all.) They’re backed up by the “Glorifiers Band,” who are essentially a subset of the Dap-Kings: Homer Steinweiss, Bosco Mann, and Thomas Brenneck. This is music that stirs your soul and makes you feel good.

Continue reading New Como Mamas video: Count Your Blessings

Daptone Celebrates Ten Years

This video illustrates so much of what I love about independent music makers in general and Daptone Records specifically.

Celebrating ten years of service to soul music, Daptone Records takes you on a tour of their Brooklyn studio and HQ with stories of their humble beginnings and continued humility as they do what they love. See Sharon Jones wiring the control room, Charles Bradley roughing in the live room, and label chief Gabriel Roth showing off his pride and joy. Great, great stuff.

Behind the Scenes: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Photo Shoot

I Learned the Hard Way – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

One of the reasons we here at GLONO love Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings is their relentless attention to detail as they strive to recreate the late-60s soul sound—and, of course, how successful they are in that pursuit. From the arrangements to the instrumentation to the recording techniques, a Dap Kings record is a performance art piece in itself.

But what is sound without image? Applying the same sort of focus on the packaging of their material completes the overall effect. For a glimpse of just how far they go to recreate the look and feel of the records that inspired them in the first place, check out this behind-the-scenes report of the photo shoot for their upcoming LP, I Learned the Hard Way (out April 2010).

Money quote:

We used the back yard of the studio and the adjacent fire escape to make a photo that was in keeping with the look and feel of urban group shot covers that were seen a lot in the late 60’s and early 70’s (The Impressions ‘This is My Country’, The Supremes ‘Love Child’, etc.) We went with the square format Hasselblad with negative film to get the same look and feel from the period.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Daptone’s Gabriel Roth on recording Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings' eight tracks per song.

SonicScoop takes a tour of Brooklyn recording studios, and talks to Daptone Records’ owner/engineer/producer/bass player Gabriel Roth, who was in the middle of recording the new Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings record:

“We try to use as few mics as possible, and we’ve been using a lot of ribbon mics on this record. We figure out who’s coming in too loud and have the players and backup singers balance themselves, get the tones all right, in rehearsal, and then we record,” he said. “When you start using a lot of tracks, you end up having to do all that stuff in the mix. If you do it when you’re recording, it’s not really harder, it’s just sooner. People think it’s scary because you don’t have choices later, i.e. bring up the trumpets, but it’s like you’re going to have to hear that at some point. Whether it’s two months from now when you’re mixing, or now. So you may as well deal with it now.”

Awesome. That’s how to make a real soul music. No shit.

MP3s:

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – “100 Days, 100 Nights”

The Dap-Kings – “I’m Not Gonna Cry (Instrumental)”

Sharon Jones: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.