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The Dap-Tone Super Soul Review!

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at Pori JazzTake a minute and picture that woman working as a corrections officer at Rikers. The fact that an incredible singer like Sharon Jones languished in obscurity for years doing jobs like that is part of the tragedy of her background and the triumph of her finding success now. It's terrible to think of that voice being wasted for so long, but I guess it took the right combination of people and opportunities — and perhaps enough time for a renewed interest in soul music to swing around — for Sharon to finally connext with Daptone Records and bust out once and for all.

Daptone's whole commitment to an authentic late-60s/early-70s soul sound would be a grating gimmick if they weren't in earnest and didn't get it all so right. They have such a good touch for showcasing incredible talent that perfectly channels the spirit of the original experience.

I'v been listening to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings for a few years, but had never had a chance to catch them live until last night, when they played with a few other artists from the Daptone stable — Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band — at the Barbican Centre. As much as I was looking forward to the show, it turned out to be so much better than I expected. There was so much energy on stage, and such a rich, tight sound. Sharon is much, much funnier than you'd guess from the soulful intensity of her singing voice, and she commands the stage with personality and dance moves that would put a woman half her age to shame. I just wish I had nearly as much energy as she's got.

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