August 24, 2007

TERROIRISM:

Funk's Not Dead: Not while a former Riker's Island corrections officer named Sharon Jones and a backing band called the Dap-Kings are alive and kicking. (Scott Frampton, 8/22/07, Esquire)

[I]mprobably, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings are even better than the real thing.

Improbably, because the elevator pitch is almost insulting: A former Rikers Island corrections officer joins the Dap-Kings, the house band of Daptone Records, to form a classic-soul-and-funk band. Improbably, because you can't re-create a sound just by playing the right notes in the right kind of order. To make people believe in your music, it has to have what wine enthusiasts call terroir, a taste of the earth it was planted in. This is especially true when your band's back story reads like the premise for a Wanda Sykes midseason-replacement sitcom. But that's what makes the new 100 Days, 100 Nights so sublime: The grit in the Dap-Kings' eerily perfect restoration of the sound and feel of various '60s soul styles -- they can, as necessary, sound like the house bands at Stax and Muscle Shoals or James Brown's J.B.'s -- is more than matched by the brewing squall in the 51-year-old Jones's voice.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2007 8:52 AM
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