Friday, November 11, 2011

Soundcheck: The new Queen of Soul at the Wilma

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Folks are downright bananas about tonight's not-yet-sold-out Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings gig, and rightfully so. Robert Meyerowitz covered it perfectly with a Spotlight in the Indy's dead tree edition (no link available, unfortunately), but here are three things that'll just add to the buzz.

1. These are not the moves of a former prison guard
Jones is a former prison guard at Rikers Island, then worked as an armored truck guard for Wells Fargo. You'd never know that watching this.

2. It started with a handful of 45s
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings are credited with helping the current soul revival and the launch of Daptone Records. Before Daptone, however, there was the now defunct Desco Records. There, Jones and collaborators put out 45s under the name, The Soul Providers.

soul_pro.jpg
At the time, some customers thought they were vintage recordings from decades past, not new. The label actually exploited that fact with other releases, as recalled in this Village Voice article on the origins of Daptone:

The Revenge of Mr. Mopoji was credited to Mike Jackson and the Soul Providers, and packaged as a reissue of a soundtrack to a '70s kung fu movie that, naturally, didn't exist. "It was Phillip [Lehman]'s idea," says [Gabe] Roth. "He was like, 'If we put this out as a reissue, all these people who buy old records will buy it, and if we say it's new, no one will care.' "

The album was a hit—snatched up by collectors who invented their own stories about remembering the "original" record or having a cousin who owned a copy of the nonexistent movie. ("It just goes to show what bullshitters people are," Roth notes.) Lehman's theory was confirmed further when the group sold their next record, the raw-funk Gimme the Paw (credited to the Soul Providers), as a legit new release. "We could not give that record away," remembers Roth. "We probably sold about 40 copies."

3. This Land is Your Land
I would think this memorable cover, which accompanied the opening credits to George Clooney's Up in the Air, would make tonight's set list.

Again, tickets are still available, starting at $24, at TicketFly.

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