Sharon Jones and Daptone Records

Back in December, while doing the annual holiday shopping, I picked up Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings most recent album, 100 Days, 100 Nights. Sharon Jones is the elder-stateswoman at Daptone Records, a small Brooklyn label specializing in Soul, Funk, Gospel and Afro-beat (their words). Most of Daptone’s output appears to be vinyl LPs and 45s, adding to the label’s old-school feel.

100 Days, 100 Nights is truly late-60’s era soul, free of the 80’s and 90’s guitar and synth sounds ever-present in Neo-Soul. The writing sticks to the battle of the sexes school, with Jones’ full, emotive voice lending credence to the words. The band is a hefty 8-piece, who’ve worked with Amy Winehouse, and apparently been sampled by Kanye West and Lily Allen, provide a solid backing for Jone’s voice. With tight, in-the-pocket beats and shuddering brass harmonies.

My CD included a second disc, Binky Griptite’s GhettoFunkPowerHour, a mix hosted by one of the Dap-Kings’ guitarists, that showcased many of their label-mates along with two bonus, Scion-sponsored, Daptone samplers–one disc of remixes and one of original recordings, all-in-all, over 2 hours of additional music. While I could do without the remix disc, the extras served to further stoke my fire for Daptone’s excellent offerings.

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