Music Mondays: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Soul and funk rhythms have infused the heart of American music for more than three decades, especially taking hold in the doo-wop and street singing groups of the 1960s and 1970s. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (SJ&DK) have proven that soul/funk never goes out of style, cultivating a signature sound that mixes retro soul instrumentation (saxophones, horns, keyboards) with the soaring, staggering soul vocals of Sharon Jones.


First formed as the group the Soul Providers in the mid-1990s what would eventually become SJ&DK began to make noise in the New York funk scene. The Providers were led by Philip Lehman and Gabriel Roth who, in early 2000, eventually parted ways to pursue their own respective record labels. Roth started Daptone Records, the Soul Providers split, and the Dap-Kings emerged as a new band. Several albums followed, but it was the 2006 release of 100 Days, 100 Nights that brought SJ&DK to the attention of the pop music and radio industry.

Give the People What They Want is the band's most recent release. It is more than an album, but a triumphant return to life and art for Sharon Jones who underwent treatment for Stage II pancreatic cancer last year, thus delaying the album's release. Thankfully she is doing great as Give the People proves in all its lush glory. Of this latest disc, the band writes on its website: "The ten songs [on this disc] are seasoned with the unbridled soul you've come to expect, even need from an 11-piece band, yet there's a freshness in the band's performance and songwriting that give's the group's fifth studio album a unique feel, unlike anything they have released to date." The New Yorker terms the disc "tough and tenacious," very much like Jones herself.

Check out "Stranger to My Happiness" and be sure to check out all of the tunes on I AM THAT GIRL's Music Monday's playlist, updated each week!


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