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Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound 

When: Fri., April 11, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: sold out
Last spring, just after recording the new Give the People What They Want (Daptone) with her long-running backing band the Dap-Kings, soul singer Sharon Jones was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer that required her to undergo invasive surgery and chemotherapy. The album’s release and accompanying tour were put on hold, but in January Give the People What They Want finally hit shelves—and now the band is back on the road. The album’s ten songs—all originals, most by bassist and mastermind Bosco Mann, aka Gabriel Roth—were written before her illness, but their lyrics (like the lyrics of the best soul classics) are universal enough that it barely matters. “We Get Along” is about an enduring relationship, but its message of perseverance could apply to Jones’s fight against cancer too: “Through darkness and rain / Sorrow and pain / We’ve proved again and again and again.” What separates the Dap-Kings from other neosoul outfits is the strength of their material: brought to life by Jones’s agile, muscular voice, the new songs move among the signature sounds of several classic soul studios (Motown, Brunswick, Stax), with plenty of stops in between. The band has grown from its raw funk beginnings into a much more tuneful and sophisticated ensemble, without surrendering an ounce of grit—and judging from the recent live videos I’ve seen, Jones has rebounded from her treatment in excellent form. —Peter Margasak Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound opens.

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