By Daniel Durchhol
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment
The great stars of R&B always left you wanting more. They attacked the stage ferociously for a precious few moments and then vanished, leaving audience members thrilled, exhausted and wondering about the license number of the truck that had run them over.
In James Brown’s parlance, they knew how to hit it and quit it.
Sharon Jones performed for about 75 minutes at the Duck Room Wednesday night, but no one would accuse her of loitering. The diminutive singer was an explosion of sound and movement, shouting, shimmying, strutting and interacting with the sold-out crowd, occasionally pulling a fan or two onstage with her. Backed by her eight-piece band, the Dap Kings, Jones earned comparison to one of the most exciting artists to come out of the St. Louis area, Tina Turner.
But consider: Turner was still a teenager when she appeared at local clubs. Jones, a late bloomer, is AARP eligible, making her achievement all the more impressive.
Jones’ songs, many of them from her acclaimed 2007 album “100 Days, 100 Nights,” spoke of love, faith and lessons learned the hard way.
From the moment she hit the stage, it was impossible to remove your eyes from the kinetic singer. The dapper Dap Kings, dressed in dark suits and skinny ties, seemed to recede into the background, though their soulful sound remained: the horns punctuated Jones’ phrasing, the guitars chattered and the bass and drums laid down the funk.
Among the many highlights were the uptempo “My Man Is a Mean Man,” the smooth Motown-style “Tell Me,” and a version of Brown’s “This Is a Man’s World” that emphasized the qualifier of title’s declaration: “But it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.”
Beyond sharing with Brown her hometown of Augusta, Georgia, Jones has the Godfather’s ability to dance. At one point, she demonstrated numerous moves from the past, from the Funky Chicken to the Tighten Up. Earlier in the show, she used “Got To Be the Way It Is” to talk about her West African and Native American ancestors, using various indigenous dances to go with the story. It was riveting stuff.
Opening the show was an act that couldn’t have been more incongruous. Bulgarian-born, Brooklyn-based accordionist Ivan Milev and violinist Entcho Todorov played a short but dazzling set of songs from their homeland. The crowd that was anticipating soul music got it, but in a very different form.
>>her acclaimed 2007 album “100 Days, 100 Nights,”<<
$7.99 on amazon right now, picked up a copy yesterday, would love to check her out live sometime.
Just back from seein' Sharon Jones at the Beacon
This was a musical review. Anywhere from 8 to 12 musicians on the stage at one time. Sharon Jones is fabulous, but the Dap Kings were more than a backup band. She also had a few members of a local symphony orchestra on stage. Had everyone at the Beacon up and dancin'..and I'm also happy to report that security was not an issue.
Great evening of music!
You can't go wrong seeing a Sharon Jones show. I've caught her 3 times in a small venue and man can she ever heat up a room. You are exactly right about the Dap Kings. I'd see them anytime, even without SJ.