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[R&B] Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Patrick Donnelly

Take a look at that cover art. You’ve seen it somewhere before. And that sound. So familiar, yet so unlike anything on the scene today.

Then it hits you—memories of digging through somebody’s old LP collection, maybe that of your parents or a “cool” aunt or an older neighbor who was a bit hipper than anybody else on the block. Except this wasn’t recorded 40 years ago in Motown; Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have turned back the clock with a new release that takes retro to new heights and puts the neo-soul crowd to shame.

If your frame of reference for soul music runs from Dreamgirls to Joss Stone, wake up with 100 Days, 100 Nights. If you’ve moved on to Amy Winehouse, you’re on the right track. The Dap-Kings were the heart and, well, soul of Winehouse’s 2006 powerhouse Back to Black, and 100 Days finds them back in fine form, laying down a cool groove as Jones belts out songs about knockin’ boots, breakin’ up and searchin’ for the Lord. Sink your teeth into the apocalyptic funk of the title track, or melt into Jones’ sexed-up howl on “Let Them Knock,” then realize that Jones isn’t just influenced by Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding—she’s the new standard-bearer for modern soul music.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

100 Days, 100 Nights

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