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  1. #1
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Troy, New York

    Sharon Jones and the Daptone Revue

    I must preface this review by saying that I'm jaded. I'm old enough to have been around when titans walked the earth. I saw the Original Motwon Revue, I attended the Original Stax/Volt Revues at the RKO Alden in Queens, the Brookly Apollo and of course THE Apollo Theatre in Harlem. I saw Booker T. and the MG's. Otis, Wilson Pickett, The 4 Tops, Temps and Supremes as well as a myriad of lesser acts in the 60's. For any modern label to dare to claim to be putting on a "Revue" to me was blasphemy. However after Sharon Jones headlingin the Daptone Records Revue here in Albany on Saturday I have to say I've never been happier to be worng.

    For those of you that don't know. Daptone Records is an independent label out of Brooklyn that has carved out a niche for itself producting and releasing what can only be considered "traditional" soul/funk and gospel. However the Daptones most famous work has been as the backing band on Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" which was alos recorded at their studio. With about 6 to 7 acts in the stable Daptone Records has been touring the Country with something called the Daptone Revue. In the 60's a "revue" was when a record company bought several of it's acts on the road to perform live with an Orchestra. The majority of the backing band would stay on stage while individual performers were rotated in and out with perhaps some additional sidemen.

    In a Revue, there's usually an MC, and the band NEVER STOPS PLAYING OR MOVING!!!. A classic example of an artist shift can be heard on Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips Part Two". Unable to get the blind kid off the stage even after key band personnel had shifted other's picked up the groove on the fly and continued on. While there were no shenanigans like that Saturday night there was plenty of good and great soul music.

    Like their predecessors the Daptone Revuew started ON TIME. Like in the day the band did several instrumental numbers then invited background singers to come out and perform before the stars took the stage. The 11 piece band was right and tight, and like the best Revues of the day they were dressed in suits and everyone MOVED!!! This muscial appetizer was great and really brough back memories. After 4 or 5 songs the M.C. introduced the first feature of the evening, Deptone/Dunham Records latest find, Charles Bradley.

    A large imposing man, with the looks of the late Bernie Mac and a voice that makes Bobby Womack's sound like velvet, Mr. Bradley did his best to remind people what James and Otis were like in their prime, as far as I'm concerned, he failed. Stiff, awkard, hackneyed and not overly original I felt more embarrased for the guy than anything. Sandman at the Apollo would've had the guy gone in 5 seconds. Still he was just Jacks or better to open. The main event was to be the, now legendary, Sharon Jones.

    The previous Tuesday evening Ms. Jones and the Dap Kings had opened for none other than Prince at THE Garden in New York City. And if you know anything about "his purple badness", you have to be world class to share the stage with him!!!! And folks Sharon Jone IS WORLD CLASS! A short legged, boundless dynamo of engergy she tore up the stage with a fury only matched by Tina Turner in her prime. And as good as Tina was she never had pipes like Ms. Jones. A consumate performer who had the sold out crowd (and me) eating out of ther hand from the start she the woman was nothing less than electric.

    The high point of the evening, for me at least, was her unique version of James Brown's "There Was a Time". In that song James would call out, then perform the dances of the day. In a similar fashion Ms. Jones called out the dances of her youth and performed them with them with a skill and fervor unmatched by anyone still living. The Swim, The Boogaloo, The Funky Chicken and other dances from back in the day were put up and knocked down in style.

    When the 3.5 hour Revue was done I was left one sweaty, happy man, grinning ear to ear. For those of you on here wating for Ms. Winehouse to tour again or record again, good effin' luck. She's in the bottle and has squandered golden opprtunity. If you want to see "The Real Deal" I suggest you check out Ms. Jones and the Daptone Revue when they come into your town. The 55 year old Ms. Jones and her Revue have been touring constantly since April, 2010 so if she's near, hop on it and see what a real soul revue looks like.


  2. #2
    42 Regular
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    Jan 2003
    West of the fields, long gone
    Great review, Worf... and good to see you. I caught part of her set (with the Dap Kings) at Lollapalooza a few years ago and it was solid. An outdoor rock festival is not the ideal venue for that act, but they were total pros and had a blast.

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  3. #3
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    I saw 'em when they toured last year and really enjoyed the show, and enjoyed the review format and really thought the band was tight. I know I am strongly in the minority, but my only real complaint is I wish Ms Jones would stop with so much running around the stage and dancing her ass off and just let her voice speak for itself. She does have great pipes and I personally think all the dancing does more to detract and make her sound winded than enhance the experience. But, pretty much every review I read and everyone I talk to seems to love that aspect of the show, so I guess I may well be a bit out to lunch here.

  4. #4
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Nov 2003

    Nicely done and thank you.

    They're playing a show at the Strand in York, PA this Thursday, and I can't go damn the hell. It sounds like I'm missing a really good time. The band blew me away on Amy's record, and seeing them live would have been the bomb. I did see them on an HD channel (Paladium I think) doing a couple songs with Amy, and it was great, but not like being there.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  5. #5
    3LB is offline
    cunning linguist 3LB's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    hiding out in treetops, shouting out rude names
    Awesome review Worf.
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  6. #6
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    Awesome review Worf.

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