Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mama's got a brand new bag!

If Miss Sharon Jones, a.k.a. the female James Brown tells you to back off, you know you best do it! Today's song "Retreat" comes from her 2014 album with the Dap-Kings, Give the People What They Want. The album was recorded just before Sharon was diagnosed with cancer, which delayed its release for several months. Her battle with the disease is documented in the recently-released film Miss Sharon Jones!, directed by the great Barbara Kopple. It's a heartwrenching look at Sharon Jones' strength and talent, as well as her triumphant career. 

Sharon Jones' route to stardom wasn't easy--in the 90s she was told by a record producer that she was too fat, too black, too short, and too old. She worked as a corrections officer at Riker's Island prison and as an armored car guard before getting a call in 1996 from an acquaintance to work as a back-up singer. By 2002, Sharon had done her time singing back-up and she and the Dap-Kings had formed their own label and built their own studio. She was already 46 by then, but her singing career was just catching fire.


Since then, she's released seven successful albums and whipped cancer's ass. Today's song and video show her fiery, indomitable spirit--all the big bad wolves in the world can't get the best of Sharon Jones! Her animated self wanders through a surreal, Beetlejuice-like dreamscape, scaring off wolf specters left and right. Ignorant record producers, trifling men, and cancer cells better hide!

I've already got tickets to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings do their Christmas show in December. I can't wait to finally witness her fierce vocals and dynamo dancing in person! Until then, let's all enjoy Sharon and the Dap-Kings serving up a hot slice of unbeatable soul.

  

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