Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Feb. 1, 2008
Sharon Jones & the Dap-KingsAntone's, Jan. 26
Showmanship, while not what it used to be, isn't dead. Slightly after 10:30pm Saturday night at Antone's, the Dap-Kings filed onstage in suits, eight parts of a well-oiled machine, and began warming up the engine. Three songs later, Jones appeared in a white fringed dress and strappy gold heels, ready to turn on a sold-out throng. A Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings show is about just that, and Jones is the consummate show woman. "Let me strut," she commanded, as the threepiece horn section propelled her brick-house frame across the stage. This blur of fringe and gold accented the entire, almost two-hour hip-shaking set list, culled largely from 2005's Naturally and last year's 100 Days, 100 Nights. "How Do I Let a Good Man Down?," "Be Easy," "Nobody's Baby," and a tightened-up "My Man Is a Mean Man," which featured some awkward onstage moves from a guy in the crowd, churned under Jones' amber voice with precision. She came with the message, as well, getting political but never losing the crowd on "What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes." A much-needed toweling down and eventual encore followed, with an appropriate cover of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." What had been introduced by the band's guitarist/emcee Binky Griptite as the "Daptone soul revue" felt not like 700-strong watching a group of revivalists gussying up the past but rather that of a soul crew giving us a show that just comes naturally.