Words by Audra Tracy | Photo by Jeremy Gordon
Red Bank, NJ — Snow cannot stop the soul. Winds cannot stop the soul. Hail cannot stop the soul. Because on January 29th, the Daptone Soul Revue came to Red Bank, and a packed house braved the winter weather to warm up next to Sharon Jones’ fire.
Famed for their ‘House of Soul’ recording studio in Bushwick, Daptone Records is a collective of retro-soul artists that includes The Dap Kings, Lee Fields, and our favorite Staten Islanders, The Budos Band. While the Daptone family is responsible for reviving the lost art of LP, they’ve also got some pretty sweet dance moves, and they were itching to show ‘em off at the Count Basie Theatre.
Charles Bradley tore up the floor first, spinning around and dropping to his knees like a showstopper half his age. Bradley (in a rhinestone jumpsuit) earned a standing ovation as he serenaded us with songs off his debut album No Time for Dreaming including ‘How Long’ and ‘Lovin’ You, Baby’. Backed by The Menahan Street Band, the artist formerly known as ‘Black Velvet’ also slipped a Motown-style cover of Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold’ into his set.
After a brief intermission, The Dap Kings readied the crowd for the main event: the unstoppable siren that is Ms. Jones. In a navy blue dress that sizzled with her every step, Jones sauntered out, opening her set with the slow jam ‘If You Call’. But the party really started when Sharon pulled a shy, and somewhat overwhelmed older gentleman from the audience, seducing him with her hips as she encouraged him to ‘Give It Back’.
When The Dap Kings cranked up the funk during an extended groove of ‘When I Come Home’, Jones took off like a five-foot firecracker, working the mashed potato and the funky chicken as if gun powder lined her silver-strapped shoes. More good vibrations off the latest SJDK record I Learned the Hard Way followed, further reinforcing why the LP made our Best Albums of 2010 list.
Just a few weeks ago, SJDK opened for the legendary Prince at the mother of all music venues, Madison Square Garden. And while Jones may sing like a diva, this New Yorker certainly has not forgotten her roots. In between songs, Sharon shared stories from her days of singing in a wedding band, joking how she used to “kill it” on Whitney Houston covers.
The leading lady sang the praises of Sam Cooke before leaving us with “Mama Don’t Like My Man’, a nearly a cappella moment harmonized by her lovely backup singers The Dapettes.
Unfortunately, the audience at Count Basie Theatre remained seated throughout most of Daptone’s dance party. Not until the encore, ‘100 Days, 100 Nights’ did fans rise to their feet to reciprocate the energy beaming back at them. That was the one and only shame about Daptone’s Soul Revue – all those damn chairs in the room.
TheWaster.com | Daptone