Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

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It's been a whirlwind couple years for Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Since releasing their second record, the joyfully soulful Naturally, in 2005, they've toured Europe, Australia, and the States, played about a dozen festivals, and appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. But the road there has been a long one for Jones. Born in 1956 in James Brown's childhood home of Augusta, Georgia, and raised in Brooklyn, she dreamed of a career as a singer but couldn't get further than session work; eventually she took a job as a corrections officer at Rikers Island and sang only in her church. Then in 1996 she was discovered by the soul label Desco (which morphed into her current home, Daptone Records) and started working with the group that would become the eight-piece Dap-Kings. Her full-length debut, 2002's Dap-Dippin', sold only around 6,000 copies, but when the follow-up hit the street people started listening. Between the band's fatback drums, jitterbugging horns, and tight funk guitar, Jones's deep, soaring voice, and the album's vintage production values, you'd swear Naturally was conjured from a dimension where it's perpetually 1965. And the Dap-Kings can cook onstage too--at this February's Plug awards they'll be in the running for best live act. The Budos Band opens and the East of Eden's Soul Express DJs spin. a 9:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212, $30, 18+.

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