One of Entertainment Weekly’s “exciting new artists” is a 51 year old former corrections officer at Riker’s Island who long ago abandoned hope for music stardom when she was told that she was simply “too short, too dark” for the job.
This would be Sharon Jones, who along with her house band, the Dip Dap Kings (who, as EW points out, may sound familiar, since they were the house band for the recording of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album), seems to finally be getting her due.
When I saw Sharon Jones and the Dip Dap Kings last year at a relatively small club in DC, she came onstage about two hours late, wearing a house dress, hair in some state of disrepair (I don’t think actual curlers, but something that suggested them), looking more like some lady who had wandered in to complain about the noise than the featured act. She proceeded to rip the roof off the joint. She was like a tiny tasmanian devil, completely owning the stage, the audience, the club, the city block.
After two songs, my wife turned to me and said, “Sharon Jones can come out here hours late in a house dress and completely kick ass. Sharon Jones can do whatever the fuck she wants.” And it was true.
Her new album looks to be more proof of that fact. You can hear some of it on her myspace page, and if last year’s show is any indication, I’d watch those listings to see when her and her band and her housedress are coming to your town.