|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 31, 2016 at 5:55 PM|
Sharon Jones, long-time vocalist with The Dap-Kings, comes on like a barefoot freight train.
Get Hip to “Miss Sharon Jones!” at The Little This Weekend
By Christine G. Adamo
Wanna one-word review of “Miss Sharon Jones!” (2015, 93 min.)? Humbling.
The film—produced and directed by Barbara Kopple in 2015, presented by Starz Digital and released nationwide this August—opens with a noontime screening on Sat., Sept. 3, at The Little Theatre and offers a humbling look at a year that could easily have derailed this dynamic woman whose spirited soul and vocals have infused the Grammy Award winning band The Dap-Kings with an extra shot of dimension for decades.
"Sharon's voice is like a train,” Dapette Saundra Williams cautioned. “You betta get out the way!"
As the part-live-concert, part-studio-performance and very personal documentary helps explain, this “female James Brown” and former Rikers Island corrections officer is more than just a booming voice and larger-than-life personality. She’s fronted The Dap-Kings for 20+ years. And she’s also a recent survivor of pancreatic cancer.
That particular struggle is what “Miss Sharon Jones!”—the movie—used as a vehicle to shed light on who Jones is. But, so much of what’s stood in the way of her rise to stardom has prepared her to face it head on.
"Everything I've done, in my life, takes a little longer," Jones confessed on film.
Sharon Jones fronts The Dap-Kings in Asheville, N.C., in 2010 (courtesy: Rich Orris on flickr).
She grew up the youngest of six children in what she classified “the projects.” She was determined to move her mother out of there just as soon as she could, often supporting her entire family. She’s also been called too fat. Too black. Too short. And too old.
“The guys from Sony,” she said, slung those accusations at her and made her question her ability to make a dent in the music industry. Yet? She’s made more than a little ripple. In fact, she's sure to leave a lasting impression.
"Look at me now. All this hard work has finally paid off."
"I think, all the time, ‘When I had in my head I wanted to be a star, nothing happened.’ But, when I just said, 'You know what? I just wanna sing and use this gift and let people love me for my voice—not the way I look—and enjoy my music,’ (things took off).”
Sharon Jones (center), The Dap-Kings and The Dapettes as featured in a publicity photo at SJDK online.
The Dap-Kings aren’t regularly showered with radio air time, but they have a loyal audience that spans the globe. Its membership is diverse and inclusive. Heck, Homer Steinweiss joined that band at 16 years of age! Its bass player, bandleader, lead songwriter and producer Bosco Mann (aka Gabriel “Gabe” Roth) co-founded Daptone Records and wrote “Retreat” to help ease Jones back into the fold after chemotherapy.
The animated video makes a cameo appearance in “Miss Sharon Jones!” and is worth checking out on YouTube or on the band’s official website, where you can purchase the film’s soundtrack for $10.99 (I highly recommend it). Despite a few issues with consistency of picture quality, especially during live performance footage, “Miss Sharon Jones!” is a must-see for music lovers of every persuasion and generation. Visit TheLittle.org for local show times, which run thru Wed., Sept. 7.
Post a comment. letting me know what YOU think of “Miss Sharon Jones!”