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Sharon Jones Biography

Home > Music > J > Jones, Sharon > Biography

Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY, U.S.
Years Active: 1996–present
Genres: Funk, Soul, R&B

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings is a funk/soul band signed to Daptone Records, where the Dap-Kings are the house band. They are spearheads of a revivalist movement that aims to capture the essence of funk/soul music as it was at its height in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. Part of the way this is achieved is to shun modern digital recording methods in favor of using traditional analog recording equipment.

The original incarnation of the band, the Soul Providers, were formed in the mid nineties by Philip Lehman and Gabriel Roth AKA Bosco Mann. The Soul Providers began recording an album consisting of James Brown inspired instrumentals and vocal collaborations with Deep Funk legend Lee Fields. It was during these sessions that Roth and Lehman discovered vocalist Sharon Jones after she recorded backing vocals for one of the Lee Fields tracks. They were impressed enough to record a solo track with Jones entitled “Switchblade,” a track that had originally been intended for a man to record. This track along with another Jones solo, “The Landlord,” were included on the Soul Providers debut release “Soul Tequila,” released circa 1996 on the French label Pure Records.

Lehman and Roth then started a new label in Brooklyn, New York. Desco Records was born taking its name from Desco Vacuum, a vacuum cleaner store in West 41st Street underneath which they utilized the basement as studio space and an office to administer and distribute the label.

In 2000, due to a growing difference of opinion, Lehman and Roth decided to go separate ways and both set up new labels. Lehman set up Soul Fire Records. Roth went on to start Daptone Records with Sugarman 3 saxophonist Neal Sugarman. The Soul Providers split and a new band, the Dap-Kings formed.

The band recorded their debut LP, “Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings” in 2001. With promotional copies reaching notable funk DJs and reviewers, the album gained a significant reputation and was officially released as the first album on Daptone Records in 2002 to universal acclaim amongst enthusiasts.

The band went through several personnel changes before the release of their second LP, “Naturally,” in 2005. This album was a more broad based album than the first (which almost completely consisted of funk numbers) and included a mix of both soul and funk influences.

In late 2006, the band recorded a third studio album, entitled “100 Days, 100 Nights.” It was released in October 2007. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and #22 on the Independent Albums chart.

The Dap-Kings were then hired as session musicians on a number of projects associated with New York based DJ/producer/recording artist Mark Ronson. Most notable of these is their extensive inclusion and somewhat unheralded contribution to Amy Winehouse's 2006 album “Back to Black.” Six of the album's eleven tracks featured various members of the Dap-Kings with two notable hits from the album, “Rehab” and “You Know I'm No Good,” extensively featuring the Dap-Kings. The Dap-Kings then became the backing band used on Amy Winehouse's first U.S. tour.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ fourth album, “I Learned the Hard Way” was released by Daptone in April 2010. The album debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It also reached #6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #2 on the Independent Albums chart.