This is one of those shows where you’re simply not supposed to ask why.
Never heard of Sharon Jones? Don’t worry. You’ll love her. Not big on vintage soul music? Well, you should be. But the finger-popping, brass-happy, twang-hearty Dap Kings that have long served as Jones’ backup band will have you forgetting about labels, tags and genres. What this crew comes up with is R&B, blues and roots-inspired party music that bears an unavoidable retro slant and a huge contemporarary heart.
With three extraordinary indie albums to her credit, soul diva Jones is finally heading to Kentucky. She performs with the Dap Kings on Friday at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville.
The Georgia born, Brooklyn bred Jones’ newest album with the Dap Kings, 2007’s sublime 100 Days, 100 Nights , fortifies her sense of soul smarts with a vocal command that leans heavily on gospel. No surprise there. Jones started singing in church choirs. She shows off that inspiration directly with help from bluesman Alvin Youngblood Hart and the Carolina Chocolate Drops on the dynamite soundtrack to The Great Debaters.
Now here is the crowning touch. You need to hit the road to Louisville early enough to hear the show-opening Ivan Milev band. Accordionist Milev has been a prime ambassador of Balkan and Bulgarian folk music for over three decades. While he resides in New York, his band still consists exclusively of Eastern European players. Among them is Milev’s apprentice, violinist Entcho Todorov. Together they create positively mad and boundlessly enthusiastic acoustic music. It’s a soul sound from, literally, another world. Check out these samples.
Louisville’s DJ Kim Sorise, co-host of the city’s famed Dirty Soul Party public radio program, will also be on hand. So Scrap whatever plans you have for tonight. You need to be at this show. It’s just that simple.
(above photo of Sharon Jones by Dulce Pinzon)
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Ivan Milev Band and DJ Kim Sorise perform at Headliners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Rd. in Louisville on Friday. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (502) 584-8088.