Albums, Mundo Musique, Music, The Revue — January 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

Mundo Musique: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Joshua Baez

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Back to our regularly scheduled programming, where we highlight some new music, some upcoming music, some maybe not-so-new-but-pretty-recent music, and music from Twitter followers. We’re going to try a different approach to start the year, highlighting one or two bands each day, which will allow us to talk about albums a bit more and promote more Twitter folks.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

On Tuesday, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will release their fourth studio album, Give the People What They Want.  On the 10-track album, which was available for free streaming last week, Jones & the Dap-Kings continue to provide groovy soul, funk, and old-school R&B music with catchy hooks and lyrics that will make you want to raise your hands up as Jones bellows the chorus.   The album was originally to be released in the summer of 2013; however, Jones was diagnosed with stage-one bile duct cancer early in 2013 (her diagnosis was later changed to stage-two pancreatic cancer).  After surgery and chemotherapy, Jones is mostly recovered, as her cancer is currently in remission.

So what’s next for the 57-year old Jones and her talented backup band?  Well, a tour of course! Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will embark on 51-show tour that will take them to 47 cities across North America and part of Europe that starts on February 6 at the landmark Beacon Theatre in New York City.  You can find tour dates on their website. Unfortunately, they did not announce any shows in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor, but maybe that means they will be playing in one of the many summer festivals in the area.

Jones’ recovery from cancer should not come to a surprise for those who have followed her career. The “Coles’ Notes” version is as follows: Despite her powerful, soulful voice, Jones spent much of her early years competing in talent shows and also spent time as a corrections officer at the infamous Rikers Island Prison and as an armored-car guard. It wasn’t until 1996 at the age of 40 when she got her break, and then teamed up with The Dap-Kings in 2002.  The rest is history.

There was a time, though, that Jones did not believe she would be able to get back on the stage.  As she recently told SPIN Magazine, “I didn’t think I was going to be here. I thought that Give the People What They Want was going to be the album that people would buy, but not see me perform. I thought these songs would never be performed by me. I thought I was going to die. I knew it.”

But she is back. While her cancer took away her trademark coif, it didn’t take away her powerful voice, her enormous stage presence, nor her dance moves, as evidenced by Jones and the Dap-Kings’ performance last week on Jimmy Fallon. She also has stated that she will be tearing up the stage during her live shows, so go see her and The Dap-Kings, who provide one of the best live shows around.  And this time around, their shows will likely be among the most inspiring you see all year.

Joshua Baez

Nineteen year-old Joshua Baez is a DIY singer-songwriter from the Pacific Northwest – Bellevue, Washington to be specific – and a Twitter follower of The Revue.   His music beguiles his young age, as it is touching and sincere. It is melodic and reflective with its focus on relationships and love gained and lost.

According to his website, his influences include Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, Iron and Wine, and Bon Iver, but much of his more recent stuff is more akin to Canadian indie superstar City in Colour / Dallas Green.  I cannot help but think that if Baez was recording music in the early ’90s, his music would have been on soundtracks for Reality Bites, Singles, or Empire Records.

If you want to learn more about Joshua Baez, you can visit a number of sites:
Main website – http://www.joshbaezmusic.com/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/joshbaezmusic
Twitter – https://twitter.com/joshbaezmusic

Here are a couple of tracks of Baez – “Letters”, which has a Death Cab for Cutie feel, and “It’s Natural to be Afraid”, which is on his latest EP Before I Go and is very City in Colour-like.

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