Sharon Jones: “Stop Paying Taxes”
Sharon Jones has taken a circuitous route to stardom. After spending much of the 1970s as a back-up singer on a number of soul and funk records, Jones quit the music industry. She ended up as a corrections officer at Rikers Island before a one-off gig with soul singer Lee Fields got her some attention from record labels. Still, it took her another decade to finally record an album, but it’s catapulted her into the spotlight at the age of fifty-five.
Jones has a fiery delivery learned from years spent in a gospel church in her home town of Augusta, Georgia. Her albums 100 Days, 100 Nights and last year’s I Learned The Hard Way are revered for their pitch-perfect take on ’60s and ’70s soul music, and Jones lends a certain wisdom to the songs that a younger singer could never pull off. Part of her unique sound comes from her incredible backing group, the Dap-Kings. The house band for New York’s Daptone Records, the Dap-Kings might be half Jones’s age, but they keep up nonetheless, recalling classic backing groups like the MGs, the Bar-Kays, and the J.B.’s.
KUT was there with Jones’s initial rise, capturing her and the Dap-Kings back in 2005. And in honor of the ever-growing tax debate, here’s “Stop Paying Taxes” by Sharon Jones, live in Studio 1A.