Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, ‘Give The People What They Want’


Aidin Vaziri | Sharon Jones can’t get a break. With her music career stymied decades ago by an industry fixated on style over substance, she settled for a job as a prison guard at Rikers Island. Then when she hooked up with the Brooklyn retro-soul band the Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse came along and took off with them to make the blockbuster “Back to Black.” Just when it seemed like the dust had settled and Jones would finally get her due, the powerhouse singer was diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer last year. Tours were canceled, plans to release new material were shelved, and she spent most of 2013 undergoing chemo. Her last treatment was on New Year’s Eve, just in time for the band to release its fifth full-length, “Give the People What They Want.” Even though it was recorded before Jones’ illness hit, the album feels celebratory and defiant in classic form – with thundering, flashback-inducing songs like “Stranger to My Happiness” and “Retreat” confirming that Jones will come out on top just yet.