Friday, February 15, 2008

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Wherein new music I heard earlier this week

Gotta get me some of this.

When I reach her five days before Christmas, however, she’s in a giddy mood. It is the day after the premiere of The Great Debaters in New York, and the overwhelming glow of walking the red carpet with Washington, Weinstein, Forest Whitaker and other big names associated with the film the previous evening is still fresh in Jones’ wound-up psyche. “I’ve been on the phone for the past few hours, people just been callin’ me left an’ right, congratulatin’ me about last night,” she exclaims, only expressing regret that her handful of lines and primary performance footage ended up on the editing room floor. “But it’s OK – we got seven songs on the soundtrack! When the DVD comes out, I’ll make sure I get that so people can see the director’s cut.”

She might want to make sure Lou Reed gets a copy also. Jones toured Australia, Europe and the US as part of Reed’s live production of his 1973 album Berlin, eventually becoming a highlight of the show once the notoriously standoffish Reed became aware of her reputation and started giving her the lead on the VU standard “Sweet Jane,” which Jones transformed into a Tina Turner-esque show-stopper. The first time she did it, she remembers, “the crowd screamed, Lou stood at the end of the stage, almost in tears, he was like, ‘She took me to the mountaintop!’ I came off the stage, and he gave me the biggest hug. And then we bonded. Until I had to turn him down for June and July three days before I was supposed to go on tour with him again, because I had to do The Great Debaters. Oooh, he hated me.” She’s only ran into Reed once since then, at a Doc Pomus tribute concert that both of them played in Prospect Park in July. “He was a little upset,” she says. “But he gave me a hug, after I came off the stage.”

100 Days, 100 Nights


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