Review / photos: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings bring fiery soul to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa
Anyone that has an interest in 1970s southern funk — and great live music — should have been at the Ritz Ybor Saturday to see Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.
A mix of big-band feeling and Jones’ great stage performance was a great change from the same ol’ that we so often see in the Central Florida music scene. Admittedly, I was not sure what to expect from this show. I knew I liked the music of Jones and her Dappers, but like many attending Saturday night, had never seen the band live.
Many times, when you throw 11 performers onstage, things can sound thrown together, and the sound just isn’t as recorded. And while The Dap-Kings are known for their anolog recordings and pride themselves on not using any MIDI or electronic synths to produce their groove, doing this live can be tricky.
The female back-ups singers known as The Dappettes gave us a hint of what to expect prior to introducing Sharon Jones to the stage. The decently packed crowd was waiting for some funk and soul, and wow, did they get it. Jones started this show with high energy, and it never seemed to slow. Even during the slower R&B tunes, the passion in her voice was felt. She looked great in her white-and-black gown, and her mood was to please the crowd. And if I ever hear another woman complain about dancing in high heels, I’ll have to refer her to Sharon Jones, because it didn’t seem to bother her at all. Sharon can dance. If James Brown and Tina Turner had a baby, the outcome would be Sharon Jones.
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings not only have great music, they have a message. It’s like the TV shows of the 80s: Each song has something to teach and have you think about. Infidelity, spending time with family, drinking and driving — her messages to the crowd were clear. Have fun, but don’t take it too far.
Jones also pulled a few men and women from the crowd to dance. One fan got on stage and commenced serenading Jones and removing some clothing. It is obvious that Jones loves her fans, and her musicians. She gave each member a chance for some solo work, and complimented them on their musical skills. And while their main drummer was not present for this show, bassist Gabriel Roth, a.k.a. Bosco Mann, told me with a band this size, it’s difficult to have everyone at every show consistantly.
“Most of us have family,” Mann said, “and there are usually fill-ins for members regularly."
-- Review / photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*