Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones may owe her current career to, of all things, crate-diggers. The record collectors who throng church sales in search of rare soul singles have now started helping resurrect the careers of those artists. Jones was never a hit singer -- told that she was too dark-skinned, too short and too old to find fame, she sang mainly in church choirs and on the odd album, often uncredited or credited as LaFaye Jones. Jones maintained faith in her talent, though she had to work security guard jobs to survive. In 1999 she was dating a sax player who played with the Desco Records house band when he recommended her to sing backup on a track. Desco was so impressed they cut several more singles with her. The label dissolved, but out of its ashes rose Daptone Records, with a pre-Parliament funk house band that immediately tapped Jones to become the frontwoman. Recording analog and (for the most part) live, the Dap-Kings recordings sound like they could have been made in the late '60s, but Jones' high-octane voice is timeless. With no radio support, the band has toured the world and gained fans on every continent. The Dap-Kings moonlighted in 2007 as Amy Winehouse's backing band.