This episode’s about music, starting with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who I went to see open for the Tedeschi-Trucks Band at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. What a smoking show! On tour together, a killer triple-bill, I think of Sharon and the D-Kings as a musical combine; a funk/soul powerhouse that shows depth and stability in this time of shifting music biz sands. “They are spearheads of a revivalist movement that aims to capture the essence of funk/soul music as it was at its height in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s.”
Based out of the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, with their own studio and record label, they have a compelling roster of artists and handle recording/pressing, distribution, publishing, booking, management, publicity and you-name-it. I first heard of them from my brother, who has worked with the guitar player and onstage musical director Binky Griptite, and this is as good as it gets, People! Got to hang with Binky after the set and hear some tales.
Among other projects over the years, The Dap Kings backed Amy Winehouse on two of her most popular tracks, the prophetic “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good” and were her backing band on tours. Amy was an authentic major talent we miss considering the disease of addiction took her way too young. In that vein, Sharon’s final tune was all about her recovery from pancreatic cancer, a courageous shout-out to the joys of being alive.
Tedeschi-Trucks are a magical marriage with a potent lineage, Derek Trucks uncle being Butch Trucks, the legendary one-of-the-two drummers in The Allman Brothers Band since day one. Derek married Susan Tedeschi, a superb singer with her own respected blues career and eventually they “wed” the bands and the rest is history. T-T bring that same deep tight melodic rocking groove the Allmans achieved with a skilled musicianship greater than most acts around. Blues rock with a back-beat and a Chick Corea-ish fusion/tightness avant-garde overlay that just slays me! Numerous classic favorites of mine, such as “I Pity the Fool”, first covered in 1961 by Bobby “Blue” Bland, made it a blues lover’s dream.
The triple on the bill was Doyle Bramhall II, extending the multi-generational blues theme. His father, Doyle Bramhall Sr. was a bedrock of the Texas blues scene including working with Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn and like the above-mentioned artists, both Doyle’s have one bad-ass musical curriculum vitae.
The show was fantastic and wrapping up with Jones and the Kings, here’s a quote, “This band’s pretty steeped in Motown”. Old school sweet music to my ears and they bring it 2015 style! Check ’em out.