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CD of the Week: 100 Days, 100 Nights

February 11, 2008

Last night’s Grammy awards proved to be a big night for Amy Winehouse, who no longer is saying “no, no, no” to rehab.  I, for one, really dig the songs I’ve heard from Back to Black.  Mark Ronson’s crisp and clean production (those drums just snap, and everything seems reverb-free and unprocessed for a very dry, in-your-face kind of sound that I find refreshing) coupled with the old-school soul sensibility is really appealing to these ears.  Winehouse’s songwriting is in the confessional, bare-your-dark-side vein, so I tend to gravitate toward it as well.

So it was only natural that I hit iTunes this morning to download an album in response to Grammy’s big night.  So I downloaded 100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

Huh?

Amy Winehouse is a white, British, 24-year-old drug-addicted singer.  Jones is black, American, and twice Winehouse’s age.  What can they possibly have to do with one another?  Well, the band for one.  The Dap-Kings were essentially the band on Back to Black, and Winehouse’s retro-soul is deeply derivative of Jones’ records.

I thought music like this was dead.  Long gone.  This is like listening to prime era Etta James, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding Stax/Volt music.  Oh my heavens.  The title cut opens the album with a wonderful sonic stomp, then Jones calls for the band to slow it down and they settle into a half-time shuffle that rocks even harder than the first half.  Jones is an unfairly talented singer, and the band crackles, stomps and sizzles through the record.  This is awesome, no-nonsense soul music.

The album closes with the gospel-soul Answer Me,  in which Jones pleads, “Answer me, sweet Jesus.  Don’t you hear me calling you?  I need you , Lord.  I’ve run out of words to say, all I can do right now is moan.”  And you believe her.

If you like Amy Winehouse’s music you’ll LOVE Sharon Jones.  It’s only $5.99 on iTunes right now.  What are you waiting for?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2008 1:01 am

    Well, I guess I’m not waiting for anything except to finish this comment. THen, I will be all over that! Thanks Will. And thanks for reminding me that I haven’t done a CD of the week in a while…

  2. February 12, 2008 12:04 pm

    Ok, I am intrigued. I will check out Sharon Jones too. but…pst..I have a secret. I don’t ‘Down-load’ ’cause #1, I don’t have an Ipod or MP3 (don’t shout me down preacher) and #2, I don’t know how. So, I reckon I will go find an old fashioned ‘CD’ and let you young whipper snappers ‘Down-load’. Thanks for the tip Preach! Jennifer

    Hey! iTunes is what I think it is, right? Down loading music? Sheesh. I give up. I’m going back to vinyl.

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