Daptone Records: Soul Kings

Despite my forays into all sorts of music (both playing/recording and listening), I always come back to two WILDLY disparate genres: 80s jangle pop and dirty, greasy soul music. It’s okay. I’m used to being a man of contradictions. Just ask my therapist.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-KingsAs far as Soul music goes, I’m generally old school: mostly Stax (Booker T. and the MGs, etc.) with a heaping helping of Al Green (before he found the Lord), a splash of Mr. Brown, and a scattering of 70s funk. I thought REAL funk and soul had died a horrible, horrible death some time in the late 70s. But, so much good Soul music was recorded in the 60s and 70s, I figured I had enough to get me by.

Then I stumbled upon Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Holy. Crap. REAL SOUL MUSIC. Made in the 00s! And it was GOOD, too! I then learned that Daptone Records puts out all sorts of great greasy Soul, just like I like it, and the Dap-Kings are the Daptone house band. Think Booker T. and the MGs with Stax only move to Brooklyn instead of Memphis.

Musicianship-wise, I started on drums in school band (I actually started on alto sax, but that didn’t last but a few weeks), but the first non-schoolband instrument I played was bass. I later switched to guitar, though never got very good at it. Still, playing bass is where my heart is, and Duck Dunn my hero. Duck’s going to have to share the podium now, though, because the playing Dap-Kings’ bandleader and producer and bass player, Gabriel “Bosco Mann” Roth, is just exquisite.

If you’re new to Daptone, start with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (any album will do, but I’m a big fan of 100 Days, 100 Nights, which is their latest). Then hit the Mighty Imperials, and THEN pick up the two collections of singles, which are greasy, greasy, GREASY!