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'I Learned the Hard Way,' Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings 

Reverent recreation of an era and great music all its own

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Perhaps the secret to the success of the George Clooney film Up in the Air was the opening track, a cover of “This Land Is Your Land” that seemed to have been unearthed from some forgotten archive of a mid-1970s R&B music factory. Fact is, it’s new music from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, a fearsome act out of Brooklyn. That just primed the pump, and now their new CD of slow-grooves is hitting big — bringing a gritty, urban brand of soul you might have heard in a 1972 blaxploitation film.

Brought to you by the geniuses at Daptone Records, who’ve been dropping mysterious, undated 45s all over New York for years now, this record is both reverent recreation of an era and great music all its own. Sharon Jones has the pipes, but it’s the eight-piece Dap-Tones that bring it hardest. (You’ve heard them before: they were the nearly uncredited band on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black.)
Love that horn section.



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