Sharon Jones 1956 – 2016

By , November 22, 2016 10:17 am


Miss Sharon Jones


Listen/Download – Sharon Jones – Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In MP3

Listen/Download – Sharon Jones, Lee Fields and the Dap-Kings – Stranded In Your Love MP3

Greetings all.

This has been an exceptionally tough couple of weeks (this is the fourth memorial post in a row).

Sometimes it feels like the universe is out to get us.

Among the many losses, and in many ways the most painful, was the passing of Miss Sharon Jones.

Jones, the brightest light of the modern funk/soul world, and front woman for the mighty Dap-Kings lost a long battle with cancer at the age of 60.

Jones, who only really got to start climbing the ladder of musical success at the age of 40, had worked as a corrections office in Rikers Island in NYC and an armed guard, before joining up with Daptone.

She was born in Augusta, GA (There was a time…) and sang her entire life, fronting wedding bands and wailing in choir lofts, all the while stretching and honing her powerful voice.

Starting in 1996 she recorded a hot string of 45s and LPs, and became the most famous proponent of the classic soul revival (I’m sure there’s a better term, but I have neither the time nor the energy to hash that out right now), working her way up from the clubs to worldwide fame, backed by the hottest band in the land.

My feelings about the various and sundry modern acts working the classic style have wavered between indifference and pure joy, but I can assure that Miss Sharon Jones brought nothing but the latter.

I was never fortunate enough to see her and the Dap-Kings live, but their recorded work has brought me much pleasure over the years.

The two tracks I bring you today are longtime favorites of mine.

The first is Jones reworking of Bettye Lavette’s 1968 arrangement of Mickey Newbury’s ‘Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)’*.

Released in 2004, it is a smoking take on the song (taking it just a touch faster than Lavette) , with Jones singing beautifully all the way through.

The second is a duet with another soul survivor, Lee Fields (Jones was discovered singing backup on a Fields session), and as a perfect example of ‘revivalist’ soul that meets and exceeds the quality of the music from the classic era.

‘Stranded In Your Love’ (which appeared on the 2005 album ‘Naturally’), is an epic (nearing 6 minutes) duet that starts out with a little spoken back and forth between Jones and Fields, but then drops down into a deep, deep number.

The singing, playing (by the Dap-Kings) and the song itself (beautifully written by Gabriel Roth) are simply remarkable. Had this record come out in 1968 in a limited run of 500 copies, modern day collectors would be killing each other to get a copy.

It’s one of those records that I absolutely need to listen to more than once when I put it on. It hits all of those pleasure centers in the brain, and is a reminder of just how good soul music can be.

There is so much painful irony in the fact that Sharon Jones was taken from us just when she was reaching her peak, but sometimes that’s how it is.

We can be thankful that she left behind so much great music.

She will be missed.

See you on Friday.

Keep the faith



*Listed on Newbury’s album as ‘Just Dropped In’, Lavette’s 45 as ‘What Condition My Condition Was In’, on the First Edition hit with the parenthetical phrase, and on the Sharon Jones 45 without parentheses…



Also, the brand new Funky16Corners ‘Keep Calm and Stay Funky’ stickers have arrived! The stickers are 4″ x 3″ and printed on high quality, glossy stock. They are $2.00 each, with free shipping in the US ($2.00 per order shipping outside of the US). Click here to go to the ordering page.

PS Head over to Iron Leg too.

2 Responses to “Sharon Jones 1956 – 2016”

  1. jb says:

    Well said, sir. We are becoming numb to the losses in this horrid year, yet I share your opinion that this one hurts more than most of them. It’s not just that Sharon Jones was a living link to a tradition that so many of us revere, it’s that she was so damn joyful, and it’s clear that joy is going to be in short supply in the months and years to come.

  2. Larry says:

    Thanks JB. You can say that again.

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