Sharon Jones Learns the Hard Way

Sharon Jones Learns the Hard Way
Soul maven Sharon Jones's I Learned the Hard Way comes out Tuesday (April 6) on Daptone Records, and it's another fine set of vintage soul from one of the most magnetic performers in any genre. Her partnership with the Dap-Kings is at a new level with grander arrangements contrasted with more down-home songs. Exclaim! recently spoke with Jones, who described the working method of the Daptone studio funk factory in New York City during the making of the new disc.

Not surprisingly, the analogue environs fostered some pretty old-school creative habits. "[For the first time, on] this album, I was there when they started to create some of the music" says Jones. "What we would do is go in every day, turn on the tape recorder and then start playing stuff.

"Gabe [Roth aka Bosco Mann] might be on drums, and Neal [Sugarman] wouldn't be on sax, he'd be on drums or a trumpet player would pick up a guitar. But the next thing you know, they got a groove together! It's real."

Jones goes on to say that being in the studio during the instrumental sessions helped influence the songwriting this time around, with the sessions for this album being particularly fruitful. They drew from tracks left off previous albums and in the end, Jones says, "We had 21 songs and we only needed about 12, so we've almost got enough for another album."

However, with the new album just coming out, there is no indication that another full-length from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings is on the immediate horizon.

The band are touring extensively starting in April, and play Toronto and Montreal in late May. You can see all the dates here. 

At midnight EST tonight (April 5), I Learned the Hard Way will begin streaming here all week on Exclaim.ca.