Sharon Jones @ Granada Theater Review

valarieJuneValerie June opened up the sold out show at 9:00 sharp to an already pretty crowded Granada Theater.  She sang her first song by herself in a traditional acoustic folk-blues style, and immediately quieted the crowd with her heavy southern accent and high and lonesome vocals.  She brought out a drummer for the next song and a bass player for the one after that. June played most of the remaining set with the rhythm section backing her before bringing out the Dap Kings lead guitarist Binky Griptite to play electric guitar on the last two numbers.  The set lasted for about 45 minutes, and consisted of mostly acoustic songs of varying tempos.  Valerie sounded great all night, and the large crowd seemed very enthused, cheering loudly after each and every song.


The curtain opened up about 40 minutes later to the thunderous applause of the sold out crowd. The Dap Kings warmed up the crowd with a quick instrumental jam, and then they introduced their two backup singers who sang one song each and then another together.  Although it was nice to see them getting the spotlight for a couple numbers, the songs were less than great, so it was that much more exciting when they brought out Sharon Jones.

SharonJones#4Sharon was diagnosed with cancer last year, and subsequently had to postpone the release of her latest record and cancel a whole lot of touring while she went through treatment.

Having seen her several times before with her trademark ultra high-energy stage presence, I was interested to see how she would have to adjust her show. She was absolutely beaming the whole night, full of energy with a constant outpouring of thankfulness.

If she backed off the old energy level, I couldn’t notice.  She danced and sang at full force, and looked and sounded as strong as ever.  The band has switched out some members since the last time I’d seen them, but they all sounded tight all night and looked like they were having a blast up there.  As she did last time she played the Granada, she pulled a couple folks out of the crowd and had them dance with her during her cover of I Heard It Through The Grapevine.  Sharon sang a pretty good mix of new tracks and old favorites, and had the crowd dancing for the full 90 minute set.  It ended up being a fantastic double-bill, and a memorable night at the Granada Theater.
If you’ve never heard this wonderful music, do yourself a favor and watch a live set by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings here:
Live show review by Tommy Beauford.