Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: “I Learned the Hard Way”

Posted in Dancing about architecture on March 1st, 2011 by bill

Synthesizers killed soul music sometime around 1980. Technology made a lot of new things possible, but it somehow also made a lot of old things impossible. Listen to any anthology of soul that extends into the 80s and you can hear that moment where the synths and drum machines start to creep in and everything goes to crap.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’ raison d’être is to re-create the long-lost sound of real soul and funk, much as I am told scientists are in the process of re-creating the woolly mammoth. This is a worthy project and they have been very successful at it; if you put on I Learned the Hard Way without my knowing what it was, and told me it was recorded in 1973 instead of 2010, I’d believe you. This is what we call authenticity – or at least, you know, a credible simulation of authenticity, which is just as good.
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