Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
It's good to be the Dap-Kings. The stylish Brooklyn seven-piece is privileged to back up soul singer Sharon Jones. And it's good work indeed if you can get it. Jones, with a voice that recalls prime Carla Thomas, excels over and over again on Naturally, an album of funk, spunk and naked emotion. There's a bit of Motown and Mayfield, but mostly it's old-school southern stuff -- some of it up-tempo and rhythmic, some of it humid balladry. Best track? Stranded in Your Love, a measured, minor-keyed duet with an ace appearance by guest vocalist Lee Fields, who wiggles his way back into Jones's heart. Soul used to be called soul for a reason. It is again.