OK, you can say that “the late” isn’t a bad adjective for something called Obitmagazine, but when we realized that we missed commemorating the anniversary of Sharon Jones’ death yesterday, we decided that “the late” was way better than “the never.” Besides, we’ll never pass up a chance to play some Sharon Jones, a 21st Century version of soul shouters such as Betty Davis, Lyn Collins and, of course, Aretha. Discovered late in life while working as a corrections officer in Queens, New York, she more than made up for lost time in energy and power. Anyone lucky enough to have seen her and Dap-Kings, the neo-funk revivalists who backed her, remembers a formidable front woman who could howl, plead, coo, and testify, a sparkplug in a snug dress frugging across the stage. And her final album, Soul Of A Woman, she it’s obvious she went down fighting. Listen to “Matter of Time,” which kicks off the album: it’s a real, live band, playing a funky shuffle. There’s a guitar swathed in the nubby warmth of a tube amp, and a horn section punctuating the groove. And when Miss Jones jumps in, leading a call and response of “oh, yeah,” it’s hard to believe it was recorded while undergoing treatment for the cancer that killed her.
Give it a listen, and you can buy the album here: