Jam of the Day | Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

It’s no secret around these parts that I love a good soul jam. I’ve been eating up The Mynabirds’ “Numbers Don’t Lie” (and eagerly awaiting the debut album, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood which drops April 27th), and that cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” by J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound is clearly the bees’ knees. It sorta makes my teeth sweat. In a good way.

Now, Miss Sharon Jones and her Dap-Kings are back with a new album and a title track that booms with hindsight knowledge and subtle swagger. “I Learned the Hard Way” proves that won’t won’t kill you will only make you stronger. Every few bars, the song alternates between syrupy Mary Wells-esque vocals and menacing brass accompaniment in the minor key.

The album cover (above) perfectly illustrates that same dichotomy in Jones herself: femininity in her high heels complimented by a powerful stance that says, “Don’t fuckin’ mess with me.” She does modern day soul that is completely authentic to the genre’s heyday in the 1960s, and besides the fact that she makes great music, I’m a sucker for a strong woman, particularly one that can stand next to the the original ladies of soul and hold her own.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

I Learned the Hard Way is out now on Daptone Records. Pick it up Saturday at your favorite independent record store and celebrate Record Store Day 2010. I celebrated a little early with my purchase at Vintage Vinyl.

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