In reading an article about the rise and fall (and rise again!), of Stax records I came across another article about a (relatively) new label who loosely model themselves on the original Stax label – Daptone records.
The label started with the idea that musicians could make music they think is cool, record it, and put it out on their own. A radical idea indeed! The group of musicians have their hand in a number of projects, most notably Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, who some might consider to be a revivalist take on classic southern soul traditions. But, as it is pointed out in the article in the January issue of MOJO magazine, these guys have backed Amy Winehouse – both on record and live.
Amy Winehouse, despite her recent tabloid adventures, has a smash album on her hands with Back to Black (a recommended release as well, people, if you’ve not heard it). So, they’re not a stab at hitting the nostalgia market – millions of people are loving the sounds they’re making right now from middle-aged rockists like me, to teenage girls singing in the front rows in venues across the globe.
I find the very existence of this collective of musicians, producers, and studio/label owners very encouraging. It helps that their approach takes its lead from the basics – live music, real instruments, with artistic control taken pretty literally. In making the comparison to Stax, let’s hope they continue to exemplify the strengths of that label – great music, family environment, lots of hits, and a lasting legacy. And let’s hope too that they avoid the pitfalls!
Watch and hear Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
To view the clip, hover over the image and click the ‘play’ icon. To enlarge the viewing window, click the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner.