Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, "I Learned the Hard Way" (Daptone)
Release Date: May 4, 2010
After the unexpected success of 2007's "100 Days, 100 Nights," Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings felt a bit of pressure when they returned to the Daptone Records studio to record a follow-up. "When you sell 100,000 records and your sales goals were 30,000 records, the amount of money and the expectations from the retailers to the distributors is really different," Daptone co-owner Neal Sugarman says. The real challenge, though, has been juggling constant touring with recording and running the label, since Sugarman and co-owner Gabe Roth also play and tour with the Dap-Kings. "Everything takes us a little longer than most other labels," he says. Sugarman says the biggest musical change on the still-to-be-named album was the use of more instrumentation than on "100 Days." "Almost every song is augmented with backup singers and strings, and the horn section is augmented on a lot of the stuff," he says. Ultimately, the band isn't trying to reinvent itself but instead build on what has worked in the past. "What we do, we've been doing from the very beginning," Sugarman says. "Which is make records that look and sound like the records that we love."