You can’t keep a good woman and her band down — which is why Sharon Jones promises there’s more where “Give the People What they Want,” her fifth album with the Dap-Kings, came from.
Jones tells Billboard that the group “did like 22, 23 songs” for the album, which was winnowed down to 10 by bassist, producer and Daptone Records co-founder Gabe “Bosco Mann” Roth. With the largess, Jones predicts, “We probably have enough material to work on another album. We have more people writing in the band now, so we’ve got enough that, if push came to shove and we’re still touring, we should be able to put out another album while we’re on the road. It really doesn’t matter to me; I’m singing them all, so whatever the guys decide to put on there, that’s what makes me go.”
“Give the People What They Want,” of course, was delayed when Jones was diagnosed with second stage pancreatic cancer last June, going through surgery and then chemotherapy. But she was back in gear in time for the group to play on a float during last November`s 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and now that the Dap-Kings have returned to the road Jones says she’s “feeling great” and gratified for her quick recovery.
“If you would’ve seen me after the operation, from June to September — I couldn’t even walk straight,” she recalls. “They took out a foot and a half of my lower intestine and other stuff. It was tough. Even in January when I was doing those TV shows, it was a still tough on me because the chemo was still in my body and I was weak. It was a short time, but it’s amazing how you can will yourself to do what you have to do. And there’s so much positive energy to me from the fans, that was an inspiration for me to get out there faster.”
Jones says she’s more than up to the “very busy” schedule she and the Dap-Kings have in front of them, with a North American tour just wrapping up and a European trek starting May 6 in Paris and then a return to the U.S. and Canada at the end of May. Jones is particularly pleased that the Dap-Kings band identity is even more ingrained now than it was before, perhaps bolstered by closing ranks during the singer’s health scare.
“Y’know, the drummer (Homer Steinweiss), he just celebrated his 32nd birthday, so I’ve known him half his life; he started play with us when he was 15 years old,” Jones says. “I had known Binky (Griptite) at least three years before Homer, two years before the rest of those guys…So I think that’s why we’re so tight. You’re talking 19 years of being together, close to 20 for some of the band members. That’s a lot. Joe Crispiano, the guitar player, has been with us five years, and everyone else is, like, eight, nine, 17, 16, 19 years. It’s like family, it really is.”