My son called me a few nights ago to tell me he heard Sharon Jones’ cancer is back. My heart fell, but I know she is going to give it one hell of a fight.
Brett turned me on to Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings a few years ago – i love the funky soul – kind of a cross between Donny Hathaway and Etta James. Spunky soul would be a way I would put it into words.
I was very excited to add the Wheels of Soul Tour to the Cheap Seats itinerary this summer – finally getting to hear Sharon Jones in person at Koko Booth Amphitheater. I’ve been a fan of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi going way back so it was going to be a great evening of music. Doyle Bramhall II was an added bonus. Jon and I have seen him on TV playing on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and wondered who he was. Mystery solved.
Doyle opened the evening and it was a treat to sit next to my son, Brett as he gave me background info on Doyle and his style of music. He only played a few songs, but I was intrigued and now have a few new tracks to chew on now.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were up next. I knew she had been bravely battling cancer – Brett had seen her perform at the Orange Peel in Asheville a few years ago – her head shaved from cancer treatments and she was out there powering out her Give the People What They Want tour. I knew she was driven by passion for her music, but I wasn’t prepared for what a dynamic performer she is. I’m pretty sure she was the main power source that night. Great voice, the energy of a terrier dancing all over the stage – filling us all up. She was clearly a fighter and stronger for her recent health battles.
Brett texted me during the break between Sharon Jones and the Tedeschi Trucks set. Sharon was up at the vendor tables signing autographs. Jon, Lynn and I headed up and were lucky to meet her. It was Lynn’s birthday that night and Sharon broke out into song singing Happy Birthday to Lynn and everyone gathered around her. Very sweet moment for Lynn and all of us. Of the entire tour, Sharon is the only one to come out and meet and greet the fans (most of the others required you to purchase a VIP package to be lined up and paraded past the bands).
I have to say that meeting her in person was very inspirational. We all have battles and life requires us to keep going. She embodies that spirit of giving it all you’ve got in a positive way. You can’t help but feel that in her presence. Make time, take time – LIVE your life!
The rest of the evening was great – Tedeschi Trucks Band filled us up with great music – keep your eyes on them. They are making great music. I really wanted to get to Lockn’ to experience the Joe Cocker tribute, but couldn’t swing it. They will be at the Roots Festival in Raleigh in a few weeks. Maybe…
I am going to chalk up the Wheels of Soul night (July 18, 2015) to a Soul Revival night on the Cheap Seats tour. I really had small expectations – looking forward to the familiar, but came away with great memories of a powerful musical evening.
A few weeks later, Sharon Jones sat in with the Roots on Jimmy Fallon and in the last couple of weeks Sharon has been the voice of the latest Target commercial (Everybody Dance Now). So happy that she’s getting the public recognition she deserves.
If you don’t know her music, go immediately to iTunes and listen. And send her some good thoughts and keep her in your prayers. Cheer on this fighting dynamo!