My trip to Louisville to see Sharon Jones
So Sharon Jones played at the Duck Room on Thursday. The problem with the Duck Room, though, is that it only holds about 200 people and tickets sold out in a flash, leaving me high and dry. I frantically searched ebay, craigslist, stubhub, to no avail. But I wasn't about to let Sharon Jones come to the midwest without seeing her. So last night I rounded up a crew and we drove out to Louisville (about 4.5 hours away) to see her.
After an uneventful drive we arrived in Louisville to find that we were in a different time zone and the concert was about to start. After a quick dinner and a minor fiasco (after dinner we couldn't find my wallet, which we needed to get our will call tickets - we found it though), we somehow showed up at the venue in time to see the opener, the Ivan Milev band. These guys were slightly unexpected, but proved to be pretty amazing. The band consisted of a violin and an accordion. The guy on the accordian (probably Ivan) was doing things I have never seen someone do on that instrument. His solos sounded like a whole band playing and also included some pretty funky tricks (like really quick squeezes). Check these guys out at their myspace.
After a pretty long wait, the Dap Kings came out and did their best. These guys are all incredible musicians and their playing was so tight I felt like I was watching the JBs or the MGs with the Memphis horns. And when Sharon came out there was no stopping them. I never thought a 51 year old woman could be so damn sexy, but when she opened her mouth it was all over. The highlight of the night was when I got a glimpse of stardom. For one of her songs she said she needed a young man, so I hopped up on stage and she and me a song. (I'll post pictures when I get them) The theme of the song was that guys need to slow down and be cool and the ladies will come to them. Pretty good message. It also allowed me to booty dance with the woman herself. And I stick by my assessment that she is a sexy lady. I was almost tempted to ask her to meet up after the show (I didn't of course - if only I had that kinda chutspa. I guess we had to drive home anyways).
After a little over an hour they ended the show, but then came out for a four song encore. The first song featured the bari sax player, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, who had some serious chops. He put more soul through that instrument during his solo than I have in my entire body. If you check out their album pay special attention for him. When Sharon came back out she did two James Brown songs, but the highlight was definitely "This is a Man's World."
If you haven't checked out these guys yet, don't wait any longer. I drove 8 hours for a 2 hour concert. The least you can to is visit their myspace or grab the CD (I bought the LP - another good option)
Edit: Some pics from the show
Sharon rocking out, KWUR GM getting a hug, the baritone solo
Photos courtesy of backseatsandbar.com