A couple different blogs I read pretty regularly have brought up the “legitimacy” of Amy Winehouse (most recently Souled On, and a while back Los Amigos de Duritti). Both Scholar at SO and Matt at LAdD dismiss the issue, and I tend to agree with them. The question should not be, “Does she deserve the praise she gets?” because of course the answer is yes, she does. Anyone who hears her voice and thinks she doesn’t, I’ll fight. I’ll fight you right now! But the question we should really be asking is “Would she be getting this kind of recognition, praise and publicity if she wasn’t white?” to which the answer is probably not. The other, more interesting question for those of us who call ourselves fans of music is, “What other artists are being neglected the fame and success they deserve, possibly because of the inherent racial bias in the industry and in the country in general?” I don’t know much about Sharon Jones, but I can’t see any reason why her music isn’t playing all the time in every home in the country, sharing the airwaves with Ms. Winehouse. Up until last week I’d only heard a couple songs by Jones and her backing band The Dap-Kings (one of them thanks to a mix CD made by our sometime-contributor Charlotte), but the album Naturally changed all that. Naturally is ten tracks of pure soul music goodness, the kind that they USED to make, and the kind that Winehouse could only dream of making. And in fact, The Dap-Kings show up on Winehouse’s album Back to Black, the one everyone and their mother is freaking out over right now. Point is, you shouldn’t be too concerned with an artist’s “legitimacy.” If it’s good, it’s good, period. But do yourself a favor and dig a little deeper than what’s on the cover of Rolling Stone (and SPIN in the same month!). And for those of you in the NYC area, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will be playing in Battery Park on July 26th. I’m sure gonna do my damndest to get get there in time.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – How Do I Let a Good Man Down? Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Your Thing is a Drag Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – How Long Do I Have to Wait For You?
posted by Adam