Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: I Learned The Hard Way

I Learned The Hard Way was just released Tuesday. The fourth album by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings continues the brassed up retro soul style of 2007’s 100 Days, 100 Nights, this time with a bit of classic blues thrown in. Sharon and her Dap-Kings have shared the stage with everyone from Spoon to Smokey Robinson, and spearheaded the modern soul trend.

Songs like the opener “The Game Gets Old” have a classic soul sound reminiscent of Gladys Knight & The Pips.

The standouts on the album are the bluesy, lovelorn ballad “If You Call,” the dark-edged title track, and the claphappy “Better Things.”

Overall, I Learned The Hard Way doesn’t strike me as having such a fresh sound as 100 Days, 100 Nights did when I first heard it. But that’s probably because Sharon Jones isn’t breaking new ground this time around, she’s just continuing down her wellworn and brilliant path.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way (mp3 expired) *

*mp3 posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

You can also get a free mp3 of the album’s title track at Daptone Records by entering your email address.

Buy @ Amazon (only $7.99!)

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Official Site
Sharon Jones MySpace

Mp3 Menagerie: Harper Blynn, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Tom McRae

Harper Blynn – 25 Years (mp3 removed) *

Harper Blynn is scheduled to play with Wakey!Wakey! at Mercury Lounge later this month. This song is from their debut album Loneliest Generation, which is already available on Amazon digitally and will have a physical release in April.

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*mp3 provided by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

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Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I Learned The Hard Way (click for download page)

Retro brassed up soul wonders Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will release their new album I Learned The Hard Way on April 6th. In the meantime, Daptone Records is offering a free download of the album’s title track just for joining their mailing list.

Pre-order @ Amazon (not yet available)

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Tom McRae – Out of the Walls (click for download page)

Singer-songwriter Tom McRae is also offering a free download for joining his mailing list. This song is from his upcoming album The Alphabet of Hurricanes, which will be released on March 16th. I shared “Boy with the Bubblegun” and other songs from his beautiful self-titled debut back in 2001 (alas, those archives are lost), and I’m eager to hear his new release.

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