Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at SOhO

Soul’s Late-Blooming Star Brings the House Down on Saturday

There are few performers who command a stage like Sharon Jones. At 55, the late-blooming soul star — and reigning queen of the Daptone Records label — can still belt like Mavis Staples and shake it like Tina Turner, and on Saturday night, she did both and gave fans nearly two hours’ worth of tunes to boot.

Fresh off their inaugural S.B. stop-through earlier this month, L.A.’s Allah-Las made a return trip to State Street to open for Jones & Co. And as in their first show, the quartet didn’t disappoint, dishing out a toe-tapping collection of lo-fi surf and ’60s-inspired psych rock that felt as authentic as the real deal.

After a lengthy setup and a snappy “warm-up” set by backing band The Dap-Kings, Jones emerged stage left, cloaked in a multihued fringed mini-dress and heels. Not surprisingly, the dance party kicked off almost immediately, and in no time, one avid fan had scaled SOhO’s stage to get his groove on alongside the songstress. Unfortunately, fan participation wasn’t the only reoccurring theme in Saturday’s proceedings; throughout the set, Jones struggled with her in-ear setup, no doubt due to the large size of the band — 10 players, plus an onstage engineer — and small stage space.

No matter, though, as Jones soldiered on despite the troubles, riffing through tracks like “Soul Train” and “Mama Don’t Like My Man” with spirited professionalism. Like her label mate (and recent S.B. stopover) Charles Bradley, Jones evokes the history and greatness of an otherwise forgotten era of showmanship, and in front of Saturday’s diverse and multigenerational crowd, the message resonated even stronger.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Pair of F-22s Buzz Santa Barbara City College

Turbulence rattles windows and nerves on Monday morning.

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets Over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.