From the first track, a funk-infused shuffle, the Dap-Kings carve a deep and heavy groove which only gets deeper and heavier as the needle cuts further into the flesh of the album. Through ten solid tracks, "Naturally" explores the many moods and tempos of a group that is quickly earning a reputation as one of the hottest live acts across the nation, stretching their versatility to map out the full panorama of the idiom in which they so effortlessly reside. They are able to bring us back to 1970s not with the usual bell-bottomed conventions and wah-wah clichés employed by so many retro-funk wannabes, but by reaching back to the original source of all that good music: sincerity, integrity, melody, and an unwavering loyalty to rhythm.
In arrangements punctuated by bold horns and tastefully accented with piano, vibes, and strings, the Dap-Kings road-tight rhythm section expertly frames the skeleton of a classic Soul album, breathing life into a body of songs penned exclusively for Sharon Jones' unique voice. In turn, she masterfully and instinctively reaches beyond the basic melodies into her gospel-soaked roots to pour every drop of herself into each note that passes her lips, elevating the music from craft to art. With every moan she reminds us that before Whitney, Mariah, and Jay-Z, there was Tina, Aretha, and J.B.
Whether it's the hard-hitting funk of "My Man is a Mean Man" you crave or the transporting balladeering of "Stranded" or "All Over Again", Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings' "Naturally" is destined to occupy a permanent space in your heart and in your record collection.
El Michels, baritone saxophone
Neal Sugarman, tenor saxophone
Dave Guy, trumpet
Homer Steinweiss, drums
Binky Griptite, guitar, emcee, back-up vocals
Boogaloo Velez, conga
Tommy "TNT" Brenneck, guitar
Bosco Mann, bass, piano, vibes, tambourine
1. How Do I Let A Good Man Down?
2. Natural Born Lover
3. Stranded in Your Love (Feat. Lee Fields)
4. My Man is a Mean Man
5. You're Gonna Get It
6. How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?
7. This Land is Your Land
8. Your Thing is a Drag
9. Fish in the Dish
10. All Over Again