Music » Critics' Picks

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

8 p.m. Sunday, September 19. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

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Surely you know the back-story of 54-year-old Sharon Jones by now. A struggling gospel/R&B singer during the '70s, she spent years working as a prison guard at New York's notorious Rikers Island before linking up with funk/soul outfit the Dap-Kings in the early '00s. That partnership earned her the career success she should have enjoyed three decades earlier — success that continues to grow with the combo's stunning 2010 album, I Learned the Hard Way. Singing like she's still got something to prove — and like there's a suffering inside that could never be soothed by fame or fortune — Jones bleeds, growls and moans while the Dap-Kings punctuate her emotional toil with horn blasts and unstoppable grooves.

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