When you listen to old-school soul singer Sharon Jones and her brassy Dap Kings, you get the sense that if you dropped your iPod the recording might begin skipping like a vinyl release. Such is the case with I Learned The Hard Way, her latest collection of retro R&B which hits all the right notes Jones nailed on her prior release 100 Days, 100 Nights.
Mighty Sam McClain is that most seasoned and agreeable of old school performers, a master of soul and R&B blues in the manner of Bobby “Blue” Bland, whom McClain has called an idol, and whose influence on him is lovingly pronounced. The show at the Stone Church (made even more so by a dark, starless night and plenty of car-obscuring fog) was not an all-star salute at Madison Square Garden, planned to the minute and sponsored beyond its ability to breathe comfortably. It was a warm, emotional benefit concert, and for the gathering of townies, friends (Sam now makes his home in New Hampshire) and dance-hearty music lovers in attendance, the place to be.
Live In ’71 has a lot to offer, including a separate audio CD, featuring even more tracks than the DVD. If you can get past the imperfections found in this release, you will equally find yourself wrapped up in one of the finer touring Rock & Roll and Soul acts of the 70