At this point, the story’s been well told. All I’ll add is that like many, I’m very happy to hear that Jones’s cancer is in remission.

Their new album just dropped this week, having been delayed for obvious reasons from last summer. I jawed about it briefly on KPCC on Tuesday and don’t have a ton to add except to say this:

This band is now five albums deep into a career that I doubt many folks would have predicted would have gone this distance. That’s certainly not for any shortcoming in talent on their part, rather it’s the case that their particular style of retro-soul had no useful precedent. Maybe you could imagine one or two albums but back in 2002, when they dropped their debut, it wasn’t like there were examples of similar artists carving out a long-term, successful career. Desco and Soul Fire had both come and gone with what, in hindsight, feels like a ferocious quickness. The Poets of Rhythm were already breaking up after only two albums. Sharon and the Dap-Kings were out there, making the road by walking, as their label mates might say. So to see them, now 14 years and 5 albums later, still doing their thing, kicking it with Ellen and Fallon, with Sharon rocking her bald head like the badmamajama she is? We should all feel so fortunate to enjoy their bounty of music. And we should all count our blessings and send good wishes that albums 6, 7 and 8 are around the corner.

P.S. I have my two LP favorites picked out already: “We Get Along,” which reminds me, ever-so-slightly, of “Follow Your Heart” and “Making Up and Breaking Up” which is as a gorgeous ballad that I’ve ever heard from the group (which is saying a lot).

P.P.S. Valerie June is opening for them on tour this spring. Pencil me in for that show like…yesterday.