My friend Jeff Chang says, “don’t despair, create” so here’s my contribution for this holiday week: a simple mix based around 15 of my favorite Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings’ songs.

Annotated tracklisting:

1. Sharon Jones: Hook N Sling Meets The Funky Superfly
2. Sharon Jones: You Better Think Twice

These first two are from Jones’s early years at Desco, where she first met many of the key players who’d later become part of the Dap-Kings. Back then, most of those folks were in a Desco house band called the Soul Providers. Both can be found on the Desco anthology, Spike’s Choice.

3. SJDK: Cut the Line

My favorite song off their debut Daptone LP Dap-Dippin’ With…. Musically, the LP owes more to the Desco era but you can already hear the improved chops here.

4. SJDK: Keep On Looking (Kenny Dope Remix)

I think this was originally commissioned for Scion’s Daptone Remixed project. Original version appeared on 100 Days, 100 Nights, my favorite LP by the group.

5. SJDK: How Long Do I Have To Wait For Your Love?
6. SJDK: How Long Do I Have To Wait For Your Love? (Ticklah Remix)

Original appeared on the group’s second album, Naturally and the remix was also on that Daptone Remixed compilation.

7. SJDK: Let Them Knock

When I first heard this on 100 Days, 100 Nights it knocked me out; still does.

8. SJDK: Inspiration Information

Their cover of Shuggie Otis’s classic appears on the Dark Was the Night compilation from ’09.

9. The Dap-Kings: Summer of Sound

To this day, I don’t know when/where this instrumental was created and for what purpose. I just recall it popping up on my radar ~2008 and then for 2011’s Soul Time! anthology, the same track was slowed down and became the backing for “Longer & Stronger“.

10. SJDK: Better Things

My favorite song from 2010’s I Learned the Hard Way.

11. Greyboy Feat. Sharon Jones: Got To Be a Love (Paul Nice Remix)

Originally recorded for Greyboy’s 2004 Soul Mosaic LP, the Paul Nice remix was on the song’s 12″ release.

12. SJDK: Making Up and Breaking Up

Love the chorus on here; originally on Give the People What They Want from 2013.

13. SJDK: Ain’t Nobody

This came on a bonus 7″ sold alongside Give the People but doesn’t actually appear on the LP itself.

14. SJDK: Slow Down, Love

The group at their melancholy best.

15. SJDK: All Over Again

C’mon, like I was going to end this with a different song than this classic from Naturally? You know how I do.