This week the Wasatch was filled with the New Funk/Soul sounds of the lovely Sharon Jones and her band the Dap-Kings as part of the Red Butte Garden Summer Concert Series. This revivalist movement marks a return to the height of lates 1960′s/mid 1970′s era Funk and Soul. Other recent returns to this genre include; Mayer Hawthrone, Raphael Saadiq, and Lee Fields.
The tunes are recorded old-school style with analog equipement and her live performances sound just as gritty. She hit the stage in full motion and did not stop moving for 2+ hours. I was shocked at one point during her show when she mentioned she was over 50. Over 50! She can give any twenty something a run for their money. At times during the performance Ms. Jones invited members of the audience on stage to dance and she’d remove her high heels so she could dance harder. Check out her moves! It was a fine evening for funk and soul fans young, old and in between.
Next up at Red Butte Garden this week was folk legend-in-the-making, Mr. Josh Ritter of Moscow Idaho. Josh Ritter is a very talented singer-songwriter (and now novelist) who loves to come play Utah. Every time he hits the stage in the Wasatch Front he blows it out of the water. He may do this everywhere but since I have only seen him here, I think it’s just for us. One of my favorite bands, Blind Pilot, opened for Josh and may have been my highlight of the evening as they announced a new album due in September. Josh Ritter played all of my favorites including Girl in the War, Lantern, Good Man, and The Temptation of Adam. The garden crowd with wine and/or beer in hand greeted each tune enthusiastically. His tunes went perfectly with the summer rain storm that graced the gardens.