Something Else! sneak peek: Saun and Starr with the Dap-Kings, “Hot Shot” (2014)

If you are a fan of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (and we are), then surely you’ve marvelled at the coiled brilliance of her smooth and sultry backup singers — dubbed the Dapettes (and we have). Here’s a chance to sample their forthcoming debut album, as Saun and Starr take a rare step out front.

Not that they’re leaving behind the spicy mixture of old-school soul and new-school attitude that makes Jones’ albums and shows soar. A series of warm-up gigs for Jones confirmed both that they’ve got the goods on their own, and that they had the same baton firmly in hand.

The Dap-Kings even sit in on “Hot Shot,” ably recreating the sound as greasy and pure as anything that ever came off McLemore Avenue back in the day. (The single is available for pre-order via Daptone Records.)

Saun and Starr, singing as one and yet each as distinct as spices in a dark and velvety roux, are still at work on completing their first full length. “Hot Shot,” and a showcase for Saundra “Saun” Williams called “Gonna Take Time,” are only appetizers for what’s to come. Tasty, indeed!

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.

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