Soul Survivor


The outdoor crowd of some 6,000 fans in Boise that night in April probably remember a few distinct things about the show they’d come to see.

One: It was great. Of course it was. This was Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, after all — the raucous but tight-as-a-drum soul powerhouse fronted by a not-quite-five-foot dynamo. The group, together nearly 20 years, has made a living putting smiles on the faces of crowds around the world.

Those in attendance also likely remember how very cold it was. So cold. It had dipped into the 20s. You could see the breath of the trio of Dap-Kings horn players between blows.

Despite the frigid Idaho air, Jones was everything fans have now come to expect — a whirling firecracker of a woman whose megawatt smile alone could generate enough electricity to power all the Edison bulbs in Brooklyn. They surely remember that despite the cold, she didn’t wear a jacket. At one point she even kicked off her shoes, shimmying across the stage for the remainder of the set barefoot, in a sequined black dress complete with tassels that shook in unison with her shoulder-length locks.

They remember a party.

What they don’t remember — what they couldn’t have known — is that Jones was hurting that night.

Read the story, “Sharon Jones Rebounds After Cancer,” in its entirety here.