Hearing that Billy Preston had past away really hit home. He was a favourite around the house when I was younger. “Nothing from Nothing” and “Will It Go Round In Circles” have always been favorites of mine, but it wasn’t until much later that I found out that he was a highly sought after player for the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Eric Clapton. I was fortunate enough to actually see him live in 2000 with Clapton in Boston. It was a smooth show, especially with Steve Gadd on the kit. Billy Preston was a free, inspiring musician.
Last weekend we went to catch Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Prince of Wales here in Melbourne. We had been hearing these rave reviews for about a week before the show, so we were hoping it wouldn’t spoil it if they weren’t as good as everyone was saying they were. Even radio DJs were betting that it was the best show they had seen all year, and you know they must see quite a few.
From the first note this band had the entire audience in the palm of their hands. Every tune they played was as if it came down from somewhere up above and blessed the audience with groove. I have never seen a band switch gears so effortlessly before, and Sharon Jones delivered it all with a smile. She knows. It’s the only way to describe her. She just knows music and life. And what a voice.
The band were first rate, dressed in suits, and played in the pocket all night long. The drummer played kick, snare, hats, and a crash/ride. That’s it! He turned it out though, especially with such a mean left hand. I think every drummer should try that setup sometime, it’s a true test to see how musical you can be. Sounds like it would be easy, but it isn’t.
The band was headed to Europe next. If they come to your city, or you see that name somewhere in your city, go buy tickets. You will witness a true celebration of music, in the form of a nasty, funk & soul review.