This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Sharon Jones moves from city parks to the Apollo this weekend (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Apollo Theater
253 West 125th St.
Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, $37.50, 8:00

We’ve been singing the praises of spitfire soul singer Sharon Jones since we first caught her explosive act in Madison Square Park back in 2005; three years later she was headlining a massive show at SummerStage in Central Park. Well, this weekend she moves from free shows in the park to the legendary Apollo Theater, where she’ll take the stage for two highly anticipated shows in support of her fourth and most widely reviewed album, I LEARNED THE HARD WAY (Daptone, April 6, 2010). A onetime Rikers Island prison guard born in Georgia and raised in Brooklyn, Jones always gives it her all; having cut her chops in churches and mimicking James Brown, she just knows no other way. The new record opens with a blast of horns from the Dap-Kings, kicking off a dozen trips into the sensational sound of ’70s soul, twelve funky forays into love and heartbreak that will get your booty shaking and your mojo working overtime. “If I give you my love, are you going to give it back,” she asks on “Give It Back.”; onstage, Jones always gives her love, and audiences give it back in droves (especially a lucky fellow or two who might get pulled onstage to dance with her).

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