Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song comes from contemporary soul siren and her band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. “I’m Still Here” leads the soundtrack to her new Barbara Kopple-directed documentary Miss Sharon Jones!, which is out now on Daptone.
In her time, we’ve seen few singers quite as rapturous and inspiring as Miss Sharon Jones. Her soulful works have pierced the hearts of hundreds of thousands, and her rise to greatness is exactly the type of story that deserves a top notch documentary directed by the likes of Barbara Kopple. Her take on fame and stardom takes the traditional model and flips it on its head. Jones doesn’t need any of the glitz or glamour – rather, she gives the spotlight back to her fans with euphoric and inclusive soul spiritualism. Every moment you get with Sharon is a religious experience. She is about the utmost we’ll find in terms of human empathy and angelic posture. All this to say, Miss Sharon Jones! shows Jones off to be the star she is, without sacrificing any of the pain of her last fews years and battle with cancer. As brutal and soul-crushing as the disease is, it’s just one in a long list of quarrels that Jones has fought through to get where she is.
“I’m Still Here”, the documentary’s lead tune, lays out her past few years in such a fashion. Looking back to New York in the 1960s and moving forward decade by decade, Jones sees one roadblock after another. And yet, she’s still here. The Dap-Kings crackle and snap with electricity as she rips into the hook. Nothing is preventing Jones from being here, with us, in this moment. No matter how great the obstacle – internal or external – Jones is still here, in our space, in our hearts, and in our ears, and we are so very thankful that is the case.
Grab “I’m Still Here” above and make sure to check out the Miss Sharon Jones! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, out now on Daptone. You can watch a trailer for the Barbara Kopple-directed documentary below, which is also out now. As can be expected, it’s fantastic. Jones and The Dap-Kings will play a handful of dates through the end of the year – check her website and Facebook page for more details.