July 22, 2015 News » Long Story Short

Good deals for real deals 

Long Story Short

'If it feels good," declares gospel singer Naomi Shelton, "it's authentic."

Unfortunately, the reverse doesn't always apply. Being authentic is not necessarily fun, especially for legendary musicians who've been exploited by fly-by-night labels, traded co-writing credits for TV appearances or played dives while artists who ripped them off pack arenas.

Still, sometimes the good guys win. Bluesman Willie Dixon once received an out-of-court settlement after suing Led Zeppelin for plagiarism, while labels like Rhino, Sundazed and Bear Family Records have come on to release beautifully remastered and fully licensed reissues.

The next logical step has been to seek out the artists themselves. Music journalist Peter Guralnick managed to convince an industry-jaded Charlie Rich, who once burned John Denver's award envelope onstage at the Country Music Awards, to step out of retirement and record for Sire just a few years before his death.

Currently, the label that's proven to be the most committed to championing highly obscure, wildly talented and indisputably authentic veteran artists is Daptone, the hipster (in the best sense of the word) Brooklyn upstart that took Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens from New York City bars and churches to international festival stages.

You can read about that unlikely career trajectory here. Then go see Shelton sanctify the Blues Under The Bridge stage on Saturday, with a performance guaranteed to be both authentic and fun.


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