When Gabriel "Bosco Mann" Roth co-founded the Daptone Records label and his band, the Dap-Kings, he had only modest ambitions.
"We always had a pretty humble mission," the Brooklyn-based Roth, 35, explains. "We were just trying to make records that we dug and not worry about whether they were going to sell or anything like that.
"But now, with the major labels suffering and not figuring out how to do this business, we've kind of grown and we suddenly find ourselves in a position where we're actually viable as a Top 40 music label. So it seems to be working out for us."
Daptone's specialty is vintage soul music, with a roster that includes co-founder Neal Sugarman's Sugarman 3, the Mighty Imperials, the Budos Band and, most importantly, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, whose four album — "I Learned the Hard Way," produced by Roth — debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 in April.
"That was unbelievable for us, 'cause we've never been on the charts before," says Roth, whose Dap-Kings have also backed artists such as Amy Winehouse and Michael Buble. "It's just been a very gradual thing. Sharon and I have been working together for 13 or 14 years. We've developed and grown and evolved, but on some level we've been doing the same thing all the — music we dug, old soul music, recording real raw to tape.
"We're just trying to make cool songs and cool records, and obviously other people dig it, too, which is great."
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the Heavy and DJ Frank Raines perform Tuesday, May 18, at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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