Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are one of the coolest outfits playing today and they're led by guitarist Binky Griptite, who often uses Epiphones on stage and in the studio. The Dap-Kings have done the near impossible by not only breathing new life into the classic sounds of northern and southern soul but in the process--thanks to Binky's fretwork and leadership--the Dap-Kings have turned those 'classic' sounds into something vital and contemporary.
Binky can also be heard on historic recordings with the great Amy Winehouse as well as Prince and John Legend. This summer, Binky will participate in a tribute to Curtis Mayfield at Lincoln Center. (And count on Binky to tackle Curtis' tricky F# tuning.)
Binky grew up in Milwaukee, not too far from Epiphone's Godfather Les Paul
. Perhaps there's something in the water up there since blues greats Son House and Charlie Patton made their records in Grafton.
Here are two great photos of Binky in action. The first (upper right) is Binky on stage with an Epiphone Elitist Byrdland, a spectacular instrument that was originally created at the Gibson/Epiphone Kalamazoo factory in the '50s and was designed by country-jazz great Hank Garland and Ernest Tubb guitarist, Billy Byrd.
To the left is Binky with an Epiphone Emperor (T). And in the video below, Binky backs up the one and only Ms. Winehouse on a Texan
. Sir Paul
would be proud. We'll be talking with Binky shortly about his plans for the Curtis Mayfield tribute and what might be coming for the Dap-Kings this fall. Stay tuned.