There’s nothing modern, high-tech, or cutting edge about the music of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Missing from their warm recordings are the polished synth and drum sounds, Auto-Tuned vocals, and fancy trickery of contemporary pop and R&B music, and Jones wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Most of the new stuff on radio sounds the same,” says the frontlady, who is particularly annoyed by Auto-Tunes vocals. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t try to knock the young pop singers. I don’t mind that they’re doing their thing, but I don’t like it too much.”

She adds, “When we travel, we don’t listen to much new radio. We’re always listening to songs from back in the day.”

Speaking last week from her home in New York during a busy day of telephone interviews, the no-nonsense vocalist and bandleader comes across as sassy and cheerful. She sounds surprisingly energetic, considering how much time and effort she’s put into promoting her latest studio album, I Learned the Hard Way.

Released last spring, it’s the group’s fourth full-length on Brooklyn’s Daptone Records. It showcases Jones’ own sultry, shimmering style. Anchored on organ, bass, drums, and melodic brass, the album harkens back to the smooth and emotive hits of Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Tina Turner, Rev. Al Green, and the Staple Singers.

Produced by Bosco Mann (a.k.a. Gabriel Roth), Jones and the crew recorded on an Ampex eight-track tape machine, similar to the raw, no-frills way the old greats tracked at Muscle Shoals, Motown, and Stax studios.

“We were determined to record everything to analog [tape], so that’s why there’s a warmness and lushness in the sound,” she says. “The horns were recorded altogether on one mic, just like the old days.”

The traditional spirit and production hardly resembles anything on the pop charts — from Philly-styled opener “The Game Gets Old” through the swingin’ Motown snap of “Mama Don’t Like My Man.”

“I just naturally do it, and I don’t even think about it,” says Jones. “We just go into the studio and perform. We like to do songs on stage at least a few times before we record them, but sometimes we just record the latest stuff and then go on the road and tour behind them. This time around, we added extra orchestration and extra backup singers here and there, because we thought a fuller sound was better.”

Jones and her group seem to be conducting a never-ending celebration. Her soul-belting skills have been grabbing the attention of colleagues and new fans alike.

“We’ve been going full-on since April since the release of the new album,” Jones says. “You sort of get used to these tours, but certain gigs really stand out, like our set with Prince in January [they opened for him at Madison Square Garden]. That was great — a real night to remember.”

The Dap Kings gradually evolved out of a 1990s band called the Soul Providers, led by Mann and Philip Lehman. In 2000, Mann started Daptone Records and the Dap Kings formed. The band recorded and toured internationally over the next few years, with personnel changes along the way.

“I’m at my best when I’m singing on the road and traveling,” Jones says. “I’ll be 55 years old in May, and I know I want to continue while I still got that energy. People get old, you know, and they start inheriting all the things that afflicted their relatives.”

The latest version of the Dap Kings features Mann on bass alongside many of the original members. Their spirit of teamwork remains intact.

“Once in a while, you just have to make adjustments, like with any band,” Jones says. “It’s always pretty much the same band behind me, but some members got married, had babies, and stuff like that. It’s a rotation. We normally have nine members, but we often have even more on the road.

“On some of the early albums, we had trouble performing some of the songs with the old, funk-soul style on stage, but with this new album, we felt more orchestral,” she adds. “Our minds had expanded, so we wanted the music to expand. I think we kind of went for that old Philadelphia mod sound with all the horns up in there. We may do something else next time.”

That tag-team system has been fairly traditional for jazz, blues, and soul groups through the decades. Each musician was expected to be able to jump into any song, hang on with ease, and find the feel and sound of their bandmates on the spot.

“There’s a chemistry on I Learned the Hard Way that any fill-in has to be able to match,” Jones says. “This is a style and a sound that we’ve been developing over the years. It’s just what we do.”

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