It's strange to watch Binky Griptite sit still, and stranger still for him to be still.
Robert Menzer for the Village Voice Binky Griptite at home in Bed-Stuy
Griptite is a kinetic, time-keeping force, and easily recognizable to fans of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings as the guitarist in the band's front line whose step is as sure as the click of a metronome. While Griptite isn't on the percussion side of things for the Dap-Kings, he, along with the full ensemble of brass-blowing, bass-thumping, string-snapping soul purveyors onstage with Jones at any given moment, is very much a constant in motion, shifting side to side with the beat rolling in behind him, just as James Brown's guys did back in the day. Griptite can play his guitar behind his back — the swiftness with which he can hoist the sleek, ebony body of the Gibson up and over his shoulders is practically feline — and he can riff while nearly tap-dancing in a buttoned-up suit, in double-time, without breaking a sweat. After a year of exhaustive touring behind Give the People What They Want and with another trek on the horizon, it's a rare moment to catch him without the company of the Dap-Kings and at home in Bed-Stuy on the couch, the Gibson nearby in its case as he fixates on a weathered acoustic he picked up on the street in New Orleans while on tour.More »