"Man, I'm so mad at you!" Sharon Jones says, before breaking into a hearty laugh. "You got me hooked on this show now! Why did you do this to me?!?" The 58-year-old R&B singer had been told by friends and bandmates for months that she should check out this hot new show Orange Is the New Black, a drama about female prisoners streaming on Netflix. But despite hearing the praise and having met a cast member ("The butch one…she's a buddy of my saxophonist, Neal Sugarman!"), Jones self-admittedly avoided checking it out; prior to joining up with the Dap-Kings and establishing herself as a first-class soul singer, she had worked as corrections officer at Rikers back in the Nineties. "I'd already been in those kinds of environments," Jones says. "So it was like, 'Nah, I don't want to go back there.'"
But when Rolling Stone asked her to weigh in on the show — how authentic its depiction of prison life was, what did it get right, what did it get wrong — Jones gamely dove in, selecting five episodes "at random" from the show's two seasons. Now, the singer says, she's a bona fide fanatic. "I've got 12 days off before we head to Europe for a tour," Jones declares, "so I'm going back and starting it from the beginning. In fact, as soon as I get off the phone with you, I'm gonna watch two episodes in a row!" She then proceeded to weigh in on Orange's cast of pros and cons, and tell us what the show absolutely nails about life behind bars. By David Fear