Photo by Rosie Cohe
In the same way that Nirvana wasn’t SubPop’s first band but was the one that put the Seattle label on the map, Durand Jones & The Indications have put the spotlight on Colemine Records and their stunning catalog of soul-infused releases.
The story of how the band came together isn’t an organic one – these guys didn’t grow up in the same home town, didn’t find a box of their grandparent’s albums from the ’60s in the basement and huddle around a record player listening, didn’t put a band together and play the high school talent show where not only did the kids dig what they heard, but so did the faculty. No, the members of Durand Jones & The Indications met at Indiana University in Bloomington when Jones recruited his friends to play on what was supposed to be a one-off solo project. Thankfully, everything clicked and the guys had the keen hindsight to keep it all going. And here we are, seven years later with two full-lengths and a handful of singles under their belt and steam picking up every day as their music is exposed to more ears.
The soul sound is pure and timeless, Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer trading lead vocals duties across American Love Call (Colemine / Dead Oceans), released last month to critical praise. Having caught the band a few years back at Ace of Cups, I can testify that they are the real deal – it’s nice to be able to listen to something that isn’t bogged down by current trends and technology, chasing after streaming success. The band is TIGHT with the aforementioned Jones and Frazer providing vocals, Blake Rhein grooving on guitars, Kyle Houpt laying down smooth bass and Steve Okonski tickling the keys.
I didn’t have older siblings and my parents small record collection consisted of suburban rock and pop artists like The Beatles, Chicago, Billy Joel, and The Carpenters, so I wasn’t exposed to the same bands that influenced Jones and The Indications but by discovering the current band, I’ve been able to hop in the Spotify time machine and go back to the roots of the soul sound, spending time with the likes of Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding and The Impressions, all of whom are present and accounted for on American Love Call.
For a preview of what to expect Friday night at the sold-out A&R Music Bar show, check out Durand Jones & The Indications recent live performance on CBS This Morning. Folks, it doesn’t get much better than this.