Thursday, June 11, 2015

Album Review: The Deslondes- The Deslondes

The Deslondes
The Deslondes
*** out of *****

This New Orleans based five piece takes their country music to heart, staying clear out of modern day Nashville and moving to the plains, train tracks and saw dust covered barrooms where the genre started and solidified. Fronted by singer-songwriters Sam Doores and Riley Downing the feeling of Woody Guthrie and George Jones flows freely through these 12 tracks.

The directness with which the opener "Fought the Blues and Won" rolls out is a bit shocking. it is tough to tell if Downing is happy, scarred or is in shock having just made it out the other side of the blues. The more upbeat shuffling of "Those Were (Could've Been) The Days" kicks up the skirts while "Louise" is a a rare country lost-love song that doesn't sound like it is crying into it's draft beer.

Behind Doores and Downing are Cameron Snyder, Dan Cutler and John James Tourville who expertly move things down the dusty trail whether with via the excellent drum and piano interplay of "The Real Deal" or the shimmying country blues displayed during "Less Honkin' More Tonkin'".

Other highlights are the harmonica laced/Rawhide tinged "Time To Believe In" and the soulful crooning of "Low Down Soul". There are a few stumbling blocks on the bands first release, "Heavenly Home" struggles with tempo changes (even with a stellar slide guitar) and a few tracks of the twelve feel slight and tossed away like "Simple and True".

A throwback to the straight ahead country ways of years gone by that fans of old-timey Americana, folk and country will gravitate too with ease. There isn't an immensely catchy hit or knockout songwriting to raise them above the genre but for a first effort The Deslondes deliver for their core audience.
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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