Sound Advice: Durand Jones & the Indications with Ernie Johnson from Detroit (April 18)

Launched by its debut release on Loveland, Ohio's Colemine Records, on-the-rise Soul/Funk unit comes to Woodward Theater

click to enlarge Durand Jones & the Indications - Photo: Horatio Baltz
Photo: Horatio Baltz
Durand Jones & the Indications
In just the past couple of years, fans of the vintage Soul revival lost two of its brightest lights when both Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley passed away after battling cancer. But a new wave of likeminded musicians provides assurance that the pure, livewire sound pioneered by artists like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding isn’t going away anytime soon and new music inspired by that generation of artists will continue to be made.

Durand Jones & The Indications is one of the best of the current Soul-shaking acts. Formed at Indiana University in Bloomington, the group’s popularity is currently the highest it’s ever been; with a summer touring itinerary that includes the Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza festivals, it seems certain that by year’s end, Jones & Co. — who’ve performed several times in Cincinnati over the past couple of years — should be even more widely known nationwide and beyond.

Jones, a Louisiana native, first got into music when his grandmother gave him a saxophone as a child, leading him to pursue music in college, which is eventually how he ended up at IU doing post-grad work at the college’s Jacobs School of Music. When a “Soul Revue” show for which he was writing horn arrangements needed vocalists, he pitched in and moved up to the mic. Hearing Jones’ remarkable, elastic voice today, when his colleagues — including his future bandmate, guitarist Blake Rhein — first heard him sing, it had to have brought about a severe case revelatory goose-bumps. Fellow classmates Kyle Houp (bass), Aaron Frazer (drums) and Justin Hubler (organ) began writing and honing its chops, developing a tight Soul explosiveness worthy of their influences.

Initially just a hobby, Durand Jones & The Indications recorded its self-titled debut after several years of playing and writing on Sunday nights for fun and stress relief. Though — or perhaps because of — the hobbyist approach and low “budget” recording ($425.11!), the release of the album on Loveland, Ohio-based Soul label Colemine Records (the label counterpart of the Plaid Room Records store) found an audience enamored by the raw, salt-of-the-earth vibe. Coupled with the band’s magnetic live presence, the album and group’s reputation has continued to grow since its 2016 release, leading to a reissue recently via indie label Dead Oceans and Colemine. The new deluxe version of Durand Jones & The Indications also includes a digital live album.

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