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.