During this past SXSW, I had the pleasure of standing in the rain and watching Run The Jewels absolutely kill it. Thirty minutes earlier I was standing in the historic Continental Club watching New Orleans act, The Deslondes, finish up an amazing set of Country-Soul Americana. It was like taking a 5 minute cab ride from a back porch in the country to a street corner in the inner city.
While their music may vary, they both share something in common; their connection to the core values of their genre. I despise mainstream hip hop and country for the same reason; it is all sizzle, no steak. Both more concerned with their image. Inspired by old Stax and Sun Records sounds, The Deslondes sound like they stepped out of yesteryear. Formed by Sam Doores & Riley Downing after meeting at Woodyfest, the band doesn’t try to ape the music of their forefathers; they expound on it.
Downing found inspiration for the lead single, Fought The Blues and Won, by spinning some Fats Domino albums. The piano melody gives the tune this sort of lazy defiance, as if to say, “Yeah, I fought the blues but I didn’t really want to.” Less Honkin’ More Tonkin’ is your “typical” upbeat honky-tone tune inspired by traffic. Oddly enough, their friends and frequent tourmates Hurray For the Riff Raff tried wrote a tune on the same subject with Crash On The Highway.
While The Deslondes and Run The Jewels might not be in the same musical genre, they do share one thing in common. They are both looking backwards to take their music forwards. And both have done it in great fashion. This is a phenomenal album that is worth your time and money. And make sure you go see them live.
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The Deslondes are here