22nd October | Thekla

American soulman Durand Jones is set to return to the city after his triumphant Bristol performance in January of this year.

There was a time where soul singers sprung from every corner of America, defining the sound of a generation. With Motown turning into a heritage label rather than a hotbed of new young talents, it’s now harder than ever to find artists like Durand Jones. Born along the Mississippi River banks, Durand Jones’ life was marked by music from a young age, when his grandmother gifted him with a saxophone. The instrument, along with the traditional sound of soul and blues emerging from the river’s muddy waters, became pivotal in shaping the singer’s future.

After a Bachelor of Arts degree and postgraduate studies in music, Jones started fronting (with his saxophone) the Indiana University Soul Revue, where he bonded with future band members, Blake Hein and Aaron Frazer.

Despite the fact that their recording debut as Durand Jones & The Indications only happened in 2015, the band has quickly become a sensation in the nu-soul scene, thanks to Jones’ extraordinary voice and the classic soul songwriting. Echoes of Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield characterise Jones’ mellow but powerful voice, although comparisons don’t do any justice to the frontman’s unique talent.

Drummer Aaron Frazer, though, is the secret ingredient to the line-up. His high-pitched vocals and Chicano soul drumming make The Indications stand out from the majority of other nu-soul acts, giving to their works that rare soul flavour that record diggers and R&B fanatics will love.

Despite the success of latest studio album, America Love Call, the best way to experience Durand Jones & The Indications is by witnessing their intense and emotional live performances. It’s no wonder their debut long-player is a live album – right in the path of the greatest 1960s soulmen.

See the video for ‘Cruisin’ To The Park’ here: