It's official! New West Records welcomes The Deslondes to the family!
The New Orleans roots rock 'n' roll group the Deslondes has signed a deal with New West Records, the prominent Americana-focused label based in Austin, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
The group, which this month made their debut at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, is associated with another rising local act: Hurray for the Riff Raff, whose early-2014 album "Small Town Heroes," which features arrangements and guest appearances from the Deslondes' guitarist Sam Doores and bassist Dan Cutler, has turned up on multiple lists of the year's best albums so far. (For a time, Doores and Cutler were members of Hurray for the Riff Raff, but split off in 2013 to focus on the Deslondes – named for the Lower Ninth Ward street where several local acts, including HFTRR and Los Po-Boy-Citos, in which Cutler also plays, have lived, written and recorded.
The partnership between Doores, guitarist Riley Downing and Cameron Snyder, the Deslondes' third principal songwriter, is at the band's core. Snyder and Doores (playing as Broken Wing Routine, at the time) met Downing at Woodyfest, the annual celebration of folkie hero Woody Guthrie in his hometown of Okemah, Okla. After landing in New Orleans, the musicians became part of the HFTRR project, spending a lot of time on the road both as that band and, as the Tumbleweeds, touring with Americana folk-rock and soul acts like the Alabama Shakes, the Lumineers and the Grammy-nominated Okemah native John Fullbright.
On their own, the Deslondes deliver a high-energy roots rave-up, with tight harmonies, whomping harmonica, weeping steel guitar and wild fiddle.
"Our band has been confusing for people, I think, because it hasn't been totally consistent," Cutler said in advance of an early-2014 gig which, as it happened, a label rep interested in the group was prevented from attending due to an ice storm. (Things worked out OK, it seems.)
"But I think now we've got the perfect lineup combination down. We have really good chemistry."
New West, founded in 1998, handles legacy and rising Americana artists including Buddy and Julie Miller, John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Corb Lund, Howe Gelb, Richard Thompson and Robert Ellis; it's released work by the Drive-By Truckers, Dwight Yoakam, Jason Isbell, Rickie Lee Jones, Vic Chesnutt and others.