New West Records has announced the signing of New Orleans-based country-soul band, The Deslondes. The five-piece is currently on the road with Old Crow Medicine Show. Following the tour, they will put the finishing touches on their debut full-length album, which will be released in early 2015. The LP was recorded with Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff) at his Bomb Shelter studio in Nashville.
“The Deslondes are raw, authentic, and each member is talented to the bone. I was immediately struck,” says George Fontaine, Jr., A&R at New West Records. “They effortlessly create exactly the right atmosphere at their shows, a place many other bands try so hard to take you. Plus, I’ve always wanted to work with a group from New Orleans!”
Named after the street in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans where the band first came together, The Deslondes endeavor to carry on the traveling country-troubadour tradition of their heroes Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley and John Prine. The band is comprised of songwriters Sam Doores and Riley Downing, along with bassist Dan Cutler, pedal steel-fiddle player John James and percussionist-vocalist Cameron Snyder. Each musician contributes writing and arrangements, with different members taking the lead at different times. The band’s musical production and vocal arrangements are inspired by the rhythmic, high energy, and harmony-driven sounds of their other heroes, The Band and Allen Toussaint.
In their writing and performing, they combine elements of early Stax, Sun and Atlantic records with the influence of a more raw, stripped-down sound gleaned off field recordings from Alan Lomax and Mississippi Records catalogue. NOLA’s Times-Picayune described them as “carrying on that down-home hoedown aesthetic, with plenty of plaintive steel guitars, tight harmonies, whomping harmonica and fiery South Louisiana fiddle: Flying Burrito-style roots-rock, gospel rave-ups, swamp-greased blues and a little bit of zydeco.
The Deslondes grew out of The Tumbleweeds, a project that Doores, Downing and Cutler began in 2010. Doores and Cutler were also core members of Hurray for the Riff Raff and performed on this year’s breakout album Small Town Heroes before leaving the band to focus on The Deslondes. Like the traveling troubadours they fashion themselves after, they have toured the country extensively and have supported the Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Lumineers, John Fullbright, Michael Kiwanuka, Spirit Family Reunion and this summer performed at the Newport Folk Festival.