• Cotton Candy Splash Vinyl LP+CD | Red Nebula Vinyl LP+CD | Black Vinyl LP+CD The interviews inevitably end up on one topic: U.S. politics. And surely more exciting topics of conversation could be thought of. But Durand Jones & The Indications belong to the artists who actually have something to say to the world. Therefore: Please more interviews and more attention for this band. Since their self-titled debut, the critics have been raving about Durand Jones & The Indications from Bloomington, Indiana anyway. And that has stood the test of time, because really, the story could have been over after the first record. Soon after the recordings, the band went their separate ways. Music education, label, freelance drummer – the options were there. But 2017 saw the reunion and a tour in the USA. And a year later, the recording of the second album »American Love Call« – with the announcement: »Morning in America« as the opener. »But I can’t see the dawn,« Durand Jones sings in it, before a distorted guitar punches a wound in the otherwise homey sound. Overall, the title of the album, which was released two years ago, was a counter-draft to Trump’s »Make America Great Again,« as drummer Aaron Frazer revealed in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur. Not everything was better in the past. But things are moving forward. »The sun is rising!« Frazer told the station. Freedom and equal rights for all. With the advance single “The Way That I Do” to their now soon to be released album »Private Space« Durand Jones & The Indications allow more funk, disco and Marvin Gaye in their sound. Which makes this song sound much more modern and not as much like retro soul as you might think. Also “Witchoo”, the other forerunner to the new album, convinces with an incredible amount of groove and reduced instrumentation. Nevertheless, of course, remains in each song the appropriate bow to their own musical idols. Which have played the most formative roles, musicians Durand Jones and Blake Rhein reveals here.
Krystle Warren – Three The Hard Way (Parlour Door Music) (2018)
Durand Jones: Love this record for its minimalist approach. It has gospel all throughout, deep, beneath, at the root of these tunes. That being said, it’s not a gospel record. As someone who grew up in a rural baptist church, I find this to be beautiful. For me it’s like feeling something that is almost familiar yet, it’s a full-fledged thing.
Dr. John – Gris Gris (ATCO Records) (1968) | Vinyl LP
Durand Jones: I love how much this record feels like Louisiana. Strangely enough though, I was introduced to this record in Indiana by a good friend. He gave me this record and two hits of LSD on Christmas day back in 2018. It was a fucking holy experience if I ever had one. This record (and the LSD) helped me conjure up one of my ancestors, a big, black, beautiful woman – adorned in fine clothing with beautiful, colorful prints, and jewelry everywhere – even on some of her teeth. I aspire to make an album as magical as this one day soon.
Marvin Gaye – I Want You (Tamla) (1976) | Vinyl LP
Durand Jones: I love having sex to this record. I think that it was made solely for that purpose. The way it flows, the grooves, the moans… It just screams SEX. Haha! I also really love this record for Leon Ware – his amazing songwriting and production skills –, as well as for Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, the arranger for the music. Perkinson taught the IU Soul Revue for a few years back in the day. That is the same class where I met Blake Rhein and started my venture with The Indications.
Donny Hathaway – Live (ATCO Records) (1972) | Vinyl LP
Durand Jones: This one is tops for me, for just how locked in the band, Donny, and the audiences are with one another. You can really feel the emotion and power of Donny’s voice. »Little Ghetto Boy« will always be an anthem for me.
Stevie Wonder – Where I’m Coming From (Tamla) (1971)
Durand Jones: Even though it isn’t one of his albums that people usually mention as one of his bests, I really really really love this record. I love the unapologetic political commentary on this one, I love Syreeta Wright’s work on the backing vocals, I love that you can hear some Beatles influence on this record, and most of all I love the ballads. No one can write a ballad like Stevie and for that I will forever love him.
Wendy & Bonnie – Genesis (Skye) (1969) | Vinyl LP
Artist Name: The album is the epitome of 60s sunshine pop to my ears. There’s always something special about siblings singing harmonies. I think of groups like the Kossoy Sisters. I’m not sure if it comes from growing up singing together, or perhaps something to do with DNA, but sisters Wendy and Bonnie deliver amazing two-part harmonies throughout this entire psychedelic masterpiece.
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Sings (Mexican Summer/City Slang) (2019) | Vinyl LP (US) | Vinyl LP (EU)
Blake Rhein: Jessica Pratt never misses! I love the simplicity of her productions: Frequently it’s just a nylon string guitar and a few layers of her angelic voice. She’s also a incredible guitarist and songwriter. This album makes me feel so cozy and warm, perfect for a rainy day.
Todd Rundgren – Something / Anything? (Bearsville) (1972) | Vinyl 2LP
Blake Rhein: This is one that I got from my Dad’s record collection. I always love hearing records where one musician plays all the instruments, and Todd was one of the best to ever do it. I really love the blend of humor and sincere songwriting on this. The Isley Brothers recorded a version of »Hello It’s Me,« a few years later, so you know this dude has some soul.
Tommy McGee – Positve-Negative (MTMG Records) (1972)
Blake Rhein: This album has a special place in my heart because there are so few soul albums from where I grew up. It was recorded in Grand Rapids, Michigan which is on the opposite side of the state from Detroit. There is a very raw quality to the rhythm section that is augmented by the lush orchestration and background vocals.
Ted Lucas – Ted Lucas (OM Records) (1975) | ###HHV:761988 :Vinyl LP###
Blake Rhein: Ted Lucas got his start in a heavy psych band called the Spike Drivers before moving on to do session work playing guitar and sitar for Motown. His 1975 self-titled album is exactly one half psych folk ballads and half stoney guitar ragas.