Album Reviews

The Deslondes

The Deslondes

Artist:     The Deslondes

Album:     The Deslondes

Label:     New West Records

Release Date:     06/08/2015


This is the debut outing from the Louisiana based quintet, the Deslondes. The sparse retro production captures the band perfectly. The country-roots-blues of the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s is in their DNA. But this is no tribute band– these guys are the real deal. A stunning, foot-stomping, whiskey drinking offering, at once tight and loose, with more truth and insight than any contemporary country recording available today. No bombast, no ego here – just pure swinging music at once pristine and humble.

The third cut is the album’s crown jewel, “Heavenly Home.” Featuring an authentic, traditional steel guitar and piercing harmonica at the close, it is the lyrical heart of the album. Fronted by lead vocalist and song-writer Sam Doores, this simple composition is the plaintive song of someone who has caught glimpses of something holy, perhaps God, but is all too aware of the world we are all rooted in: “There’s always been children/Who die for hunger/There’ll always be men/Who’ll kill for greed/But if these things/They ain’t your will, Lord/You must feel humble/Just like me.” This is Job’s answer to the arrogant whirlwind.

Traditional country themes of loneliness, alienation, wayward women and whiskey, aimless wandering away from and towards comfort, are the existential realities at play here. The heartbreak behind the smile, the futility of hope, and the all-too-human grasp at a new day, as expressed in the album’s last cut, “Out On the Rise,” make this the most compelling debut album to grace our ears in many a year.

-Robert Myers

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