Born and bred below sea level in the lower Ninth Ward (the band’s name is derived from a neighborhood street), the Deslondes’ Deep South spin on the south Louisiana musical spectrum is, simply put, the stuff of greatness.
In a rare, glorious instance of the music-industry machine rewarding such an original and earnest sound, these local-boys-done-good—Sam Doores (vocals/guitar), Riley Downing (vocals/guitar), Dan Cutler (vocals/stand-up bass), Cameron Snyder (vocals/percussion) and John James Tourville (pedal steel/fiddle)—are currently in the midst of an extensive European tour (their second of 2015).
They were also recently featured on NPR Music’s “First Listen.” To put the icing on the cake, Rolling Stone premiered the video, shot locally under the direction of Joshua Shoemaker, for “The Real Deal,” an apropos title for a signature song if there ever was one. It’s a fun foot-stompin’ song seared with a salt-of-the-Earth ethos.
Not easily caged into categories of country, rock or NOLA hip, the Deslondes flex some muscle among speeded-up chord progressions, accented by quirky keys reminiscent of the 13th Floor Elevators, in “Fought the Blues.” They apply a space-cowboy pedal-steel guitar to “Still Someone” —ideal for the verse of “ways with women and ways with whiskey,” and they evoke a groovy two-step vibe in “Louise.”
All the Deslondes’ deliciously disparate elements combine in the concluding track “Out on the Rise.” The album is awash in sin and loneliness set to mournful piano and horns, and achieves the uncontrived purity and raw emotion that New Orleans, and now the outside world, loves about this band.