There’s a decidedly old-school country feel to the music of New Orleans-based quintet The Deslondes. They combine country, soul and folk into a sound all their own and count among their heroes the likes of Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams and John Prine. The Deslondes are a true musical democracy with all five principals — 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) — contributing songs to the mix.
“Even before we started this group, when I was just playing with Cameron, we always had the idea that it would be fun to be in a band where there were multiple singers and multiple songwriters,” Doores notes. “Where everybody had a voice and can play multiple instruments — a true collaboration that’s greater than the sum of its parts and is still cohesive.”
Tourville’s pedal steel is The Deslondes’ secret weapon and he anchors most of the 12-track, 40-minute platter with the instrument’s distinctive sound. “Fought the Blues and Won” lifts the lid on the album, and the band also scores with “Those Were (Could’ve Been) The Days,” “Less Honkin’ More Tonkin’,” “The Real Deal,” “Time to Believe In,” personal favorite “Simple and True” and “Out on the Rise.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)