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Event DetailsThink of the USA’s great soul music cities and Bloomington, Indiana may not spring straight to mind. Yet this thriving Midwestern college town has a rich history with the music. It saw America’s first collegiate pop ensemble, the Indiana University Soul Revue, founded back in 1971 – and now claims birthplace to Durand Jones & The Indications. A young quintet carrying the torch left behind by the likes of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, combine their love for the soul genre with a DIY punk ethos and an emphatically persuasive live show, all of which is evident on the act’s eponymous debut album, Durand Jones & The Indication, released early 2018 by Dead Oceans/Colemine.
The Indications’ story starts earlier this decade with, ironically, a “loud rock 'n' roll band,” Charlie Patton’s War, formed by four under-grads attending IU’s Jacobs School of Music. Guitarist Blake Rhein (from Michigan) and drummer Aaron Frazer (from Maryland) soon bonded over their additional love of hip-hop, and a quest for the source of the genre’s more intriguing samples found them digging out obscure soul records. Understandably, when offered a chance to work sound for IU’s famed Soul Revue, Rhein seized it.
Enter, stage left, Durand Jones. A native of rural Hillaryville, Louisiana, Jones was a self-composed childhood “introvert” brought out of his shell when his grandmother gifted him an alto saxophone, which he played all the way through a BA in general music education from South Eastern Louisiana University, and on up to post-grad study at Jacobs. Once in Bloomington, he joined and toured with the all-sax Kinari Quartet, performing complex chamber music, and winning international awards in the process. “I always felt I was going to be a classical musician,” he says of his ambitions.