When Durand Jones’ grandmother decided he was singing at home too much, he was forced to join his local church choir in rural Louisiana. Since then, he has relocated to Bloomington, joined the IU Soul Revue and joined forces with his band, the Indications.
With the help of writer-producers Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein, Durand Jones and the Indications released a soul album that is as intimate as it is fun. Recorded directly to cassette tapes in basements around Bloomington and released last year, the eponymous LP showcases Jones’ powerhouse vocals as well as his band’s soulful groove.
Jones will be performing with his soul-revival act, the Indications, at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Bishop with support from Double Standard, and because it’s a hometown performance, audiences can expect something a little extra.
“Even though we’re kind of spread out at the moment, Bloomington is home field for us,” Frazer said. “So we always try to do something a little special.”
Since the album’s release, rave reviews have been pouring in. The album was added to Nuvo magazine’s “2016: the Year in Local Albums” list as well as 812 magazine’s “Five southern Indiana bands you should listen to.” Jones said the album’s positive receptions are inspiring and were totally unexpected.
“We were just jamming out in Aaron’s basement on Hillside, just because we love this genre of music, so to get this reception has been a pleasant surprise,” he said.
Jones originally came to Bloomington to be a saxophone player but soon found his voice after working with the prestigious IU Soul Revue. After working with director of the IU Soul Revue Tyron Cooper, Jones said he learned the three parts of soul: the party songs, the socially conscious songs and the love songs. Jones said he revisited this concept and everything else he learned from his instructors while writing his first album.
After touring nationally and being mostly separated for a while, the group said it is excited to come back to Bloomington and reconnect with the soul community.
“People who are really interested in this type of music try to keep an eye on what’s out there, and when they do find something they connect with they’re super passionate about it,” Frazer said. “So it’s been really nice to connect with people who are so excited about soul music.”
Jones and the rest of the band say they hope to share that love of soul music with their audiences and inspire them to feel a sense of immediacy and enjoy what’s happening in front of them.
“I want them to leave happy and feel loved, because we’re up there doing something that we love doing, so if that rubs off on our audience then I think we’ve done a good job,” ” Jones said.