Durand Jones and the Indications
Ace of Spades, Sacramento
August 19, 2022
Photos by Paul Piazza.
Durand Jones and the Indications recently sold-out two shows at Sacramento’s Ace of Spades. The retro soul band began ten years ago when Jones and bandmates Aaron Frazier and Blake Rhein met as music students at the University of Indiana. The trio connected while in the university’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music. They were all playing in the department’s Soul Revue project.
The Jacobs School of Music boasts Booker T. Jones (Booker T. and the MGs), bassist Larry Ridley (Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Horace Silver), violinist and conductor Joshua Bell, and drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson) among their many famous alumni.
After adding a couple more band members, the group released a self-titled record on Ohio’s highly regarded independent label Colemine. The group became a popular live act and their second release was a live album entitled Live Vol I, which the band followed up with a brilliant Sunday afternoon soul single “Cruisin in the Parkm” which was a tribute to their growing following in the Low Rider community. They also recorded a Spanish version of the song with the group Y La Bamba.
The group’s popularity continued to increase by the time they released 2019’s American Love Call and they began to tour more extensively. One of the most intriguing and engaging aspects of the band’s live performance is their vocal harmonies. Particularly impressive is the falsetto of drummer Frazer. Dan Aurebach of the Black Keys noticed that as well, and offered Frazer the chance to record a solo record in 2020. The album was released in early 2021.
Later in 2021, Durand Jones and the Indications released their third studio album Private Space, which spawned their first charting single “Witchoo.” It’s a catchy, uptempo tune that shows the band branching out into more contemporary soul sounds. The entire record is fantastic.
On this night in Sacramento, the band was firing on all cylinders, delighting the crowd with a powerful set that had the appreciative crowd swaying and swooning and very appreciative of the band’s collective prowess. In addition to the core lineup, the band tours with a pair of horns and the great percussionist Mayteana Morales (Pimps of Joytime, Walk Talk).
Opening the show were the trio Kiefer, led by keyboardist Kiefer Shackelford. The Los Angeles-based musician began playing at a very young age and was mentored by jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell as a teen. Recently, he worked as a producer on Anderson Paak’s Ventura album as well as recording his third album When There’s Love Around. The trio was very impressive, with a Snarky Puppy level of musicianship that stunned the early crowd with their skills and syncopation. Be on the lookout for Kiefer.
Meanwhile, Durand Jones and the Indications continue to ascend, with a fall arena tour in support of Greta Van Fleet as well as plenty of festival appearances. If this recent two-night stand in Sacramento is any indication, we will see plenty more from them in the future.