By Dave Perry
We have our favorites at Vinyl Destination.
You do too, right? Of course. We’re talking here about a record, or an artist that sets your receptors firing. Maybe it reaches an old spot in you that nothing has in a while, or maybe it finds some place new.
You find yourself pulling for the artist and if you happen to own a record store, recommending them.
Every now and then someone comes in and says, “recommend something” and I ask, do you like soul music?
If the answer is yes, I walk them straight to the divider card that says Durand Jones & The Indications.
When the band’s 2016 debut arrived at the store, we fell in love twice. Once, with the band, whose sound felt lifted straight out of some lost Memphis session in 1968, and again, with the Loveland, Ohio-based label that issued the record, Colemine. They even sent a copy to play in the store, which NO ONE does.
So we did.
Raw, urgent and laced with some of the finest singing and sparest playing we’ve heard, we cued it up constantly.
Dan and I had a trick and we still use it on occasion. If we wanted to blow some minds when the store was crowded, we’d slip it on the turntable and wait for someone to approach the counter and ask, “who is this?”
That album, recorded for less than $500, is a close second to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on our list of all-time best sellers.
Then came a live album, half recorded in Boston and then in 2019 American Love Call arrived, a tight, fully-realized survey of the regional American soul styles that ruled the airwaves in the 60s and 70s. And yet it still sounded fresh and original. Philly here, Memphis there, the Midwest, New York sprinkled throughout. And it was laden with smart messages and group vocals, something that had been nearly forgotten.
And an audience that linked almost immediately with the Jones/Indications sound was here for this one, too – lowriders up and down the other coast. Those who embrace sweet soul never forgot the harmonies that laced soul music and doo-wop and this band was right up their alley.
In the store, with all three records, the play it/sell it rules holds.
And in January came Introducing… the inevitable first solo album by drummer/vocalist Aaron Frazer, he of the crystalline falsetto and impeccable timekeeping.
Durand Jones is the indications’ frontman, smooth, gruff, a singer likely to drop to his knees and cradle the mike like a spurned lover trying to reclaim what he knows is rightfully his.
Frazer is the secret weapon, who mix of Smokey Robinson and Curtis Mayfield came out of nowhere on the 2016 debut’s perfect ballad “Is It Any Wonder.”
For his debut, he teams with Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and a slew of great musicians young and old. (Some of them, Memphis Boys, played on Dusty Springfield’s soul classics, others have from the Daptone Records crew helped blaze the trail of the more recent burst of soul music.
Like his group’s work, Frazer’s Introducing is solid throughout.
We announced its release in advance, and sold out our initial shipment of seven copies in two days. We have one copy left from a second shipment.
And all we have to do it play it.