Album Review: The Deslondes, ‘The Deslondes’
It's hard to think of a more charming phrase to use in the chorus of a song than "today I fought the blues and I won," but there's no shortage of charm on this debut by the Deslondes. If you're searching for traditional honky tonk and country swing, you're in good hands. In fact, by their own description, the New Orleans quintet transports the listener to a sweaty, creaky-floored Louisiana dance hall via shuffling rhythms and dusty twang spiked with fiddle and pedal steel.
The Deslondes switch effortlessly from slow-dancers to foot-stompers and everything in-between, and the album's mix places them at a slight distance within a space large enough that it's easy to close your eyes and imagine you're listening to the house band at an old-time dance. Moreover, the band's four singer-songwriters dig into not just the sonics, but the genuine heartache of vintage country music.
In doing so, the Deslondes remind us that country and the blues effectively serve as pathways to the same source – i.e: that which stirs within us and, in response to that lonesome feeling that's always lurking just outside the window, has no choice but to invite our troubles in for a twirl.