“My grandma always heard me singing at home, and she said, ‘I’m gonna put your ass in the youth choir,’” remembers Jones, “I was reluctant. But one day the organist could hear me in the choir, and said ‘boy I’m gonna give you a song.’ So I sang the song… the whole church just flipped out. People were running and jumping and afterwards they were giving me money and stuff. Man it was really cool. That’s when the realization came that maybe I could make something of this.”
In the fall of 2012, Durand Jones made left small-town Louisiana for the foot-hills of Indiana. Alto saxophone in tote he enrolled in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. “Being a singer was never part of the plan,” Jones admits. But soon enough Jones found his way in front of a rowdy rock-n-roll band belting out a rambunctious rendition of “Dock Of The Bay,” to a basement full drunken undergrads. That rowdy band unfolded into the Indications – comprised of drummer, Aaron Frazer, guitarist Blake Rhein, bassman Kyle Houpt, and organist Justin Hubler.
Inspired by a handful of dusty and obscure 45s from baring names like the Ethics, the Brothers of Soul, The Sunliners, and many others, the Indications set out to make a record steeped in heavy drums, blown-out vocals, and deep grooves. Gathered around a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and a case of Miller High-Life, the group spent their Sunday evenings recording into the early hours of the morning.
Their fiery single, “Smile” caught the ear of regional record-man Terry Cole of Colemine records, who swiftly pressed up a batch of 45s. Initially a sensation among record collectors, Durand Jones & The Indications began to receive recognition from music fans of all kinds.
“When Durand Jones & The Indications debut album was released, we had no idea what the world would think,” explains Terry Cole owner of Colemine Records. “After all, the record, albeit finely crafted, was conceived in a dingy Indiana basement on a shoestring budget of 452 dollars and 11 cents (we kept receipts). They didn’t have ‘buzz.’ They didn’t have a following. They didn’t have the measured flash of more polished operations. But as the final mixes spun off of the master reel, we knew what they did have was one remarkable soul record. To our delight, the record was a smash and their no-frills LP continues to fly off the shelves.”