New Orleans funk-rock band The Duane Bartels Band is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Matthew Duane Bartels. The band formed in the summer of 2016 when he sought to combine his unique voice, lyrical sensibilities, and guitar playing with the power only a tight rhythm and horns section could provide. After the California-born Bartels recruited Matthieu (drums), Colin Provensal (Bass/Keys), Nick Ferreirae, (Sax), David Ginger (Trombone) Jonathan Rizner (Trumpet), John Marcey (Guitar) they went to work developing their sound at local New Orleans clubs and bars across the city. By 2018, the group released their debut album The Ballad of Johnny Loveless, a collection of Americana songs with blues, country, and jazz influences.
The six-piece band's music consists of original stylings with a blend of California indie-rock and the many sounds heard in the Big Easy led and curated by the soothing sounds of Duane Bartels’ unique voice, captivating listeners. By 2020, amidst the COVID pandemic, the Duane Bartels Band had entered the studio to work on their 10-track sophomore album, Electric Baby Carriage.
“A labour of love. A lesson in patience and learning to count your blessings.” - The Duane Bartels Band
Their time playing around New Orleans, with various stints across the Gulf Coast and South, only strengthened their musicianship and ingenuity. After recording two tracks at local sound lab Marigny Studios, Grammy award winning producer Justin Armstrong (Dave Matthews Band, Death Cab For Cutie, Deftones) took them under his wing and into his studio in Slidell, LA. Mixed, mastered and engineered by Armstrong, the record became a labour of love for the band. After a hurricane, delays with COVID, the birth of a child, and many more delays, Electric Baby Carriage, was finally finished at the end of 2022.
Expanding the band’s work with a more finely tuned electric sound, the 10-track record showcases The Duane Bartels Band’s aptitude for songwriting with a multitude of genres and sounds of the likes of funk, americana, and blues. The primary theme of the album is the notion of unrequited love. The energetic and driven composition of the album effectively evokes each and every mood and common association linked with this overarching theme; longing, nostalgia, determination and tranquillity.
Photo Credit: Regio Shots (Press Images) | Fox Capone (Cover Art)