Home Read Nico Duportal & The Sparks | Dog, Saint & Sinner

Nico Duportal & The Sparks | Dog, Saint & Sinner

They come from Paris, France — but they'd be right at home in Paris, Texas.

WHO ARE THEY? A Parisian singer-guitarist who plays the blues so perfectly you’d think he hails from Paris, Texas — and spent years studying at the feet of Doug Sahm, James Hunter and JD McPherson.

WHAT IS THIS? His fifth full-length and the first to feature his new backing band The Sparks, whose crackling performances certainly live up to their name.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The house band at a Southern roadhouse on a Saturday night. Duportal’s soulfully dusty pipes, fluent English and earthy songwriting are clearly the stars of the show, but his band’s twangy power and brassy punch play a major supporting role.

WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Blues Is The International Language.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? With your blues-loving friends — but without telling them where these guys are from.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Authentic, grounded, old-school. punchy, gritty, reverent, soulful, sincere, inviting, lively.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The groovy Sweet Brown Eyed Woman, which follows the lead of Rufus ThomasWalkin’ the Dog; the horn-laced Time Is the Money of Love; the Tex-Mex Lost in Her Game; the rollicking Chuck Berry-style rocker A Good Man.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘Are you sure we’re talking about the same France?’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Often enough that you’ll forget where he’s from soon enough.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A DRINK, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Lone Star Beer for those who partake; sweet tea for those who don’t.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Maybe you could pay him in leftover Euros from your last overseas vacation.