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 Thomas’ Walkin’ 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.