Sarrah Danziger
The Deslondes. Credit: Sarrah Danziger

The Deslondes have a fun, rustic, old-time country sound to their music. Hailing from New Orleans, they’ll be sure to be a delight at Stagecoach on Sunday, May 1, and are one of the bands you want to include in your schedule. They’ll also be performing at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, April 29. For more information on The Deslondes, visit Guitarist and vocalist Riley Downing was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13, and here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Byron Jones Opry, with my grandparents north of Kansas City, Mo.

What was the first album you owned?

On vinyl: Johnny Rivers at the Whisky à Go-Go.

What bands are you listening to right now?

A lot of old 45s, mostly. But I listen to music on the Interweb as well, mostly buddies’ bands or bands from word of mouth, such as C.W Stoneking, Twain, the Banditos, Cactus Blossoms, Pat Reedy and the Longtime Goners, as well as Luke Bell who is at this festival.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Pop country, and most pop music, actually.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

This guy from the Kansas City area named Gary Kirkland made a record I found a long time ago called Gary Kirkland With Remnants of Buzzard Creek and Other Yahoos. I would have loved to see that band play live.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Old pop country.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I really enjoy the sound at The Basement in Nashville and Off Broadway in St. Louis.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“I was born a rambler and I’ll die a rambler way, it’s always been you see. Ooh I was born a dreamer and I’ll die a dreamer somewhere I ain’t supposed to be,” Kiki Cavazos.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Probably the most (were the) members of Broken Wing Routine, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Sundown Songs. I met most of them a long time ago in Oklahoma at (the) Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, and they not only influenced me to write and sing, but to travel with those songs as well.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Merle Haggard: “What month did you say you wanted to tour?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Duane Eddy’s “Stalkin’.” Ha ha! I don’t know; play something good!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Reverend Gary Davis’ New Blues and Gospel.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Jimmy Jay, “Run Wild (While You’re Young).” (Scrolll down to hear it.)

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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...