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Brash, soulful, and swaggering, the Seratones play R&B-infused rock & roll with the passion and ferocity of Etta James fronting the Sonics. Founded in Louisiana, the Seratones merge taut but rollicking rock & roll with strong blues and soul influences, while singer A.J. Haynes adds emotional heat as well as rollicking vocal firepower. The band first documented their sound on their 2016 debut album, Get Gone, while they added a bit of funk and production polish when they cut the follow-up, 2019's Power.
The Seratones were formed in Shreveport by vocalist and guitarist A.J. Haynes, guitarist Connor Davis, and drummer Jesse Gabriel. The three were friends from the city's music community, and knew each other well from seeing shows together and playing in various short-lived bands. In time, they began working on music together, and when the nascent combo won a block of recording time at a local studio, they evolved into a proper band. Bringing aboard bassist Adam Davis, originally from Corvallis, Oregon, the group adopted the name the Ceratones, from "cera," the Spanish word for wax. (Wax is also American slang for vinyl records.) They soon changed their billing to the Seratones, playing on the word "serotonin," a chemical produced by the body that helps people feel happy.
The Seratones soon became favorites on the Louisiana club circuit, and when they played a show in Hot Springs, Arkansas, they shared the bill with an act called NERVES. The lead singer of NERVES worked in the warehouse at Fat Possum Records, one of the South's strongest indie labels, and on the advice of his warehouse man, the label's head, Matthew Johnson, checked out the band. Johnson liked what he heard, and the Seratones were soon signed to Fat Possum. The band's debut album, Get Gone, was released in May 2016.
A few changes were evident when the group's second album, Power, came out in 2019. The Seratones had jumped from Fat Possum to New West Records, and Connor Davis had left the lineup, while they expanded to a five-piece with the addition of Travis Stewart on guitar and Tyran Coker on keyboards and guitar. ~ Mark Deming
- Shreveport, LA