The Nappie Awards serve a twofold purpose with regard to local music. First, they allow local fans to prove their love and loyalty to the Azalea City’s musicians. Second, the nominations can introduce Lagniappe readers to some of the freshest musical acts the area has to offer. The Nappie Award for “Best New Local Band” is designated for an emerging musical act that has made a positive impression on local music lovers in the months leading up to the Nappies.
Lagniappe readers chose Infant Richard and the Delta Stones as Mobile’s hottest up-and-coming band. Symone French (vocals), Andrew Johns (saxophone), Christian Heiden (bass), Paul McDonald (guitar) and Daniel Clements (drums) make up this musical collective. Heiden, who also won the Nappie for “Best Area Bassist,” will be the first to admit winning this award is a mission accomplished for the band.“It’s pretty damn exciting,” Heiden said. “It’s definitely exciting, and it’s been a goal of ours since last year when we found out about these awards. We made it a point to win at least one of them. We would’ve liked to have won everything that we were nominated for, but we’re happy with the ones we did get.”
The members of Infant Richard and the Delta Stones came together at Felix’s Fish Camp. With the line-up in place, the group decided to take its name from a 14th century monk named Infant Richard. This monk was martyred for his beliefs, and visual depictions of the event sparked an artistic revolution in France. Guitarist Paul McDonald says the group wants to spark an artistic revolution in 21st century Mobile.
Together, this six-piece powerhouse has earned a dedicated following with an eclectic sound that combines jazz, jam, rock, blues, soul and whatever else they feel like throwing into the mix. Drummer Daniel Clements explained that the band’s goal for its sound has always been to provide the Azalea City with something new. With the members’ various musical backgrounds, this wasn’t difficult.
“Everyone wanted to create something new and different,” Clements said. “Everybody in the band has different styles and influences. When you put all that together, it makes something unique and different.”
For those wanting a taste of Infant Richard and the Delta Stones, the band’s “VD EP” can be sampled on SoundCloud. They’ll also be opening for Jamell Richardson at Soul Kitchen on Saturday, July 25. The group has plans to record a live album at O’Daly’s and another original album in early 2016.