Blues man Eric Lindell celebrates new label, CD
Eric Lindell was born in California, learned his licks in New Orleans and celebrates his Alligator Records debut with a live performance tonight in Vail.
These days, the singer/songwriter/vocalist’s musical address can be found at the intersection of soul, blues and roots rock.
Lindell is accomplished on guitar, harmonica, keyboards and bass and has performed with some of the Crescent City’s top musicians as well as some of the jam band community’s biggest names (including members of Galactic). The winner of the 1999 John Lennon Songwriting Competition for his song Kelly Ann, Lindell now brings his rough-hewn voice and original songs to the world with the release of his Alligator Records debut, “Change in the Weather.”
The new CD is a roots rocker featuring original song’s that combine soul-shaking rhythm and blues, reggae grooves, swamp pop and blues. The laid-back grooves and hook-laden melodies hint of 1970s-era Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. Traces of Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles and Sly And The Family Stone can be found in Eric’s originals.
Born in San Mateo, Calif., in 1969, the former “skate punk” spent countless hours in San Francisco, soaking up the musical sounds of the city, eventually leading him to pick up the bass and then the guitar. Lindell listened to the music of Donny Hathaway and The Impressions as well as Buddy Guy.
He discovered blues greats Junior Wells, Jimmy Reed and Albert King on his own before drifting toward the rhythm and blues sounds of Stevie Wonder, soaking up the soul and learning how to craft a song. After performing at bars on the West Coast with a few short-lived bands, Eric formed his own group in 1993 and quickly gained a loyal audience in California thanks to countless performances and many late-night jam sessions. Established stars like Charlie Musselwhite and Tom Waits attended his gigs.
Lindell left for New York in 1998, gigging there regularly before heading down to New Orleans in 1999, where he quickly discovered the roots music scene. He gravitated toward the West Bank dive bars of in the New Orleans where he befriended many older swamp pop musicians, who helped him get more regular gigs.
Before long he met up with Galactic’s Stanton Moore, and the two began playing together. Some of New Orleans’ finest players, including Harold Brown and drummer Johnny Vidacovich, often joined him on stage.
Galactic bassist Rob Mercurio began sitting in as well, and word of Lindell’s immense talents began spreading around the city. Some of the city’s biggest stars began showing up at his gigs, embracing this fresh California kid’s funky music.
Some of his famous friends and admirers include Branford Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, John Scofield, Chris Chew (North Mississippi Allstars), Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead) and Wally Ingram (David Lindley, Stockholm
“The fact that these amazing people are so complimentary to me, and my music means the world to me,” Lindell said.
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