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Songs in the key of life

Daily Staff Report
Special to the Daily Eric Lindell finds inspiration from blues masters Junior Wells and ALbert King to R&B legends like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles
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VAIL – In New Orleans, where music is as prevalent as oxygen, Eric Lindell has given the city a fresh breath of air with his R&B-style songwriting and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll.The vocalist cites his unique fashion of song, and his help in returning the city to R&B songwriting roots, as one possible explanation for his quick emergence among the musician populace, but he clarified, although it seemed quick, it took him a good four years before his notoriety started picking up.”New Orleans is a brass-band town. It’s jazz and funk, not as much songwriting. That’s what we’re putting emphasis on,” Lindell said. “I play R&B old-style with an up tempo. It’s funky, blues, roots music.”

Lindell, who also plays the guitar, was first inspired by the blues of ground-breakers like Junior Wells and Albert King. He also has a penchant for R&B legends like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. The soul of these players comes through in Lindell’s sound, as does his own experiences in his songwriting. Lindell won the John Lennon Songwriting Competition in the R&B category for his song “Kelly Anne” in 1999.It’s natural when talking about music to compare artists to others; it’s an effective way of description. But Lindell said he definitely creates his own sound.”We’re not going for a certain genre or style. It’s all just blended in. It is what it is,” said Lindell. “I write songs in the key of life. I write about stuff I know, relationships, hard times, good times.”

The musician has gained a devoted fan base from paying his dues on the road. He started his career in San Francisco and then moved to New York before finally settling in New Orleans. It’s here where he met Stanton Moore, drummer for Galactic, and began playing with Moore in intimate hipster hangouts like the Old Pointe and Circle Bar.”New Orleans is like one big band. It’s an incestuous thing. Everyone plays with everybody,” Lindell said.The musician played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year. Tonight he tours to Samana in Vail Village on the release of his latest album, “Change in the Weather,” which debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard Blues Chart. What can the crowd expect?



“You can expect to hear good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll and soul music,” he said. Vail, Colorado


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