By Andy J. Gordon
Eric Lindell, a musical master of Americana, R&B and bluesy rock brought an excellent group of supporting players to his show at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach on September 20, 2012. The Northern California native who calls New Orleans home has built a strong following with excellent song writing, vocals and guitar slinging. The Saint Rocke crowd enjoyed an evening of fine tunes from Lindell’s catalog as well as a few covers and some great guitar solos from special guest Anson Funderburgh.
Lindell met Funderburgh on a Blues cruise and they hit it off. Funderburgh is an expert guitarist, multiple W.C. Handy award winner and accomplished producer. The rest of Lindell’s band was Myles Weeks on upright bass, Will McMains on drums, Chris Fitzgerald on tenor sax and Brad Walker on tenor sax. The band sounded great in support of Lindell’s smooth vocals and fine guitar work. Funderburgh’s clean tone, no nonsense solos and understated, but expert finger picking was an unexpectedly fine complement to the Lindell band’s already enjoyable sound.
The band opened with “Lay Back down” from 2008’s Low On Cash, Rich In Love album. They followed with a nice cover of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” “Bow Wow,” from 2010’s Cazadero had a catchy blues beat that had the crowd bouncing. Lindell uses a clever wit and style on his song constructions, with love songs being the recurring theme. With “I Can Get Off On You” and “Turnin’ It Out” from 2009’s Gulf Coast Highway, he combined meaningful sentiments with smooth hooks. Lindell and the band played a really nice cover of George Jackson’s “Aretha Sing One For Me” which is on the band’s newest album I Still Love You. They wrapped up the show with a slow, bluesy song called “I’m Still in love With You” which featured a scorching Funderburgh solo.
Lindell keeps evolving as a songwriter and musician. His recordings feature smart, catchy tunes and his live shows are always a treat. With the addition of Funderburgh on this recent tour, he has added a dynamic guitarist that enhanced what was already a great live musical experience. Lindell is continuing to tour with his band through November. In December he is reuniting with Dragon Smoke, a quartet of great New Orleans musicians, for a brief west coast tour. They will be in Los Angeles on December 12, 2012 at The Mint. If you are in town on that date, don’t miss the show. It is sure to be a great one.
Photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon