By Andy J. Gordon
A musician from the San Francisco Bay area who found success in New Orleans performed at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, CA on August 17, 2011. Eric Lindell played a compilation of pleasant Americana, R&B, and bluesy rock that has made him a rising star in the independent music scene.
Lindell has been playing in bands since the age of 15, starting out in Northern California bars. After a brief move to New York City, he settled in New Orleans in 1999. The musical gumbo of that city has influenced Lindell’s sound, and he has collaborated with many of the legendary artists that make the New Orleans music scene unique. Lindell (www.ericlindell.com) is touring in support of his new double album West County Drifter, the first on his new label, M.C. Records. The songs are a collection that Lindell originally self-released as two titles, “Cazadero” (2011) and “Between Motion and Rest” (2010.) His touring band consisted of long time members Mike Weeks on upright bass, and Will McMains on drums. Joining the trio was occasional band member, Chris Fitz on tenor sax.
The Saint Rocke (www.saintrocke.com) show was a two set marathon that included a variety of songs that Lindell recorded over the years, including several from the new release. Highlights from the first set were “Cold November,” a Delbert McClinton tune, “Lay Back Down” from Lindell’s Low On Cash, Rich In Love album, and “Bodega” from Between Motion and Rest. The set ended with “Sentimental Lover,” a new song from West Coast Drifter.
The second set kept the audience bouncing. Lindell seems to always have a smile on his face, and his positive energy was passed on to his band mates as well as the crowd. Songs like “Casanova” from Change in the Weather, “Here Comes the Blues Again” from Gulf Coast Highway, “I’m Not Supposed To” from West Coast Drifter, and “Lucky Lucky” from Between Motion and Rest wove tales of Lindell’s loves through the years. The marathon show wrapped up with a trio of catchy tunes. The peppy “If Love Can’t Find a Way” from Gulf Coast Highway kept the diehard, late night crowd dancing. He sang a slow, bluesy version of “Don’t Bogart That Joint” with a mischievous grin, and ended the show with “Tried and True,” a nifty, new foot stomper from West Coast Drifter.
Lindell is a talented songwriter, guitarist, and singer who knows how to keep an audience riveted. The Saint Rocke show was a pleasing showcase for a modern day troubadour at the height of his game. His latest recording features several excellent songs that do a good job of capturing his energy, but his live show is where Lindell truly excels. His infectious grin, talent and stage presence bring the audience on an enjoyable ride. Lindell and his fine band really made it a memorable experience for everyone in attendance.
Photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon