Monday, November 9, 2009

20 Days in November - Day 4: Eric Lindell

We came close to ending this run rather early - being tired from three consecutive nights out, but the thought of seeing Eric Lindell was a prime motivator. And we were able to arrive at The State Theatre just in time. Lindell is an Alligator Records artist in the New Orleans blues mold of Ronnie Baker Brooks, Lonnie Brooks Blues Band, or Kenny Neal; not the Chicago blues of Little Ed & the Blues Imperials. This was most telling in their version of "Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" which was more Allen Toussaint than Willie Dixon. Loved the piano on that song - and Lindell traded his guitar for a tambourine. I don't think you'd find that in Chicago.

As you can tell, many blues purists wouldn't even list Lindell as a Blues artist, his style incorporates classic R&B, soul, New Orleans Funk, and rockin' blues. He has a friendly stage presence - laughing with the band which was even more evident with this night's crowd. They were a small, but raucous group of true believers. Almost all sang along to every song, called out requests, or as in the case for two ladies in front of me, submitted a constant stream of catcalls to the band's 18 year old drummer. Needless to say an entertaining evening. He played songs from his three previous CDs, Change in the Weather - 2006 Casanova; Low on Cash, Rich in Love 2008; Gulf Coast Highway - 2009 - with my clear favorite being a Delbert McClinton-ish "If Love Can't Find A Way" - the first track from his current release. Another favorite was the funky "Lady Day & John Coltrane". I also really enjoyed slide guitarist, Thomas Johnson's song; his voice has shades of JJ Grey. All in all, Lindell can play. And with a full band - they were rockin'. That's why its better to go out on Sunday night and see live music, than to stay home and sit through another food challenge show.

Up next, JV's Restaurant's 62 Anniversary party on Monday night.

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