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Low On Cash, Rich In Love

Eric Lindell

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Album Review

It won't take long — maybe 30 seconds into the opening bluesy soul ballad — to realize that Eric Lindell's sophomore Alligator release is a far cry from the typical "house-rocking" blues synonymous with the label's success. Alligator understands that reaching outside of the blues to stay vital is essential for survival and Lindell is a perfect candidate to accomplish that. His soulful, funk-drenched approach is a stretch for even the most liberal fan to consider blues, but there is no denying the connection to that genre. The follow-up to 2006's debut — which was a compilation of previously released material — is a far more cohesive project. Lindell works with a consistent three-piece here, which results in a tighter, more focused set that highlights the group's natural groove. These guys are totally in the pocket for songs that shift from Little Feat ("It's My Pleasure") and Meters-influenced funk (the post-Katrina "It's a Pity") to retro Curtis Mayfield-styled R&B ("Tried and True"). Lindell is a quadruple threat as a solid songwriter, impressive guitarist, affecting singer, and better than average harmonica blower. That he never seems to be working very hard adds to his appeal and the loose yet focused sound. Credit the band, with occasional help from horns, for creating this rubbery vibe. Just as important is Lindell's own spacious production that makes it seem as if he's playing in your living room. The album's only cover, Gil Scott-Heron's "Lady Day and John Coltrane," is an inspired choice and fits perfectly with the rest of these similarly frisky, upbeat originals. This is sunshiny singalong party music that's deceptively difficult to create. Lindell makes it seem not just easy, but natural.

Biography

Born: 1969 in San Mateo, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in 1969 in San Mateo, California, blues guitarist Eric Lindell spent much of his youth in nearby Santa Rosa and Forestville. Although he worked as a baker by day, Lindell turned his focus to music in the evenings, honing his chops as a competent vocalist and guitarist by playing in bars around Sonoma County. He produced his debut album, Bring It Back, in 1996, and in 1999 he won the John Lennon Songwriting Competition with his original piece "Kelly Ann." That same year, Lindell decided to move...
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Low On Cash, Rich In Love, Eric Lindell
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