Gulf Coast Highway

When that evil-hearted woman Delilah robbed her way-to-loyal beau of his long shiny locks she stole away Sampson’s power to create upheaval. Eric Lindell, who’s been building a swell reputation as a comer in the blues world, was also noted for his long tresses and bandanas. If you find yourself staring at the cover of Mr. Lindell’s new album wondering, who is this clean cut dude, don’t worry; Eric’s trip to the barber shop hasn’t diminished his formidable strength as a bluesman.

Lindell is a native Californian who grew up listening to the alt-rock/punk and funk of bands like Fishbone and Black Flag. After a short trip to NYC, Lindell landed in New Orleans, Louisiana and that’s where his musical story really begins. Listening to Gulf Coast Highway you’ll hear influences from all those places. Lindell music is an amalgamation of genres and he isn’t easily to categorize as simply “blues.” There’s a lot of soul in this boy’s music, a touch of funk, rock, and even jazz. “Raw Doggin” show the influence of Lindell’s collaborations with Stanton Moore of Galactic. “The Look” is a Ray Charles flavored number that features organ and female backing vocals. “It’s a Drag” offers a more traditional blues arrangement with horns and harmonica, while “I’ll Be Around” is pure New Orlean’s shuffle.

Lindell has spent time working on his writing craft – he’s written or co-written 13 of these songs. When he does side-step to another writer’s work he goes for prime cuts. His take on Buck Owens’ “Crying Time” is more 1970’s blues/rock than country but his cover of Delbert McClinton’s “Here Comes the Blues Again” is pure Texas honky-tonk.

Obviously Eric Lindell is a force to be reckoned with, with or without the hair. He continues to grow as a guitar player and is becoming a seasoned vocalist who knows how to work a phrase. You can check him out this summer when he visits the area as the headliner for free Friday at the Pittsburgh Blues Festival on July 24. The festival is a benefit for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix Host)