Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

ERIC LINDELL

GULF COAST HIGHWAY

2009-04-01

On his third Alligator release guitarist Eric Lindell is joined by members of funk band Galactic (Stanton Moore on drums, Robert Mercurio on bass) and a host of other New Orleans based musicians including Marc Adams on Hammond b3, Jimmy Carpenter on Tenor sax, Derek Huston on Baritone sax, Chris Mule on guitars and Shelia Sanders, Tara Doughty and Sean Carey on backing vocals. Normally, getting more than two New Orleans based funk or jazz musicians together at a time results in long-winded jams and six songs to a disc. Not so here: five of the 15 tracks clock in at less than three minutes and none of the rest pass the four minute mark. So, does that mean that there isn’t much going on here musically? Not a chance. Sounding at times like a classic Delany and Bonnie disc or even a countrified Rolling Stones this is hard hitting soul and funk driven blues with hot horn charts, slamming rhythms and plenty of booty shakin’ fun. Rather than keeping a lid on the talents of the musicians, paring the songs to their essence allows Lindell and crew to keep your attention from cut to cut. Like John Fogerty’s short but catchy solos that drove the great Creedence Clearwater singles, Lindell has a knack for getting to the point with a few well placed guitar riffs and then getting out of the way for the horns, keys and vocals. While the charts are hot, Lindell is always cool with a vocal approach that alternates between the urgency of Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and the unhurried vibe of mellow surf dude Jack Johnson. Lindell’s skill with the pen equals his prowess on guitar and vocals. With thirteen originals that fit seamlessly with classics by Waylon and Willie, "I Can Get Off on You", Buck Owens, "Crying Time", and Delbert McClinton, "Here Come the Blues Again", Lindell has crafted a disc that will stand the test of time. SMITTY

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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