Eric Lindell – Between Motion and Rest

January 01, 1970



It’s been almost exactly a year since Cali
blues/roots guitarist Eric Lindell professed, in no uncertain terms, his love
for the music of New Orleans
and the surrounding area by titling his new album Gulf Coast Highway (Alligator; read review here). A career-capper in many ways for Lindell, already celebrated for
his sinewy fretwork and soulful vocals (an unlikely yet charismatic cross
between Van Morrison and Lyle Lovett), the record marked the man as an astute
student of Americana in its purest melting-pot form, and if he’d decided to
retire right then it would have been going out on a high note that most artists
never even come within shouting distance of.


Which makes this year’s Between
Motion and Rest
all the sweeter. The 8-song, vinyl only release essentially
picks up where its predecessor left off, although it’s by no means GCH Pt. II, for as anyone who’s followed
the man’s trajectory to date knows, Lindell treats each new release, and each
song on those releases, as unique, organically-formed creatures. Full of nuance
and rich with emotion, his oeuvre is, in a word (or three…), the real deal.


You want some mellow-yet-swinging, good time southern rock?
Look no further than “Bodega,” which suggests a marriage of Elvin Bishop and
the Allman Brothers, spiced by gentle horn jabs and boasting the most sensual
guitar tone you’ll hear all year. How about some Memphis-meets-New Orleans funk, courtesy
“Lucky Lucky,” on fire with harp, Hammond B3 (courtesy Ivan Neville), and
Lindell’s finger-snapping, shot-tossing vocal swagger? Or the kind of smoky, nocturnal
blues that you used to find in some delta juke-joint or Southside dive – maybe Lindell’s
cover of Magic Sam’s “That’s Why I’m Crying” will make you shed a tear or two
as well, particularly the way guest vocalist Peter Joseph Burtt (who also
contributes kora) summons images of a man at the end of his rope and nearly
blind with misery, wandering the streets at night and wondering if he’ll ever
see his woman again. (Speaking of covers, for all you classic soul fans,
Lindell and his band also work up a spot-on version of Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s
So Hard to Believe.”)


The album, incidentally, is self-released this time around by
Lindell on his own Sparco label, which Lindell tells me, in an email, was
originally how he got his music out before landing a deal with Alligator. His
plan for the label is to issue vinyl LPs as limited/numbered edition pressings
(1000 at a time, with each new pressing in a different color vinyl; the first
run for Between Motion and Rest is on
orange wax) and housed in deluxe silk-screened sleeves. However, fear not,
digital fans: a CD is tucked inside each record, and each title is also
available via iTunes and other digital retailers.


“As of now,” writes Lindell, “our focus is quality music on
vinyl. All the artists on the label are close friends and people I believe in.
There is so much crap out there that I feel it is my duty as a musician and
artist to let people know about real music… music with integrity and soul.”


Which is a pretty good way to sum up Lindell, too: music with integrity and soul. Believe


Standout Tracks: “That’s
Why I’m Crying,” “Lucky Lucky” FRED MILLS





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