Roots/blues virtuoso Eric Lindell pays tribute, once again,
to his adopted hometown of New Orleans,
much as he did on 2010’s masterful Between
Motion and Rest and on 2009’s truth-in-titling Gulf Coast Highway.
Yet as this platter’s title suggests,
he’s also tipping his hat back to his roots: Cazadero is the name of a tiny but
scenic California town a bit north of the Bay Area club scene where Lindell initially
cut his teeth as a musician, and in the song “Cazadero” he talks about falling
in love with a gal in New Orleans then taking her back to Cali to show her some
of the scenery at his old stomping grounds. “These memories can bring you to
tears,” he sings in the spry, uptempo tune, and you can practically see the
Polaroid images flipping past.
Feel is the
operative term for Lindell – he makes you feel what he’s feeling. One moment is
might be a sweet sunshine-and-hemp buzz (on the reggaeish “Head High and
Peelin”); the next, a dose of southern-laced blues (“24 Mile Bridge,” which
boasts some tasty resonator guitar trading off with an Allmanesque slide).
Meanwhile, he also serves up slices of classic soul via the sensual Jerry
Butler/Curtis Mayfield nugget “Find Another Girl” and the horns-a-honkin’ hoot
of Titus Turner’s “Bow Wow.” Throughout, Lindell & Co.
(which includes guest Delbert McClinton on one track) never lose sight of the
tight-but-loose imperative, sliding effortlessly into the groove and beckoning
the listener to come along for the ride.
“West County Drifter,” “Find Another Girl”