Being adopted by and revered in a city where youve lived for the greater part of a decade isnt impressive. But, when that city just happens to be New Orleans and you are a white soul, blues and R&B singer from San Francisco, the feat becomes legendary. Such is life for Eric Lindell, the Big Easys newest phenomenon in a city that slammed down the door of musical innovation decades ago. While he didnt grow up in Louisiana, it is plain to see that Lindells sound was born and raised on the bayou. He encapsulates that blue-eyed soul that Darryl Hall and Van Morrison have so suavely perfected - infusing his own sound with irresistible funk, reggae and swamp pop. It is Lindells lyrics, however, that put him heads and tails above other contemporaries. His raspy vocals provide a smooth coat of soul over lyrics that will tug at even the stingiest of heartstrings. Most remarkable is Lindells power to transplant listeners to a hot, humid New Orleans summer night as they cruise on into one of the famous jazz clubs that line Frenchmen Street. That, right there, is the true beauty of music.
Wed., April 1, 7 p.m., 2009