The Kennedy Center

Eric Lindell


New Orleans roots rocker Eric Lindell is famous for his original songs and excellent musicianship serving up a style of blue-eyed soul infused with Creole funk, R&B, and swamp pop. Lindell is also a talented producer. He writes, records, and produces all his own songs, and has released 10 albums since his arrival on the music scene.

Born in San Mateo, California, Eric grew up with the raw sounds of Fishbone and Black Flag ringing in his ears. In his youth, Lindell spent countless hours in San Francisco, soaking up the musical sounds of the city, and experience which led him to pick up the bass and the guitar. He learned both and began playing in bands at the age of 15.

Lindell started out playing to the Northern California bar circuit, strumming for audiences at nights while earning his wages as a baker by day. He discovered blues greats Junior Wells, Jimmy Reed, and Albert King before drifting toward the R&B sounds of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, soaking up the soul and learning how to craft a song.

After a few years, Eric moved across the States to New York City. He stayed for only a short while before relocating to New Orleans in 1999, where he quickly discovered the roots music scene. With his musical roots planted in Northern California, Lindell’s music blossomed in New Orleans. Eric found his creative stride, often playing with notable drummers Johnny Vidacovich and Harold Ray Brown, and members of the band Galactic. Word of Lindell’s immense talents quickly spread around the city. Stars like Branford Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, John Scofield, Chris Chew (North Mississippi Allstars), and Wally Ingram (David Lindley, Stockholm Syndrome) began showing up at his gigs and embracing this fresh California kid’s funky music.

By 2005, Eric earned the attention of New Orleans’ famous music scene, having appeared in local clubs and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. That same year, he signed with Alligator Records. Before long, Eric Lindell came to national prominence. Even with a self-produced recording career since 1996, it was not until signing with Alligator that Eric began expanding beyond the regional scene centered upon New Orleans and to tour nationally and internationally.

In 2006, Eric released Change in the Weather with Alligator. The album is a compilation of tracks from his various self-produced albums and E.P.s, the self-titled Eric Lindell and Piety Street Sessions (Sparco). “Give It Time,” the single off of Change in the Weather generated major national radio attention and was featured on an episode of TV’s Boston Legal. The album was nominated for Jam Album of the Year in the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards. In 2008, Eric produced his second album with Alligator, Low On Cash, Rich In Love. Again, the single “Lay Back Down” played across the nation on Adult Alternative stations. The single also aired on cable TV shows True Blood and Friday Night Lights. Eric produced one additional record with Alligator, 2009’s Gulf Coast Highway. Since 2010, he has returned to his original label, Sparco, his own, self-producing label.

Lindell’s live shows draw as much attention as his material. Full of nuance and rich with emotion, Eric’s music is the real deal. His unstoppable grooves, rocking, deeply rooted, original songs, and excellent musicianship never fail to fill the dance floor. With the release of Between Motion and Rest (2010) and Cazadero (2011), Lindell and his band continue to tour heavily, giving the rest of the country the chance to discover for themselves what a growing number of people already know: Eric Lindell is a musician bursting at the seams with talent, with the uncanny natural ability to come up with one instantly classic song after another, and the desire to take his music to every corner of the music-loving universe.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/1/2011: Eric Lindell

This acclaimed roots rocker combines sweet soul, foot-stomping R&B, swamp pop, funk, and blues.

Eric Lindell