Smooth sailing |

Smooth sailing

Transportation on tour for Eric Lindell has not always been ideal.

“We were on this one crazy tour where we drove through Colorado in the dead of winter in a Griswold family station wagon with no heater,” Lindell said. “The bass player had on every piece of clothing he owned.”

This summer’s tour is much warmer and less stressful in their 1991 Cadillac.

“We’re just rollin’ along here,” Lindell said. “It’s been a lot smoother than our past trip.”

On the last tour Lindell and his band members drove a 1965 Chevy panel tuck that had no air conditioning, but had a great paint job.

“It was super cool to pull into town in a hot rod truck that was dove grey with red rims,” said drummer Chris Mule. “It looked really cool but took five days to drive through Texas. It didn’t have highway gears and only went up to 55 mph.”

Mule met Lindell four or five years ago.

“We hit it off as friends first – nothing too serious,” Mule said. “And then we developed a sound together.”

Their New Orleans based band is marketed as combining soul-shaking rhythm and blues, reggae grooves, swamp pop and blues.

“We play rootsy music,” Lindell said. “I don’t like to label ourselves as blues. It’s American roots music.”

He writes his lyrics about his experiences.

“I write a lot about love and songs about women,” Lindell said. “It seems to be a strong topic and constant inspiration.”

Lindell is now on his first record label, which was negotiated around the time Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Lindell said Katrina actually helped out the music scene in the area.

“The hurricane drew a lot of attention to New Orleans and really just exposed a lot of people,” Lindell said. “Everybody I know in the city is working their tails off. The city is built on music and it’s coming back strong. “

Lindell hopes to write songs for other artists who are on in the Alligator records label as well. Although Bonnie Raitt would be his first choice, he would work with any number of people on that label.

“They have some artists who sometimes need material,” Lindell said. “I think the ultimate compliment is to be able to write your own song and have someone else do it.”

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