Eric Lindell – Revolution In Your Heart
Alligator Records – 2018
12 tracks; 38 minutes
In the mid 2000’s Eric Lindell released three albums on In the mid 2000’s Eric Lindell released three albums on Alligator which established his position on the music scene, on the back of which he appeared at many blues festivals and toured nationally. Since then he has continued to release albums regularly but as an independent artist has perhaps found it difficult to get his music to a wide audience; this reviewer has only heard one of his releases since the Alligator era, 2011’s West Coast Drifter, and that came out on MC Records. On his return to Alligator Willie McMains plays drums and Kevin McKendree adds piano to one track but otherwise this is all Eric who plays everything else and wrote all the material (with one co-write with Seth Walker), much of which is autobiographical. Originally from Northern California, Eric has called New Orleans home for many years now.
Opener “Shot Down” is archetypal Eric Lindell with his intricate guitar work and relaxed vocals at the heart of a song that deals with the ups and downs of life where you can be “shot out the saddle on Sunday, back on top on Monday”, not the first reference to horses on this album, a fact that perhaps indicates that Eric is leading a rural life these days. “Revolution” adds a hint of island rhythms to an attractive plea for positive thinking to win the day while “Heavy Heart” has some great picking as Eric continues on the positive theme as he declares that “a heavy heart and a troubled mind will take a man over time; a stubborn fool will go on tryin’, knowing damn well what he’ll never find.” “How Could This Be?” is a ballad in which Eric’s relationship seems to have foundered, Eric’s guitar echoing the sentiments of the lyrics, the co-write with Seth Walker.
Eric breaks out the wah-wah pedal to celebrate his “Big Horse” and “Pat West” recounts the story of an old friend who is clearly still vividly remembered. On “Kelly Ridge” the drums introduce an upbeat country song, another magical memory of his California childhood, a short but joyous little song. “Claudette” has more outstanding guitar from Eric who also adds some harmonica to a song about his Mother whom he describes as “wild and free, a lot like me”. “Appaloosa” seems to be the location of Eric’s love interest while “Millie Kay” has a honky-tonk feel with Kevin McKendree’s piano and some country picking from Eric. Another childhood memory is of “Grandpa Jim”, the combination of country-inflected guitar set against synthesizer adding a different touch to the track; Eric adds that his eldest son now reminds him of Grandpa Jim – “big as a mountain, soft as the wind”. The album closes with an upbeat rocker “The Sun Don’t Shine” with more country picking and harmonica, the title inspired by something a friend used to say.
The music here is extremely attractive with lovely guitar work, catchy melodies and sincere lyrics. It is not blues but more based in the Americana field, so blues purists may not find much of interest here but those with broader tastes should enjoy the disc a lot.