Eric Lindell/Outformation | 9.22 | LA

Words & Images by: Aaron Lafont

Eric Lindell & Outformation :: 09.22.07 :: Chelsea's Café :: Baton Rouge, LA

Outformation :: 09.22 :: Baton Rouge
Festivals may provide a broad range of potentially majestic happenings, stadiums deliver earth shattering spectacles, theatres render stunning displays of showmanship but is there really any better opportunity to completely capture the true essence of a live performance than within the confines of a small club? Well, the recent double bill of Outformation and Eric Lindell at Chelsea's Café certainly swayed this contentious debate towards this conclusion.

For nearly four hours the walls of the cozy tavern vibrated as the foundation shook in time to some of the best down home southern melodies of recent years. With a stage only slightly raised above a dance floor fit roughly for about a 100 people – though more than double were in attendance – the virtually undistinguishable boundary allowed the artists to fully interact with their enthused onlookers.

At 10:00 p.m., Outformation, led by Sam Holt, riled up the crowd for more than 90 minutes, rarely pausing between their hard stomping jams before diving into the next. Amidst all of the hooting, hollering, wiggling and shaking, Outformation ripped through tracks from 2005's Tennessee Before Daylight and the recently released Traveler's Rest, as well as a few choice covers. Apart from their enrapturing improvisational skills, perhaps OF's greatest appeal lies in their ability to thematically weave together songs, which, lyrically and musically, unite aspects of both the raw and the impassioned.

The five piece kicked things off swapping solos and teasing the country anthem "Will the Circle be Unbroken" on the instrumental "Chickin Pickin'," which unfolded initially into the earthy, Holt-led "90" and later into the ardent, Lee Schwartz (drums) led "Into My Arms." New instrumental "Edgewater" was a clear set standout, with Holt's winding Telecaster locked into the hearty pocket of keyboardist CR Gruver's mesmerizing Chuck Leavell-like solos. Gruver's keys also sparked the evening's most psychedelic moment, a cover of Traffic's "Glad," which set the perfect tone for the dirty, polyrhythmic bliss of "'Bout My Money." With the crowd on the brink of eruption, Outformation sent the Louisianans faithful off with a double dose of classic southern rock, burning up covers of the Charlie Daniels Band's "Sweet Louisiana" and the Marshall Tucker Band's "Long Hard Ride."

Eric Lindell :: 09.22 :: Baton Rouge
With the buzz still swirling from Outformation's set, Eric Lindell had his work cut out for him if he intended to seize upon the momentum in the room. Luckily, the New Orleans-based bluesman had no problem stepping up to the mic and steering the audience with the warm soul of his voice and the howling wail of his SG guitar. For some time now, Lindell has embodied the ideal of the wayward guitarist on the blues circuit, showing up here and there, jamming with locals until the wee hours of the morning, charming those fortunate enough to have stuck around for another round and leaving just as unassumingly as he came – same twinkle in his eye, same grin on his chin.

This night, with only a drummer and a harmonica player on hand, Lindell enlisted the aid of three of Baton Rouge's finest to fill out his band - Righteous Buddha's John Smart (Hammond B3) and the Blacksound Parade's Myles Weeks (string bass) and Chris DeJohn (percussion). The unlikely quintet took no time falling into the tight grooves and boogie-woogie rhythms of their native state. Drawing mostly from Lindell's excellent debut, Change in the Weather, the fresh musical alliance also threw in an assortment of covers between bouts of jovial banter with the crowd, who, at various times throughout the evening jumped onto the stage, shook tambourines and other percussion knickknacks, sang choruses and danced to the sounds of their roots.

Lindell's stellar musicianship appeared not only in his guitar and songwriting chops but also in his ability to rework covers. Two superb examples at Chelsea's were the Lindell penned "Two Bit Town," where Smart's funky keys met Sean Carey's sweet harp to channel mid-'70s Stevie Wonder, and on a cover of Buck Owens's "I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)," where the traditional country spirit was transformed into Creole zydeco. Other highlights included Lindell's uplifting "Give it Time," the '50s R&B styled "All Alone" and a cathartic cover of Louis Armstrong's "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"

There exists a rare dynamic within small clubs that affords fans and musicians an opportunity to connect on a visceral and cerebral level, thus collectively forging a purely unique, wholly authentic live musical experience. And, as long as guys like Outformation and Eric Lindell continue to make their rounds, the splendor of these transactional occurrences will continue to remain unmatched.

JamBase | Louisiana
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http://www.ericlindellband.com/

[Published on: 10/10/07]

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Comments

Chaloupka starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/10/2007 03:33PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Chaloupka

Yesss! Lindell is one of my favorite musicians! Its about time he gets some good press!

trini. starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/10/2007 05:30PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

trini.

I love this guy!

Nice - "There exists a rare dynamic within small clubs that affords fans and musicians an opportunity to connect on a visceral and cerebral level, thus collectively forging a purely unique, wholly authentic live musical experience."

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/11/2007 04:55AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I did not like Lindell when I saw him this summer, it was noisy blues rock, and not to my tastes.

Outformation is a fantastic group though. Sam is a wonderful guitarist.

I first saw Sam when he played for GMAC, after they kicked him out at the louisville show in summer of 2005 Or was it 2006?? hehe I cannot remember, I had too much fun. :P

Chaloupka Thu 10/11/2007 09:14AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Chaloupka

milesgone,

"Noisy"? That doesn't describe any kind of sound I've ever heard from Lindell. I'd describe his music as funk/soul/rock with just a bit of blues.

greengrass starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/11/2007 10:56AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

greengrass

I haven't seen Lindell but I will now and because the first part of this review was so right on about how an Outformation show can blow your mind. I just bought Outformation's new Cd Travelers Rest and it one of the best CD's I have heard in a long time talk about Southern Rock and Roll at its finest. I am a huge fan of Later and Toys Song but the whole album is SICK..

greengrass starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/11/2007 10:56AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

greengrass

I haven't seen Lindell but I will now and because the first part of this review was so right on about how an Outformation show can blow your mind. I just bought Outformation's new Cd Travelers Rest and it one of the best CD's I have heard in a long time talk about Southern Rock and Roll at its finest. I am a huge fan of Later and Toys Song but the whole album is SICK..

cocheese starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/11/2007 11:03AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

cocheese

Outformation is a hard working band and deserve the respect the writer gives them right here. they will blow your mind wether it's in front of hundreds or just a hand full of people. they are on the rise, so keep an eye out for 'em, GO SEE THIS BAND LIVE, THEY ROCK!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/15/2007 05:55AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

Chaloupka>> well I never heard anyone I had ever thought was noisy, so, hence my opinion.. I love funk and blues etc, but not the way Lindell does it. Not too many white guys can play me funk and blues that really get my attention anywayz :)

HOPEFULPHAN starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/16/2007 02:38PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

outformation was great at 10klf.

mary760 starstar Mon 10/22/2007 04:29AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

THEY ROCK!Yes!Good music!I like it very much.And i find one web where have a lot of music!It calls http://www.boxsweeper.com!Basicly,all of the songs I listen to are download on it!