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Eric Lindell
Change in the Weather

(Alligator)

The growth in popularity of the blue-eyed soul of Eric Lindell, delivered in his engaging, danceable patent of strut-and-crow swagger, took an organic path in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. Notice of his talent was served over six years as Lindell worked with swamp- pop veterans in West Bank dives and honky tonks, and then built a following in hipster haunts such as the Circle Bar and Shiloh.

Lindell's stellar debut release, Change in the Weather, on noted Chicago label Alligator Records, could place the crooner on a larger stage nationally, and sooner rather than later. The Alligator release brings Lindell's A-game, as the disc pulls from three previous independent releases. The first track, "Give It Time," was the No. 1 song added to Adult Alternative radio programming across the country after its release.

Change in the Weather is a fun ride -- a smooth flow through Lindell's many tastes and talents, from golden-era New Orleans R&B, blues, reggae and sped-up surf rock. A solid cast of local contributions includes Shannon McNally's vocals, Ivan Neville's clavinet, Chris Mule's slide guitar, Aaron Wilkinson's bass, Jason Mingledorff's sax and Andy J. Forest's harmonica. Even considering the all-star support, Lindell's raw, visceral vocal delivery -- one part worn soul, one part come-hither charisma -- shines brightest on this disc, from the raucous "Casanova" to the heartstring-tugging "Sad but True" to the inspiring grooves of "Two Bit Town."

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