Eric Lindell has never been someone to stay in one place for very long. The R&B singer/guitarist has seen his share of high times and hardships in his comings and goings. But like the familiar breeze he often rides off on, in his own time, he winds his way back, sketching songs until he’s settled. His soul is his style — and luckily for him, it suits him just fine. On his most recent outing, I Still Love You, Lindell hangs his heart — and his heartbreak — on his sleeve. It’s a story that the San Mateo, California native knows all too well: he’s been singing its songs for a while.
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Akin to Lindell’s previous endeavors, his soothing croon lights I Still Love You’s way. And though his emotions leave him out to dry at times, his songwriting and steadfast fretwork always reel him in.
On his last album, West County Drifter (2011), Lindell picked up wily bluesman Delbert McClinton along the way. This time, McClinton’s pals, guitarist Anson Funderburgh and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, hang around for a few cuts. Like McClinton, they make the most of their ride, particularly on the twangy shuffle of “Back Stabbin’ Jones.” Throughout the album, the camaraderie Lindell initially cultivated with string bassist Myles Weeks and drummer Will McMains on Drifter cruises. In the rare moments when I Still Love You wanes, New Orleans pianist Marc Adams and (underrated) saxophonist Brad Walker are there to lift its sails. After praying to the Queen of Soul (“Aretha, Sing One for Me”), vowing to change his ways (“Let’s Live for Ourselves”), running from the past (“Trouble”), and hitting rock bottom (“Cold November”), Lindell turns the corner (“Love’s Gonna Live Here”) and realizes that wherever the wind blows him, his heart belongs to rhythm and blues.