Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley performs music that redefines the word “eclectic.” Lindley, well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne, and leader of his own band El Rayo-X, has long championed the concept of world music. The David Lindley electro-acoustic performance effortlessly combines American folk, blues, and bluegrass traditions with elements from African, Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy, and Turkish musical sources. Lindley incorporates an incredible array of stringed instruments including but not limited to Kona and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap steel guitar, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud, and Irish bouzouki.
The eye-poppingly clad Mr. Dave’s uncanny vocal mimicry and demented sense of humor make his onstage banter a highlight of the show. David Lindley grew up in southern California, first taking up the banjo as a teenager, and subsequently winning the annual Topanga canyon banjo and fiddle contest five times as he explored the American folk music tradition. between 1967 and 1971 Lindley founded and lead what must now be seen as the first world music rock band, The Kaleidoscope.
In 1971, Mr. Dave joined forces with Jackson Browne, serving as Jackson’s most significant musical co-conspirator until 1981. In 1979, Lindley had begun working with old friend Ry Cooder on ‘Bop Till you Drop’ and ‘The Long Riders’ sound track, a musical collaboration that lasts to this day, and has spawned many recording projects and several world tours as an acoustic duo.
In 1981, Lindley created his own remarkable band El Rayo-X, which integrated American roots music and world beat with a heavy reggae influence. ‘El Rayo-X’, ‘Win This Record’ and ‘Very Greasy’, as well as a live EP. During this period he also came forth with a solo album, ‘Mr. Dave’.
Lindley and guitarist Henry Kaiser went to Madagascar for two weeks in 1991 and recorded six albums of indigenous Malagasy music (including two collaborative cd’s, ‘A World Out of Time’ volumes one and two on Shanachie) which proved to have a major impact on the world music scene, both for the quality of the Grammy nominated music recorded, and the fair and ethical way the Malagasy musicians were dealt with. Throughout this long and distinguished career, Lindley has been one of Hollywood’s most in demand session musicians, lending his skills to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby and Nash, Warren Zevon, and many others.
“If David Lindley played just one of the stringed instruments in his arsenal, and concentrated on just one of the styles he has mastered and/or mutated, he would doubtless be considered one of the best and most original practitioners of that one thing. Instead, over the past five decades he has studied, investigated, incorporated, and become an original, prominent voice in styles spanning the globe, on so many instruments he lost count long ago. In the process, he has expanded the parameters of popular music, stylistically and instrumentally, to a degree that few, if any, can claim.” – Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar Magazine.
“He calls it big little music. David Lindley’s term for his amplified acoustic music captures his sound and his essence perfectly. Lindley is understated but powerful, his presence looming large, his approach delicate but dominating. Although Lindley is steeped in traditional music, his presentation is anything but, keeping you guessing as to which cultural tradition he’s going to employ as a delivery system. Switching to bouzouki for the traditional English/Appalachian murder ballad “Pretty Polly,” Lindley’s dirge-like version sounds like a Balkan county blues. He rewrote the ending, allegedly with Dolly’s approval. Dolly Parton said it was okay to do that, he says, apparently referring to her makeover of the song as Down From Dover. The sold-out crowd is the quietest, most respectful bunch ever assembled at a local music event.” – Grant Britt, No Depression.
“His resume features collaborations with some of the most prominent names in music, but this concert demonstrated that the 70-year-old Lindley has everything he needs to entertain and impress a crowd all by himself. He performed a quirky set, which seemed wholly in keeping with his personality, sometimes blurring the permeable line between the silly and profound.” – Rob Cline, Hoopla.com