Doors at 7. Show at 8. Seating is first come first served. Ages 18+.
$5 ticket increase at the door.
"A tremendous raw talent with a poet's soul...Lindell writes from the heart with a fully realized musical vision" —Chicago Sun-Times
"Impressive super slinky blues and rock with a taste of country twang. Bound to win over roots music fans for years to come" —Guitar Player
"Stellar, sublime blue-eyed soul and romping New Orleans R&B, played at the intersection of soul, blues and roots rock" —New Orleans Times-Picayune
With his raspy, soulful voice and instantly memorable original songs, roots-rocking multi-instrumentalist Eric Lindell is a true one-of-a-kind talent. Mixing West Coast rock and swampy Gulf Coast R&B with honky tonk country and Memphis soul, Lindell creates American roots music that is both surprisingly fresh and sweetly familiar. Since his first self-release over two decades ago, Lindell has earned critical and popular acclaim, first in his dual home bases of Louisiana and Northern California and then across the country. Although influenced by American roots music from blues to country to rock, Lindell’s style is all his own. He has performed thousands of gigs in roadhouses, clubs, concert halls and festivals and has appeared on national radio and television. His live shows overflow with happy, dancing people singing the words to every song.
By the time of his 2006 Alligator Records debut, Change In The Weather, Lindell had released five albums and already had earned a devoted and growing fan following. Change In The Weather, with its unforgettable songs and undeniable melodies, earned him regular radio rotation and piles of critical praise. The Los Angeles Daily News said Lindell plays “passionate blue-eyed soul smothered with a big heap of New Orleans funk.” Two subsequent Alligator releases and a series of albums on other labels kept Lindell in demand and on the road. Now Lindell returns to Alligator with Revolution In Your Heart, featuring his most engaging and personal writing and his most irresistible, instantly hummable melodies.
Revolution In Your Heart was recorded at Studio In The Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana and produced by Lindell and Benjamin Mumphrey. On Revolution In Your Heart, Lindell plays everything on the recording—guitar, bass, keyboards, organ, harmonica—except drums, which are expertly played by Willie McMains. The only other musician on the record is keyboardist Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Tinsley Ellis), who plays piano on Millie Kay. The twelve universally relatable original songs—many of them autobiographical—combine sunshiny melodies and thick, greasy grooves, and paint vivid pictures of day to day living. From the honest and sage title track to the long-ago but still fresh memories of Grandpa Jim, Pat West and Kelly Ridge, Revolution In Your Heart feels not only somehow immediately familiar, it’s also profoundly moving. Asked about the timeless appeal of his songs, Lindell simply says, “Music runs deep, it’s a powerful thing.”
Born in San Mateo, California in 1969, Lindell spent countless hours in San Francisco, soaking up the musical sounds of the city, eventually leading him to pick up first the bass and then the guitar and harmonica. With a love of music and skateboarding, Lindell formed a few punky garage bands early on while his musical horizons expanded. He listened to the deep blues of Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Jimmy Reed and Albert King before drifting toward the R&B sounds of The Impressions, Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, soaking up the soul and learning how to craft a song. After performing at bars on the West Coast with a few short-lived bands, Eric formed his own group in 1993. He quickly gained a loyal Northern California audience thanks to countless performances and many late-night jam sessions. Established stars like Charlie Musselwhite and Tom Waits attended his shows, as did overflow crowds of music fans.
Following his muse, Lindell drifted to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1999, bringing his sound and style with him. He performed wherever and whenever possible, often playing the dive bars in Gretna and Algiers. Word of Lindell’s singular talents quickly spread around the region. Artists including Branford Marsalis and The Neville Brothers began showing up at his gigs, and some of New Orleans’ finest players, including keyboardist Ivan Neville, often joined him on stage. Galactic’s Stanton Moore and Rob Mercurio, among many area musicians, became his admirers and then his friends. Since 2003, in addition to his own gigs, Lindell regularly joins forces with Neville, Moore and Mercurio (when time and schedules permit) and they perform to overflow crowds as Dragon Smoke.
2006’s Change In The Weather delighted and surprised music fans hungry for a truly original artist. Lindell’s deceptively simple sounding songs, laid back grooves and hook-laden melodies were fueled by guests including Brown, Neville and Moore. Critics across the country went wild, with reviews and features in Relix, OffBeat, Guitar Player, Down Beat, The New Yorker, The New York Press and many other national and regional publications. Singer And Musician magazine put Eric on the cover and many newspaper entertainment sections did the same.
2007’s Low On Cash, Rich In Love and 2009’s Gulf Coast Highway pushed Lindell farther into the spotlight. Appearances on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage solidified his stature as an artist who simply could not be ignored. Many of his songs have appeared in films and television shows, including Boston Legal and Treme. He has collaborated and shared stages with blues and rock luminaries, including John Fogerty, Jackson Browne, Luther Dickinson and Anson Funderburgh.
With Revolution In Your Heart, Lindell was more than ready to come home to Alligator. “The timing is perfect. I’m so excited to get back to focusing on what I do and have such a great team behind me,” he says. Upon release of the album, Lindell and his band will tour heavily, reuniting with old friends and, as always, earning new fans at every stop. AllMusic declares Lindell a singular talent, saying, “He plays soulful, funk-drenched, tight and focused grooves. He is a quadruple threat as a solid songwriter, impressive guitarist, affecting singer and harmonica blower. This is music that’s deceptively difficult to create. Lindell makes it seem not just easy, but natural.”
Born in Plano, Texas, Anson grew up in a music-friendly environment; Dallas, with all its bedrock blues and country roots sits 20 miles south. “I’ve always loved music,” he says. “Nobody really played an instrument in my family, but they loved to listen to music.” On Saturdays, the popular country music programs of the day started in the early evening – Panther Hall, The Wilburn Brothers Show, The Buck Owens Ranch, The Porter Wagoner Show, The Grand Old Opry. “I loved to watch all those things,” says Anson. “My dad did too.”
When he was eight or nine years old, Funderburgh received his first guitar as well as an unexpected bonus gift that proved to be highly influential. His mother worked at a local school and she bought it from a lady that she worked with. “I can’t remember how much she paid for it,” recalls Anson. “I still have the guitar.”
A box of 45s accompanied the guitar – Jimmy Reed singles, Albert Collins’ Sno Cone (Parts I and II,) Freddie King’s Hideaway, Wilbert Harrison’s Kansas City and Linda Lu by Ray Sharpe. That precious stack of hard-driving platters pointed Funderburgh in a stylistic direction that proved irresistible. Another important in-the-flesh influence included the Nightcaps, a Dallas-based band whose rollicking Wine, Wine, Wine was a regional sensation during the early ‘60s. “I think they probably inspired all the guitar players in my area,” says Anson.
Then there was his in-person brush with B.B. King, which left an indelible impression. It was 1969 at the Loser’s Club off Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. “It was a small club and he had the entire band, horns and all. It was amazing. It just blew me away.”
Anson became a professional musician at age 15, playing in a variety of local bands including Sound Cloud Reunion and the Bee’s Knees. “Because of a dance that was popular called the Texas Push, we always played shuffles,” notes Anson. “You had to do a bit of different styles of music for different things. Honestly, it was mostly blues. That’s the truth.”
Along the way, he listened to the greats of the genre, absorbing all he could. His biggest influences stylistically were Freddie King and B.B. King but Funderburgh also embraced the West Side sounds of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. “I like all the guys that played behind the harmonicas, too – Luther Tucker and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Louis and David Meyers. I love all those old Jimmy Reed things with Eddie Taylor. There’s just so many.” Jazz greats Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel also had an impact.
Anson’s first big break came in 1978 when he teamed up with harmonica player and vocalist Darrell Nulisch to form the initial incarnation of The Rockets. Introduced through a mutual friend, they started gigging every Monday night together in October of that year and by January of 1979 they were making music together full-time at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas. “It was such a fun thing, and we enjoyed the same kind of music, so it just kind of stuck.”
Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets were the inaugural artists on Hammond and Nauman Scott’s New Orleans-based Black Top Records, one of the leading contemporary blues labels throughout the 1980s and ‘90s. Kicking off the label in 1981 with their acclaimed debut release, Talk To You By Hand, the band encored in 1983 with She Knocks Me Out!. “Those records with Darrell, I think those were good records,” says Anson. “We did a lot of covers at that particular point.”
Funderburgh found Nulisch’s successor by pure happenstance while the Rockets were out on tour and playing in Jackson, Mississippi. Sam Myers already boasted quite a resume, having cut classic singles for the Ace and Fury labels more than two decades prior. While playing at a club called George Street Grocery in ’81 or ’82, Myers came and sat in with the band. “Every time we played Jackson, we’d go see Sam…...we just became real good friends,” recalls Anson.
In 1984, Sam and Anson recorded My Love Is Here To Stay for Black Top. “I just had an idea of putting together a record, a little side project I could do, and still do The Rockets. And it would be a way to help Sam…….it sounded so good to me, that record is a great record.”
Nulisch stepped away from the music business and exited The Rockets in 1986. “When Darrell decided to leave the band, I called up Sam and asked him if he wanted to move to Dallas. He said, ‘Sure.’ I went and picked him up in Jackson and moved him to Dallas,” recalls Anson.
With Myers as The Rockets dynamic front man – his booming pipes were perfectly complemented by his muscular harp work – Anson embarked on his most bountiful period on wax, issuing one spectacular album after another on the Black Top imprint: Sins (1987), Rack ‘Em Up (1990), Tell Me What I Want To Hear (1991), Live At The Grand Emporium (1995) and That’s What They Want (1997). And you can throw in the ’91 overview Thru The Years: A Retrospective for good measure. Anson also guested on Black Top recordings by Snooks Eaglin, Nappy Brown, Joe Hughes, Grady Gaines and James “Thunderbird” Davis. The band moved to Bullseye Blues in 1999 for Change In My Pocket and Which Way is Texas? in 2003. The Rockets even achieved cinematic immorality by appearing in the nourish 1994 feature China Moon, starring Ed Harris. The film’s soundtrack also featured several of the band’s songs.
The longstanding musical partnership between Anson and Sam brought both international acclaim. For 20 years The Rockets, along with Myers, toured continuously all over the world and went on to win ten Blues Music Awards from the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.
Myers succumbed to cancer in 2006 and his death came as a crushing blow to Anson. “I don’t even know how to explain it, really,” he says. It just seemed like it was kind of time to rest for a minute.” He took a break from non-stop touring but continued to perform periodically as The Rockets with featured guest singers and harmonica players including James Harman, John Nemeth and the late Lee McBee. Washington, DC-based Big Joe Maher also shows up as a special guest, taking over drummer and lead vocalist duties.
Over the years, Anson has caught the attention of some of the most influential musicians in the business. He played on Delbert McClinton’s first Curb Records release I’m With You in 1990 and is a recurring guest on McClinton’s renowned Sandy Beaches cruises. Anson also performed alongside fellow Plano native Boz Scaggs on an episode of David Sanborn’s innovative television series Night Music.
You are just as likely to find Anson behind the board as you will on any festival stage. In addition to producing his own albums, he is the man behind John Nemeth’s release Magic Touch. He has produced all four of Nashville-based guitarist Andy T’s albums (whom he also toured with as special guest) and provided the same service in 2011 for the Ruff Kutt Blues Band’s Milk Block Blues. Funderburgh helmed Jonn Del Toro Richardson’s disc Tengo Blues which garnered the 2017 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut. Most recently, he produced the critically acclaimed Problem Child for Italian blues guitarist Dany Franchi.
Funderburgh undeniably remains best known in the blues field for his extraordinarily concise lead guitar attack. In addition to anchoring his latest iteration of The Rockets, he’s been touring since 2010 with Bay Area-based harmonica player Mark Hummel as a prime factor in the Golden State-Lone Star Revue. Another frequent musical cohort is New Orleans multi-instrumentalist Eric Lindell; they’ve recorded and toured together on a regular basis, including six appearances at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Funderburgh’s unmistakable style, tone and sensibility has made him one of contemporary blues music’s most important guitar players. Once a clean-cut up-and-comer on the national blues scene who’s crisp, biting guitar licks belied his soft-spoken manner, Anson has developed into a legacy artist and his influence on countless guitarists is immeasurable.