By the time David Lindley made his move to a solo career, he was already a legend. Having toured and recorded with such names as Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and Crosby & Nash, his reputation as a multi-instrumentalist (on almost any stringed instrument) was awesome. Lindley scored a contract with Elektra Records and put together an excellent band that was able to keep up with his eclectic vision. Combining blues, rock & roll, Cajun, Zydeco, Middle Eastern music, and other elements, his debut album is an absolute joy.
Following up their excellent debut and a season of intense touring, David Lindley and his crack band (now named El Rayo-X) recorded their second Elektra album. It turns out that they actually bettered the near perfection of the first. Opening with an excellent version of Etta James classic "Something's Got a Hold on Me," this track proves how tight the band had became. Lindley's slide guitar work is impressive as always. As an added bonus, the band's vocal harmonies are extremely tight and a welcome addition.
The final El Rayo-X record, while lovely, does not exactly contain the power and fury of the first two. On Very Greasy, David Lindley and his cohorts explore a myriad of lighter, more Caribbean rhythms and textures, rendering a very pleasing album. Some great covers such as "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Do You Wanna Dance" are pleasant enough, but the fact that hard rock Warrior drummer Ian Wallace – who was such a big part of the power of their second CD, Win This Record – is missing results in a weaker record. All in all, a very nice, eclectic slice, but not what this fine band was really about.
Love Is Strange: En Vivo con Tino is, simply put, a double CD that documents Jackson Browne's and David Lindley’s short Spanish tour of 2006. But it’s actually far more than that. While the song titles may be familiar to fans of both men, they don’t begin to tell the musical story on display here. Lindley and Browne were accompanied on all dates by the great flamenco percussionist, rock drummer, and producer Tino di Geraldo, and on select concerts by well-known Spanish musicians flutist Carlos Nunéz, vocalists Kiko Veneno and Luz Casal, banduria player Javier Mas, and others.