Lindley's originals borrow not only instruments but also musical structures from the eastern Mediterranean crescent. The Celtic classic "Women of Ireland" and Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" get long Middle Eastern introductions. Jumping from the slide guitar that brings alive the Florida swamps in "Seminole Bingo" to an oud and trading licks among his instruments, Lindley seems to have independently hit on the submerged connections between the blues and the music of the Arab world that have fascinated specialists in recent years.
The musical language Lindley forges is flexible enough, like the blues itself, to encompass both spiritual ecstasy and a good deal of sly humor. On stage, still with long hair, he's a gnomic figure, one of the few rock 'n' rollers to have not only made it to late middle age gracefully but also gotten better as he's gone along. His show is guaranteed to be unlike anything you've heard before, and it should be required listening for any player of strings.
[Originally published in July, 2009.]