It’s unclear whether Lindley will have other musicians on stage with him, but if any musician alive qualifies for the name “one-man-band,” it is this versatile wizard.
If the Grammys had a category that was the equivalent of the Oscars’ “Best Supporting Actor,” Lindley would have long ago filled his mantel with statuettes. At least as famous for his work as a sideman and session-player as he is for his front or solo career, he has long occupied a unique place in American popular music — as long as Lindley is involved, the music is guaranteed great.
His current acoustic-electric performances combine “American folk, blues and bluegrass traditions with elements from African, Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy and Turkish musical sources,” and scattered about the stage we will see representatives from his vast and uncatalogued collection of stringed instruments, “including (but not limited to) acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass guitar, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, oud, weissenborn and zither.”
Lindley, born in San Marino in 1944, first came to our attention as a member of the eclectic “psychedelic” band Kaleidoscope (1966-70). Later (1981-83), he was the leader of his own band, El Rayo-X. All the while, he enriched the music of other performers as varied as Curtis Mayfield and Dolly Parton, but he is best and most fondly remembered for his work with Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Terry Reid, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart.
There is nobody quite like him — and nobody looks quite like him, or dresses like him, or has his bizarre wit. It is sometimes said of a person that “they broke the mold after they made him.” Lindley’s life and career invalidate the whole concept of casting people in molds.
Tickets to see Lindley are $35 (reserved) and are available from the Lobero box office at 805.963.0761. Click here to order online.
— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.