The Eric Lindell Band
The Pour House
Sept. 25

Singer/guitarist Eric Lindell has visited the Pour House at least a half-dozen times in the last few years, and he’s built a nice, solid fanbase. Lindell’s cool, soulful singing style and roughly romantic lyrics always went over well.

Last Friday, as he and his backing trio dealt with a few unexpected technical difficulties, a few of his followers looked a little fidgety as the hour became late. Lindell and his mates were the only entertainers on the bill. Quite a few attendees showed up early, ready to get down, so by the time the band hit the stage around 11 p.m., a sense of anxiety was in the air.

As it turned out, the snag was electric guitar trouble. Lindell’s Gibson SG six-string had gone haywire, and the club staff had to scramble to find a replacement. As soon as Lindell plugged in and eased into a sweet groove, any uneasiness in the room simply dissolved.

Lindell’s touring band for last week’s quick road trip featured a different roster from the studio sessions of his latest album, Gulf Coast Highway. It was a small combo, minus the extra brass, sax, and organ, which played heavily on most of Gulf Coast. They made it work, though, focusing on rhythmic patterns and dynamics.

If Lindell’s guitar gave him some trouble, his blue-eyed soul singing voice was certainly intact. He sounded sincere and natural.

Bassist Chris Aranis and drummer Eddie Christmas set up at stage right, while lead guitarist Thomas Johnson flanked Lindell at stage left. Christmas played a small, three-piece kit, and kept things tight and low-volume on many of the slow-tempo songs, like “Turnin’ It Out” (with some gritty wah-wah pedal work from the frontman) and the syncopated “This Love Is Gonna Last.” He and Aranis locked in and allowed plenty of space for guitar interplay between Lindell and Johnson, who played with a sparse, expressive style in the vein of Steve Cropper and Magic Sam. The solid execution was well worth the wait.