David Lindley - El Rayo-X (1981)

                David Lindley! Nice vest! 
                                            - Me, just now.

David Lindley has one of those names that would fit both a rock star and a professor at a liberal arts college. This David Lindley is a rock star, although far from a typical one.

Perhaps most famous for his guitar work and vocals in Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty," Lindley's career has included a little bit of everything - from session musician to band leader to scoring films, the man has a rich tapestry of accomplishments 

Lindley is well known for being able to play most anything with strings. Lindley can play guitar and bass, sure, but also mandolinhardingfelebouzoukicitternbağlamagumbuscharangocümbüşoudweissenborn, and zither. I think my favorite is the charango, because it's made out of an armadillo. I saw a flattened charango in Florida once. I didn't want to touch it.

El Rayo-X was Lindley's debut album as a solo artist, and not unlike Nils Lofgren's solo debut, it delivers in very unexpected ways. Take it for a spin, and you'll definitely recognize a tune or two. How about this FM radio classic:

[ mp3 ]: David Lindley - Mercury Blues

The song was originally written in 1949, and has been covered since by Lindley, Steve Miller, Dwight Yoakam, even Meatloaf. Oh, and it was retrofitted for Alan Jackson in these ubiquitous commercials from the nineties. The song was a hit for Lindley, but there are plenty of other tracks on this record that I think are worthy of a listen. Especially the lead off track, "She Took Off My Romeos," which sounds like Warren Zevon opening for Jimmy Buffet (has that ever happened?)

[ mp3 ]: David Lindley - She Took Off My Romeos

Just so you know - "Romeo" is a brand of slip-on shoes. An appropriate opener, since you should listen to the rest of the album shoe-less and patio-perched, and preferably with beer in hand. My other favorite is "Quarter of a Man," which is a little bit lower energy than the rest of the record, but altogether groovy.

[ mp3 ]: David Lindley - Quarter of a Man

Maestro work from a rock'n'roll journeyman. If David Lindley is the Wallace Shawn of rock, then this is his "My Dinner With Andre."

- N.W.

4 Dads

4.5 Sons