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David Lindley

Idioma disponível: inglês
One of the most distinctive and talented instrumentalists of his time, David Lindley was best known as a first-call sideman, working his magic on nearly any instrument with strings for Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Graham Nash, and dozens of other major artists. Lindley was proficient on guitar, steel guitar, fiddle, banjo, saz, bouzouki, autoharp and many other instruments from around the world, and his soloing had a sense of depth and drama few others could match. (He also provided the falsetto vocal on Browne's hit cover of "Stay," from 1977's Running On Empty.) Lindley also had an noteworthy solo career, recording a handful of albums with his band El Rayo-X, whose greasy mix of rock, reggae, and world music drove albums like 1981's El Rayo-X and 1988's Very Greasy. And while his work as an accompanist dominated his career, from the 1990s onward he explored a range of world music forms with like-minded artists such as Henry Kaiser (1992's A World Out of Time: Henry Kaiser & David Lindley in Madagascar), Hani Naser (1994's Official Bootleg #1: Live in Tokyo Playing Real Good), and Wally Ingram (2000's Twango Bango Deluxe). David Lindley was born in San Marino, CA on March 21, 1944. His father was a music fan with eclectic tastes, and Lindley spent hours spinning his 78 recordings of Spanish guitarists, Indian sitar players, and Korean folk sounds. When he was just three years old, Lindley took up the violin, and he would often open up the family piano and try to work the strings inside. In his teens, he added the baritone ukulele and the banjo to his repertoire. He went on to become a five-time winner at the Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest, and joined a group called the Dry City Scat Band, who fused bluegrass and old time string band styles. With Lindley on banjo, the group recorded two songs for The String Band Project, a 1965 album for Elektra Records, before splitting up. After completing high school, Lindley became a habitue at folk and blues clubs in Southern California, especially the Ash Grove in Los Angeles, and was particularly influenced by the musicians who played folk and ethnic music from other countries. He would also strike up a friendship with fellow guitarist Ry Cooder, who shared his passion for unusual and exotic sounds. In 1966, Lindley and his former Dry City Scat Band colleague Chris Darrow formed the group Kaleidoscope, an unusual psychedelic rock band that incorporated diverse folk and world music influences into their arrangements. Kaleidoscope's adventurous approach suited Lindley, and they released four influential albums before splitting up in 1970. After a few years in England, where he played in Terry Reid's band (and guested on his classic 1973 album River), Lindley returned to California, and he joined Jackson Browne's band in time to appear on his second album, 1973's For Everyman. Lindley's slide guitar and fiddle work would become one of the cornerstones of Browne's sound, and he was soon lending his talents to other artists in his circle, including Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, James Taylor, and David Crosby & Graham Nash, working with them on stage and in the studio. As his talents were better recognized in the music business, Lindley played on literally dozens of albums through the 1970s, and his falsetto vocal feature on "Stay," a track from Browne's 1977 LP Running on Empty, became a hit single and took his voice to the pop charts. In 1976, Kaleidoscope cut a reunion album, When Scopes Collide, and Lindley joined the group in the studio, though he opted not to put his name in the credits; he was credited as De Paris Letante. In 1978, Lindley's old friend Ry Cooder invited him to sit in on his album Jazz, and he became a frequent presence on Cooder's albums and film scores in the years to come. After working on Browne's 1980 album Hold Out and performing on the subsequent tour (including several benefit shows at Madison Square Garden that were recorded for the album No Nukes), Lindley temporarily left Browne's group in order to belatedly launch his solo career. Lindley's first album under his own name, 1981's El Rayo-X, was an easy-going but hard-grooving album that fused reggae, folk, blues, rock, and cajun sounds with plenty of stellar guitar work and a sly sense of humor. (On stage, Lindley began introducing audiences to his large collection of loud polyester shirts, which often deliberately clashed with his trousers and became his visual trademark.) The album was well reviewed, and Lindley put together a band he dubbed El Rayo-X to tour in support. Lindley and the band brought out a second LP in 1982, Win This Record, while El Rayo Live, recorded during a handful of club shows in California, was issued in Europe and the United Kingdom in 1983. 1985's Mr. Dave was billed as a David Lindley solo project, and like El Rayo Live, it was initially released in Europe, Japan, and the U.K., with American fans having to search through import bins to find it. In 1986, Lindley reunited with Jackson Browne in the studio for 1986's Lives in the Balance, and he began devoting more time to session work as his solo career was met by a dwindling audience. 1988's Very Greasy, produced by Linda Ronstadt, would be the last El Rayo-X album. In 1991, Lindley joined experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser on a voyage to Madagascar, where they joined a handful of local musicians of note for a series of recording sessions. Over the course of two weeks, Lindley and Kaiser recorded enough music to fill several CDs, and the first, A World Out of Time: Henry Kaiser & David Lindley in Madagascar, was issued by Shanachie in 1992. It was a critical success, and A World Out of Time: Henry Kaiser & David Lindley in Madagascar, Vol. 2 appeared in 1993. Energized by their Madagascar project, Lindley and Kaiser next traveled to Norway for a pair of similar albums created with local musicians, 1994's The Sweet Sunny North: Henry Kaiser and David Lindley in Norway and 1996's The Sweet Sunny North, Vol. 2. Jordanian percussionist Hani Naser began staging collaborative concerts with Lindley, and after an international tour, Lindley brought out 1994's Official Bootleg #1: Live in Tokyo Playing Real Good, a self-released CD featuring recordings from their Japanese concerts. A second volume, Official Bootleg #2: Live All Over the Place Playing Even Better, came out in 1995. Lindley next began working with drummer Wally Ingram, and like his tours with Naser, he documented their shows with a series of live CD releases, beginning with Twango Bango Deluxe in 2000, followed by Twango Bango II (2001), Twango Bango III (2003), and Live in Europe (2004). A self-released 2007 album, Big Twang, saw Lindley performing a diverse set of songs, many of which he had performed in the past, and 2010's Love is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino was a primarily acoustic live set with Jackson Browne, recorded during a March 2006 tour of Spain. The album earned Browne and Lindley a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Lindley once again teamed up with Henry Kaiser to write and record the score for Werner Herzog's 2013 film Encounters At The Edge of the World; a soundtrack album was released by Fractal Music. From 2015 on, Lindley devoted less time to recording and put his focus on live work, performing regularly around California and touring Europe with Ry Cooder. In 2020, Lindley was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, and the illness aggravated a number of other medical conditions; he struggled with kidney disease, pneumonia, and influenza in his last months. David Lindley died on March 3, 2023 at the age of 78.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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