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David Lindley ~ 2014 June 3 ~ Iron Horse Music Hall ~ Northampton, MA

... by Joanne Corsano ...

David Lindley on vocals, accompanying himself on lap steel guitar, bouzouki, and Turkish oud (not all at the same time ... but if anyone could play them all at the same time, it would be this guy).

Set List

Leave Home Girl {Bonnie Raitt} - More Than Eva Braun - Indifference of Heaven {Warren Zevon} - No More Water in the Well [title?] - Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse {Warren Zevon} ... intermission ... Little Sadie - Meat Man {Jerry Lee Lewis} - Meat Grinder Blues - Pretty Polly - [another folk song - title not known] - Catfood Sandwiches

Scroll down past the videos for review.


"Indifference of Heaven"

"Pretty Polly"


David Lindley
David Lindley
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The performers who are at the top tier of my personal musical universe have some features in common. They all possess great songwriting and an entertaining, enthusiastic stage presence; some are fantastic singers. And one, at least, is a musician of uncommon ability. David Lindley, playing five different stringed instruments, is one of a kind.

Since the last time I saw Mr. Dave perform, in 2008 at the Narrows in Fall River, he has toned down his clothing choices a bit, but not his playing, or his humor. For the first act he wore a shirt he referred to as "1000 Elvises" and for the second set he changed into a multi-colored vacation jersey. His storytelling was witty and had the packed house (on a Tuesday night!) at the Iron Horse in stitches. But Lindley also has a serious side. He has taken up the cause of genetically modified organisms, but not entirely because of the possible health risks involved in these products. He told the audience that a GMO is considered intellectual property of the inventing corporation, and they collect royalties on these products, thus securing profits in addition to those from sales.

Lindley's playing is extraordinary, and so is his fierce love for his music and for his instruments. He described how he had his Turkish oud custom built (the lovely guitar-pick shaped instrument with the bent neck). He wanted the tone of the instrument to imitate African sounds, the sounds of a scale not known to white westerners, and had the luthier place frets on the neck to simulate these tones, creating an instrument that I do not believe anyone else would think of creating. He called these tones "African stinky notes," but they sounded incredibly beautiful on the songs on which he played this instrument. He also performed on three different lap steel guitars and a bouzouki.

I first came to know David Lindley through his work with Warren Zevon, and my particular favorite song of the night was his beautiful rendition of "Indifference of Heaven." He also covered Bonnie Raitt ("Leave Home Girl"), whom he called one of the best slide players ever, Jerry Lee Lewis (a song called "Meat Man" that his vegetarian daughter calls the most disgusting song ever), and a couple of trad folk songs with endings changed to be less distressing. Mixed in with the set of mostly covers were a couple of Lindley originals, "Meat Grinder Blues" and "Catfood Sandwiches," which left me thinking that Mr. Dave is very fond of bad food metaphors in his writing.

The Iron Horse was close to full with appreciative fans. As usual, concert goers were seated with efficiency and good, inexpensive pub food was served promptly. Concert Going Partner and I snagged a very good table just above and to the right of the pit in front of the stage, and I enjoyed the view so much that this might be my go-to seat at the Iron Horse from now on.

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