Eric Lindell’s authenticity makes him as believable as any artist you will ever see or hear.
The notes he plays on his vintage guitar resonate to your soul. His smile is infectious enough to have everyone grinning and laughing in Moe’s Original BBQ on a Friday night. The lyrics he sings are true: “And I’m going to California to see some old friends of mine.”
The California ex-pat who lives in New Orleans came to Tahoe, not only to play a show but to visit his longtime friend and North Shore resident Peter Joseph Burtt. And he brought with him Anson Funderburgh, the legendary Texas blues guitar player who started his band the Rockets in the early 1980s.
Burtt may someday, too, be a nationwide star, but he will always cherish this night when Lindell called him to the stage to play a song he had written and Lindell recorded. Then the esteemed Funderburgh magnanimously offered him his guitar. Burtt instinctively tried to decline the gesture, but, realizing it was his moment, took the instrument and rocked the house.
The friendship overflowed from the stage to the crowd of about 150. Camaraderie and good vibes were felt throughout the year-old venue which overlooks Commons Beach and Lake Tahoe. Downstairs is an over-the-top casual attitude with genuine Southern food and upstairs the band cooks under a huge ceiling fan which keeps the dancers cool in a refreshing nonsmoking room with a view.
Burtt and Zeb Early, who rarely perform as a duo, opened the night with world blues. A great thing about Early, a Memphis man who wound up in Tahoe and plays with Afrolicious and Peter Joseph Burtt and the King Tide among many other projects, is his restraint. He has electric guitar chops as good as anyone, but he stays within the song and doesn’t show off. Burtt mostly played the kora, a multi-string percussion instrument he mastered while living in Africa.
Lindell and Funderburgh followed. They were joined by NOLA-based band mates Steve Froberg on bass, Jordan Feinstein on keys and Willie McMains on drums.
As the show went into the morning, no one wanted to leave.