Saturday in the Park’s humble beginning featured many blues artists performing on the Band Shell Stage.
Sioux City’s outdoor music festival has since grown and evolved to include musicians and bands from all genres, but its foundation is laid in blues. As such, the festival almost always has an act that’s privy to one of America’s oldest music genres. This year singer-songwriter Eric Lindell upholds the tradition.
Lindell dabbles in blues, soul, funk and R&B, which means he’s a perfect fit for Saturday in the Park. If you haven’t heard of him by the time he takes the stage, you most certainly will the second he’s done. And in case you need a little help, here’s a list of things you didn’t know about Eric Lindell:
1. He’s not the only New Orleans musician at SITP. In addition to Lindell, The Revivalists and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue got their start in The Big Easy. Lindell was actually born in San Mateo, California, but didn’t see his career come to fruition until he relocated to New Orleans.
2. He’s what critics call “blue-eyed soul.” The term is used to describe Caucasian artists who have a knack for performing soul and R&B music. Lindell’s style is also closely related to Van Morrison-esque 1970s blues rock.
3. Before he was blues, he was punk. That’s right. The man who now prefers the more subdued blues genre was once a punk rocker. In an article from the New Orleans Advocate, Lindell said he created a skate-punk band while growing up as a teenager in California. Rock on, dude.
4. Skateboarding has been a lifelong activity. While Lindell was living like a punk in The Golden State, he picked up on skateboarding. According to the New Orleans Advocate, he continued to skate until 2000.
5. He’s signed to a Grammy-winning label. Lindell joined Alligator Records in 2006. The record label has been in the business since 1971, signing numerous blues artists in its lifetime. Almost 11 years after Alligator Records was founded, the label earned its first Grammy Award for the album “I’m Here” by Clifton Chenier. Three years later, it earned another for “Showdown!” by Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray.
6. Musicians would see him at shows. Lindell’s talents attracted stars like The Neville Brothers, John Scofield, Branford Marsalis and Chris Chew of North Mississippi Allstars. Lindell said, “It’s a great feeling to be recognized for your music in New Orleans.”
7. Lindell is performing Sioux City twice in one day. Lindell has his turn at the stage at 2 p.m. but by then the party is just getting started. Lindell is set to play at the official Saturday in the Park after-party at The Marquee. Once the festival concludes, Lindell will be back at it again at 10 p.m. in the Fourth Street music venue.