projects of his own. Last summer at the Ark he appeared solo, performing music from his most recent and all-acoustic album, Big Twang. The concert was a small gem, and Lindley’s return to the Ark on Wednesday, July 29 should bring more from the same vein.
He does several of Zevon’s songs, including the enigmatic “Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse” and a terrific and newly timely number Zevon wrote with novelist Carl Hiaasen about a junk bond king on the run in south Florida playing Seminole bingo. In addition to instrumentals, Lindley contributes a few wry originals of his own. “Tuna Fish Blues” is a reversal of the old “Mercury Blues” into a lament about mercury poisoning anxiety (“not crazy ’bout the mercury”). And he performs intricate versions of traditional and classic pieces from both blues and country repertories, favoring songs with metaphysical content like “Jesus on the Main Line” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Soul of a Man.”
The instruments Lindley employs over the course of his show, including (for starters) guitar, banjo, mandolin, zither, and bouzouki, are deployed in unique and often technically impressive treatments of each song. Zevon’s “Beneath the Vast Indifference of Heaven” benefits immeasurably from Lindley’s sonorous twelve-string guitar in place of Zevon’s deadpan reading.