David Lindley (musician)

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David Lindley
David Lindley Knuckleheads Saloon.png
David Lindley at Knuckleheads Saloon, Kansas City, Missouri, March 19, 2011
Background information
Also known as De Paris Letante, Mr. Dave
Born (1944-03-21) March 21, 1944 (age 70)
San Marino, California, United States
Genres Rock, country, world music
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer, Music scorer
Instruments Acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass guitar, banjo, oud, mandolin, lap steel guitar, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, cumbus, charango, cümbüş, ud, violin, weissenborn, zither
Years active 1966–present
Labels Asylum, Atlantic, Epic, RCA Victor, Shanachie
Associated acts Kaleidoscope, Terry Reid, El Rayo-X, Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt
Website davidlindley.com
Notable instruments
Weissenborn lap slide
Danelectro guitar models

David Perry Lindley (born March 21, 1944, San Marino, California, United States) is an American musician who is notable for his work with Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, and other rock musicians. He has worked extensively in other genres as well, performing with artists as varied as Curtis Mayfield and Dolly Parton. He has mastered such a wide variety of instruments that Acoustic Guitar magazine referred to Lindley, not as a multi-instrumentalist, but instead as a "maxi-instrumentalist" in a cover story about his career to date in 2005.[1] The majority of the instruments that Lindley plays are string instruments. They include (but are not limited to) the acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass guitar, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, oud, weissenborn, and zither.

Lindley has performed as a member of the band Kaleidoscope, served as bandleader of his own band El Rayo-X, and has been hired to serve in that capacity for other artists on tour.[1] In addition, he scores music to film and has worked extensively in that capacity.


As a teenager, Lindley took to playing the banjo and the fiddle. By his late teens he was acknowledged as an award winning player having won the Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest five times.[2][3] From 1966 to 1970, Lindley was part of the eclectic psychedelic band Kaleidoscope. Between his work in the studio as a session musician or on tour as a sideman or bandleader, Lindley has worked on learning new instruments. He was the leader of his own band, El Rayo X, from 1981 to 1983, which produced three albums.

Work with other artists[edit]

Lindley with Ry Cooder, Brisbane, 1980

Lindley is known for his work as a session musician. He has contributed to recordings and live performances by Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, Curtis Mayfield, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Terry Reid, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Joe Walsh. He has also collaborated with fellow guitarists Ry Cooder and Henry Kaiser. Artist Ben Harper has credited Lindley's distinctive slide guitar style as a major influence on his own playing and in 2006 Lindley sat in on Harper's album Both Sides of the Gun. He is known in the guitar community for his use of "cheap" instruments sold at Sears department stores and intended for amateurs. He uses these for the unique sound they produce, especially with a slide. In the early 1990s, he toured and recorded with Hani Naser adding percussive instruments to his solo performances, and his instrumental repertoire which he uses in his session work. In recent years, Lindley has also toured extensively and recorded with reggae percussionist Wally Ingram. It is his touring around the world that has exposed him to part of his array of instruments that appear exotic to many Western audiences.

Lindley's voice is heard in the version of Stay performed by Jackson Browne. Browne's version is a continuation of The Load Out, and its refrain is sung in progressively higher vocal ranges. The refrain of "Oh won't you stay, just a little bit longer" is sung first by Browne, then by Rosemary Butler, then by Lindley in falsetto.[4]

Lindley joined Jackson Browne for a tour of Spain in 2006. "Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino," a 2-CD set of recordings from that tour, was released May 11, 2010, with Browne and Lindley touring together starting in June of that year.[5] The duo also won an Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance Album[6]


Lindley in Oslo, 1981

Lindley has an extremely large collection of rare, and to the majority of Westerners, unusual looking and sounding instruments. There is a large and detailed display of quite a few rare guitars, as well as instruments that originate from the Middle East and other parts of the world. Lindley has listed and categorized many of them on his website[7] but admits that he has "absolutely no idea" how many instruments he owns and plays, having gathered them since the 1960s.[1]

Solo discography (excerpts)[edit]

  • 1967 : Side Trips (Epic Records – with Kaleidoscope
  • 1967 : A Beacon from Mars (Epic Records – With Kaleidoscope)
  • 1969 : Incredible Kaleidoscope (Epic Records)
  • 1970 : Bernice (Epic Records) with Kaleidoscope
  • 1981 : El Rayo-X (Asylum)
  • 1982 : Win This Record! (Asylum)
  • 1983 : El Rayo Live
  • 1985 : Mr. Dave
  • 1988 : Very Greasy (Elektra) #174 US
  • 1991 : OST The Indian Runner with Jack Nitzsche
  • 1991 : A World Out of Time (Shanachie) with Henry Kaiser in Madagascar
  • 1994 : The Sweet Sunny North (Shanachie Records) with Henry Kaiser in Norway
  • 1994 : Wheels of the Sun by Kazu Matsui (Hermans records) with Hani Naser
  • 1994 : Official Bootleg #1: Live in Tokyo Playing Real Good with Hani Naser
  • 1995 : Cooder-Lindley Family Live at the Vienna Opera House with Ry Cooder
  • 1995 : Song of Sacajawea (Rabbit Ears)
  • 1995 : Official Bootleg #2: Live All Over the Place Playing Even Better with Hani Naser
  • 2000 : Twango Bango Deluxe (with Wally Ingram)
  • 2001 : Twango Bango II (with Wally Ingram)
  • 2003 : Twango Bango III (with Wally Ingram)
  • 2004 : Live in Europe (with Wally Ingram)
  • 2008 : David Lindley—Big Twang

Discography with other musicians[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kotapish, Paul (2005). "BIG little MUSIC: The Weird and Wonderful World of String Wizard David Lindley". Acoustic Guitar Magazine. pp. Cover Story. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  2. ^ Craig Harris. "David Lindley | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  3. ^ "David Lindley". David Lindley. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  4. ^ Browne, Jackson (1978). "Jackson Browne The Load Out / Stay 1978". Jackson Browne in Concert Live at Shepherd's Bush Theatre, London 1978 distributed on YouTube, time mark 7:03. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  5. ^ "With David Lindley Tour Heads To U.S. And Europe This Summer". Jackson Browne. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  6. ^ "10th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced. Independent Music Awards, March 29, 2011. Retrieved on September 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Lindley, David (2005). "The Official David Lindley Web Page". Official Website. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 

External links[edit]