David Lindley y Wally Ingram
Twango Bango III
First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2003, Volume 10, #4
Written by John Metzger
Itís no secret that most independent releases arenít worth the cost of the media upon which they are recorded. After all, most artists, regardless of what they publicly admit, would jump at the opportunity to have a deal with a label rather than doing things on their own. They just canít get anyone interested in their often banal fodder. But David Lindley isnít your average, every day artist. Heís an accomplished industry veteran who is best-known, perhaps, for his work with Jackson Browne. He began his solo career over two decades ago but has since given up on an industry that increasingly has little time for those who are impossible to pigeonhole.
In recent years, Lindley has found a compatible partnership with renowned session percussionist Wally Ingram, and the duoís latest release Twango Bango III is full of typically eclectic Lindley material. Indeed, there isnít a style of music that he is afraid to incorporate into his roots-oriented stew. Over the course of fourteen tracks, Lindley and Ingram traverse a rather broad terrain, yet their skillful knack at moving the listener from one place to another makes the journey appear quite seamless. Meatgrinder Blues is pure greasy, crunchy rock; Gabrielle settles into Cajun territory before mutating into something delightfully Middle Eastern; and traditional songs like Hesitation Blues and Little Sadie are completely reinvented ó the former is fitted with a reggae groove, while the latter is turned into an Arabic lament.
Lindley has always taken a humorous approach to his lyrics, and if comparisons must be made, Frank Zappa would be the most appropriate. Funny as they may be ó and some are laugh-out-loud hilarious ó each song is designed to make a point. In the past, Lindley has skewered everything from SUV-driving knuckleheads to tour food to trailer-trash, drug culture. On Twango Bango III, he attacks illegal concert recordings (Tokyo Bootlegger Man), Americaís overindulgent, fast-food culture (When a Guy Gets Boobs), human sexuality (Shame and Scandal in the Family), and Western society (Meatgrinder Blues). Yet, he still finds time to turn in a rather poignant cover of George Jonesí A Drunk Canít Be a Man.
For certain, Twango Bango III is Lindleyís finest recording to date. Nevertheless, it undoubtedly will be largely overlooked simply because it doesnít have the financial backing or the distribution that it deserves. Thatís a shame, because itís a gem of an album, one that is full of surprises that magnificently blossom from within its shape-shifting interior.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box