David Perry Lindley (born March 21, 1944) 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.
The majority of the instruments that Lindley plays are string instruments. They include the acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, oud, and zither.
Lindley has performed as a member of the pioneering eclectic 1960s 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. In addition, he has occasionally scored and composed music for film.
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. From 1966 to 1970, Lindley was a founding member of the all-styles psychedelic band Kaleidoscope which released four albums on Epic Records during that period.
After Kaleidoscope broke up, he went to England and played in Terry Reid's band for a couple years. In 1972, he teamed up with Jackson Browne, and played in his band through 1980. During the 1970s, he also toured as a member of the bands of Crosby-Nash, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor.
In 1981, Lindley formed his own band, El Rayo-X. Jackson Browne produced their first album. Their last show before breaking up was December 31, 1989. Since that time, he has toured as a solo artist, and as half of a duo, first with Hani Naser, then with Wally Ingram. He also played on a multitude of studio sessions. 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.
Work with other artists
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, Bruce Springsteen, Toto, 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.
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. The duo also won an Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance Album
Lindley has a large collection of rare and unusual guitars and other instruments from the Middle East and various parts of the world. Lindley has listed and categorized many of them on his website but admits that he has "absolutely no idea" how many instruments he owns and plays, having gathered them since the 1960s.
Solo discography (excerpts)
- 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
- 1968 : Songs of Leonard Cohen (Columbia) with Leonard Cohen
- 1969 : Elephant Mountain (RCA Records) with The Youngbloods
- 1971 : Songs for Beginners (Atlantic) with Graham Nash
- 1972 : River (Atlantic) with Terry Reid
- 1973 : For Everyman (Asylum) with Jackson Browne
- 1974 : Wild Tales (Atlantic) with Graham Nash
- 1974 : Late for the Sky (Asylum) with Jackson Browne
- 1974 : Heart Like a Wheel (Capitol Records) with Linda Ronstadt
- 1975 : Prisoner in Disguise Asylum Records with Linda Ronstadt
- 1975 : Wind on the Water (ABC) with Crosby & Nash
- 1975 : Atlantic Crossing (Warner Bros. Records) with Rod Stewart
- 1976 : The Pretender (Asylum Records) with Jackson Browne
- 1976 : Warren Zevon with Warren Zevon
- 1976 : Whistling Down the Wire (ABC Records) with Crosby & Nash
- 1976 : A Night on the Town (Warner Bros.) with Rod Stewart
- 1976 : "Seed of Memory" (ABC Records) with Terry Reid
- 1976 : "Jay Boy Adams" (Atlantic Records) with Jay Boy Adams
- 1977 : Here You Come Again (RCA Victor) with Dolly Parton
- 1977 : Running on Empty (Asylum) with Jackson Browne
- 1977 : Simple Dreams (Asylum) with Linda Ronstadt
- 1978 : "Fork in the Road' (Atlantic Records) with Jay Boy Adams
- 1979 : Restless Nights (Karla Bonoff album) (Columbia Records) with Karla Bonoff
- 1979 : Bop Till You Drop (Warner Bros) with Ry Cooder
- 1980 : Hold Out (Asylum) with Jackson Browne
- 1980 : Earth & Sky (Capitol Records) with Graham Nash
- 1981 : There Goes the Neighborhood (Asylum) with Joe Walsh
- 1987 : Trio (Warner Bros. Records) with Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton
- 1987 : Sentimental Hygiene (Virgin) with Warren Zevon
- 1989 : Transverse City (Virgin) with Warren Zevon
- 1989 : Good Evening (Warner Bros.) with Marshall Crenshaw
- 1992 : Fat City (Columbia Records) with Shawn Colvin
- 1994 : Mutineer (Giant) with Warren Zevon
- 2003 : The Wind (Artemis Records) with Warren Zevon
- 2003 : Oil (Cosmo Sex School Records) with Jerry Joseph and Dzuiks Küche
- 2006 : Both Sides of the Gun (Virgin) with Ben Harper
- 2008 : Insides Out (New West Records) with Jordan Zevon
- 2010 : Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino (Inside Recordings) live with Jackson Browne
- 2010 : The Promise (Columbia Records) with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
- 2012 : The Devil You Know (Fantasy Records) with Rickie Lee Jones