Eric Lindberg plays Riverhouse Saturday

Blues musician Eric Lindberg returns to the Milford oval on Saturday, June 12 to play the Riverhouse Cafe.

MILFORD – In the wake of pandemic fatigue and with more than half of all New Hampshirites already vaccinated, live music continues to make its triumphant return to the Milford Oval.

On Saturday, June 12, nationally-touring blues artists Eric Lindberg is set to play the Riverhouse Café, 167 Union Square, from 6 – 9 p.m.

Born in Taunton, Massachusetts, Lindberg now lives in Boscawen after living in the music-mecca of Austin, Texas for 12 years. These days, he’s playing all over the state and throughout New England and beyond.

“I did a lot of my teeth-cutting in Austin,” he said. “Before I returned, I was the guitarist, vocalist and music director for Buddy Miles, for his last tour that features Mike Kindred, who is the composer of [the Stevie Ray Vaughan hit] ‘Cold Shot.’ So, I’m willing to travel and be sort of an itinerant, at least in patches but right now I’m getting booked predominantly in central and southern New Hampshire.”

Lindberg came back to New Hampshire because of family and grew up in Orford, New Hampshire. He met his wife on a trek back to New Hampshire from Texas.

“You can imagine that courtship was pretty expensive,” he said with a chuckle. “But after we got married, we decided we wanted to be closer to family and it seemed like a good time, career-wise.”

Music has been a fulltime gig for Lindberg and now he considers it one of a few things that he does to keep busy and make money. He said, “It’s been my vocation for most of my adult life.”

Lindberg has played Milford before, having performed at Stonecutters at 63 Union Square (formerly known as J’s Tavern), as a featured artist. He’s also done a number of blues gigs in Milford over the years. (“I like the town,” he shared.)

Musically, Lindberg pulls from 1950’s Chicago and earlier acoustic blues. Lightnin’ Hopkins is a favorite of his.

“For the solo shows, that’s kind of foundational for me,” he said.

“My original material, I’d say, is rooted in the blues. I started with jazz at an early age. A lot of my music is founded in Lightnin’ Hopkins but I’d say there are a lot of pop and funk chord changes in there. So, I will play traditional 12-bar blues but most of my original material, people would identify with blues.”

As live music starts to crackle and pop in bars and venues across the region, Lindberg said he’s seen an increase in his bookings.

“It’s funny,” he said. “A lot of people vowed to live their lives through the pandemic, but when I play out, I see a lot of joy in the air. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me when I played the Foundry recently, and this their first dinner out without masks. People are finding new reasons to celebrate. I’ve noticed a lot of enthusiasm for the fact that there is live music. People are excited to be excited – that’s what I’ve seen.”

Lindberg said COVID wasn’t a huge whammy hit in the wallet, as he and particularly his wife had a lion’s share of business during the last year.

“I don’t think it was as difficult for me as it was for a lot of other musicians,” he said. “I think a lot of people on the circuit, when this was their whole livelihood, that was extraordinarily difficult for people who were living hand-to-mouth. But even as help arrives, it takes a long time for help to arrive. But financially, my wife and collectively we had more work to do.”

Lindberg added that while he loves performing, he firstly love music and said there are numerous opportunities to practice and ruminate about what’s next.

“Within my inner-circle, I have some of the best musicians I’ve ever played with,” he said. “So I have opportunities to swap music and wrap with people, or try to compose and get my chops up and learn something new. And while I missed performing, it’s not the only element of music for me. It wasn’t my only social element or source of income, it’s an activity that I missed but there are so many other things about music that I’m anxious to do.”

For more information, visit ericlindbergworld.com.