The blues are just the base for Eric Lindell’s funky stew. The 42-year-old Californian relocated to New Orleans a dozen years ago, a move well-suited to his own musical gumbo. Lindell grew up on Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, and Buddy Guy, and he’s always possessed a soulful style on guitar and an evocative baritone croon. He’s never seen himself as strictly a blues artist, although that’s how Alligator Records marketed him during his three-album run. Signed in 2005 right as he was getting sober — after self-releasing several albums and diving too deeply into New Orleans’ all-night party scene — the friction between label expectations and his own idiosyncratic tastes proved insurmountable. He self-released two albums the last two years which were collected Mississippi blues label M.C. Records and released last year as West Country Drifter. The disc’s is highlighted by Lindell’s effortless eclecticism from the horn-abetted R&B original “Try to Understand” to the title track’s light-footed blues shuffle. It’s perhaps his most enjoyable set of songs to date.