Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys has been described by Grand Rapids DJ John Sinkevics as spinning "a sort of musical magic that meshes Appalachian tradition with rootsy Michigan vigor." Those wanting to experience that magic will be able to do so this weekend at The Orpheum Theater.
According to front woman Lindsay Lou, the band draws influences from a variety of different genres of music.
"We draw from the American Roots genres of bluegrass, jazz, swing and blues," Lindsay said in an email interview. "We do our best to familiarize ourselves with the catalogues of the respective greats in those genres."
Photo courtesy Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys
Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys pose for a publicity photo. The band will be performing Saturday night at the Orpheum Theater.
Band member Mark Lavengood said they are also heavily influenced by the Michigan roots music scene.
"We we're supported by many of our favorite Michigan artists in the beginning of our careers and still play many of their songs," Lavengood said in an email interview.
The music also contains themes of love, philosophy, nostalgia, friendship, nature and Michigan, according to Lindsay and Mark.
For Lindsay and the other band members, the best parts about performing are the magical moments when the music and the audience are tuned together and the sound moves them.
"Sometimes I get chills all over my body and feel a high just from the music," she said. "Someone recently said to me that anyone who takes on the career of being a full-time musician is an addict. He meant a music addict. All of us are no exception."
While Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys has a special love for Michigan, that hasn't stopped the band from traveling all over the United States to bring their unique sound to the people.
"From the farthest edge of the West Coast to its corresponding Eastern edge and as far south as Florida," she said.
But the borders of the United States aren't able to confine them, as they're currently preparing for their first international tour in Germany in the fall.
Lindsay is no stranger to spending time in a foreign country, as she lived in Ecuador for a period of time prior to joining the Flatbellys, which helped her evolve musically.
"It gave me the time and space to develop my songwriting trade and hone in on the guitar," she said. " I was completely removed from life as I was living it and all of the people I hung around at the time, so I could mega focus on my craft."
While the Flatbellys had been a band to Lindsay joining, when she returned from Ecuador the band was disbanding due to half of the members graduating college and moving on.
"I swooped up the remaining two, recruited other Michigan greats and put together a record," Lindsay said. "We've been working off that ever since and have released two other records."
There are other things Lindsay would like to do musically but she isn't ready to spill the beans on that information yet.
"Suffice to say I am working with an exceptional group of people who are game to grow, evolve and experiment. Keep your eyes peeled for future news as there's sure to be some," Lindsay said.
Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys will be performing live at The Orpheum Theater Saturday night at 8 p.m.