Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys – Ionia
At times, it seems like anyone can be a musician as long as they have a computer handy. With each year that passes, technology continues to improve, making it easier to create music. While there’s nothing wrong with utilizing today’s technology advances to make music, there’s something so pure and breathtaking when a group of musicians get together to produce an album solely using their voices and a variety of instruments. At first listen of Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys’ new album, Ionia, it becomes apparent that the band took to an old fashion, organic way of creating their music.
Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys must have really had “Hot Hands” after the first track, because these musicians quickly pluck each string of their instruments with such precision that you’d think fingers were literally on fire by the end of the song. Lindsay emulates that quick, staccato pattern with her smooth, effortless vocals throughout “Hot Hands.”
The band uses “Old Song” to tell the love story of two people who have been together for a lifetime. The mandolin adds an extra sense of beauty as it follows you throughout the entire song. The chorus of “Old Song” has lyrics that remind the listener of the power of a song when it comes thinking of memories in the past, which many of us can relate to.
Like an old song that brings you back home
like a sweet old melody, take it with you when you go
Like an old song that we’ve all heard before
Gives us peace of mind, takes us back in time, before we needed more
While the mandolin played a role in “Old Song,” the upright bass is the main player on “Sometimes” along with solos from the harmonica and the male vocalists of the Flatbellys singing lead on this track (with Lindsay Lou harmonizing along during the chorus). “Sometimes” closes out with an a cappella performance from the band that will leave you in chills from the pure perfection as their voices blend together as one.
With the last track, “Smooth and Groovy,” Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys bring in some serious blues into the equation to go along with their traditional Americana sound still sneaking in at times. Lindsay Lou really shows her versatility in what her vocals are capable of as you can picture her singing among the best blues artists down in the bayou of Louisiana.
The fusion of Lindsay’s vocals along with the harmonies and instrumentation of the Flatbellys is something so rare and beautiful in this day and age. After secluding themselves in their home for four days in the fall in Michigan with no distractions, the band bounced ideas off each other and took turns playing every instrument as they recorded Ionia. The result of this four day seclusion is an album that possesses a true American sound along with a natural element that you can’t find in popular music these days. Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys have proven that you don’t need fancy computers in order to compose a masterpiece. They show all the musicians out there the importance of sticking to your roots and the basics and you’ll still be able to experience success in the world of music.
WORDKRAPHT Rating: 5 Stars!
Album Name: Ionia
Release Date: February, 2015
Genre: Americana, roots
Members: Lindsay Lou (singer/songwriter, guitar, clawhammer banjo), Joshua Rilko (mandolin, vocals, bass, banjo), PJ George (upright bass, vocals, cajon, harmonica, guitar, mandolin), and Mark Lavengood (resonator guitar (dobro), vocals, guitar, cajon, bass)