Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys up to the bar in Meyers

Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys
The ‘Lougrass” sound of Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys heat up the Divided Sky on Monday, Feb. 10.

As the guys in her band played Hacky Sack, Lindsay Lou Rilko called Tahoe Onstage from a rest stop somewhere between Billings and Butte, Montana.

Tahoe-bound Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys played more than 200 shows in 2013 and is on a pace that will exceed that total this year. The band coalesced in Michigan, but the home base for now is a mini-van and a trailer. There are, however, storage units in Ann Arbor and Nashville.

“We literally are a band of gypsies,” said Rilko, who looked ahead at possibly getting a Nashville home in September.

Lindsay Lou teamed with the Flatbellys during open mic jams when they were all in college. She is a fantastic singer who plays guitar and banjo. She writes the songs along with her husband, Joshua, who plays mandolin. Mark Lavengood plays dobro and trumpet and the upright bassist is P.J. George, formerly of Bearfoot and its offshoot Nora Jean Struthers and The Party Line.

Original Flatbelly bass player Spencer Cain amicably retired from the group.

While the instrumentation is bluegrass, this band plays its own form of “Lougrass,” steering away from the standard fast-paced hootenanny. The music includes elements of swing and harmonic folk, occasional blues with lyrics that are optimistic and observational, which could associate the band with a genre as ambiguous as bluegrass, Americana.

Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys have two albums and as a duo the Rilkos recently released “Time & Luck.” Lavengood is nearing his second record, “No Part of Nothin.’”

The touring itinerary calls for repeat performances, and on Monday, Feb. 10 the band plays for the second time upstairs at the cozy Divided Sky in Meyers.

“I don’t remember all my shows but this one I do because it was a really great night,” Rilko said. “It felt like the music was sounding really good. The bar was packed with people who were our age. We went out into the audience and did an acoustic encore and everybody crowded around us and danced. It was a really awesome experience.”

 Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys

When: 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10

Where: The Divided Sky, Meyers

Videos: ‘My Side of the Mountain’

‘The Power’

Where else

Washington
Jan. 21: Republic Brew Co., Republic
Jan. 22: House Concert, Walla Walla
Jan. 23: Treehouse Café, Bainbridge Island
Jan. 24: The Green Frog, Bellingham
Jan. 25: Empty Sea Studios, Seattle
Jan. 26: House Concert, Tumwater
Jan. 27: Adrift Hotel, Long Beach
Jan. 28: Adrift Hotel, Long Beach

Oregon
Jan. 29: Alberta Street Pub, Portland
Jan. 30: L.C. Cultural Center, Lincoln City
Jan. 31: Axe and Fiddle, Cottage Grove
Feb. 1: Sam Bond’s Garage, Eugene

California
Feb. 6: Humbrews, Arcata
Feb. 7: Lagunitas Brew Co., Petaluma
Feb. 8: Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek
Feb. 9:  Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

Colorado
Feb. 12:  Front Range BBQ, Colorado Springs
Feb. 13: House Concert, Pine
Feb. 14: Steve’s Guitars, Carbondale
Feb. 15: Swallow Hill, Denver

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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