Weekender

Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys bring heavy picking and harmony singing to Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks

Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys will perform Sept. 14 at the Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks in Millheim.
Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys will perform Sept. 14 at the Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks in Millheim. Photo provided

One of the most exciting young acoustic roots bands to visit the State College area, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys will bring some heavy picking and harmony singing to the Elk Creek Café in Millheim Sept. 14.

Since the release of the band’s 2012 record “Release Your Shrouds,” Lindsay Lou Rilko and her band have been traveling the country, showcasing their vocal talents and instrumental expertise and bringing their unique bluegrass sound into every town they visit along the way.

The band includes Rilko on vocals, guitar and banjo; Joshua Rilko on mandolin and vocals; Mark Lavengood on dobro and vocals; and P.J. George on upright bass. Their influences are many and diverse — jazz greats such as Nat King Cole, ska bands like Reel Big Fish, classic rockers such as Bruce Springsteen and pop mega stars like Ben Folds. In addition, they’ve The musicians also were greatly influenced in recent years by their music peers in the Americana music scene.

Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys are on tour to support the band’s EP “Here Between,” which offers more original material, bluesy vocals, tight harmonies and exceptional musicianship. However, the band is not afraid to stretch out and try new things, as its sound continues to evolve.

“We recorded the entire thing in one day in Boston,” Rilko said. “There is no bluegrass banjo on it as there has been on previous recordings, and it has a cover song on it, which was written by one of our musical peers, May Erlewine. The other songs were mainly written by me, and I sing lead on all of it, which makes it sound much like previous work.”

No matter what styles the band experiments with, Rilko said she hopes to maintain that American traditional sound that people identify them with.

“As a listener of music and a musician, you never know what influence is going to creep in, but hopefully in the end it just sounds like us,” she said.

The Flatbellys focus on Rilko’s original tunes, which include true-life tales of bank-robbing and moonshining, and celebrations of life, love and nature.

Rilko said she and her band love getting out on the road, visiting new places and meeting new people.

“The advantages are getting to see how awe-inspiring the land is,” she said. “We always make a point to stop and smell the roses when we’re on tour, whether that means hiking around the Redwoods, climbing the Flat Irons or swimming in the ocean. It’s also really reassuring to meet so many people and see the good in them.”

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