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Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

Lansing – Bluegrass

Eclectic Bluegrass from the Heart of America’s Third Coast!

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From Left: Mark Lavengood, Keith Billik, Lindsay Lou Rilko, Spencer Cain, & Joshua Rilko

Hailing from all corners of the Great Lakes State of Michigan, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are giving a nod to American traditional music, while boldy taking their own songs in new directions.  Distinct vocals, tight harmonies, instrumental expertise, and creative arrangements are all essential characteristics of their unique sound.  The group focuses on the original tunes of Lindsay Lou Rilko, which include true-life tales of bank-robbing aunties, moonshinin’ grandpas, and celebrations of love, life, and nature.  Don’t be surprised to hear bluegrass standards, Beatles hits, and contemporary classics at a Flatbelly’s show as well.  It’s an infectious vibe that could only have been born in the heart of America’s Fresh Coast!

Lindsay Lou Rilko – Guitar & Vocals

Picture Lindsay Rachel Rilko was raised in Michigan’s upper peninsula by a family of musicians, and started performing for anyone who asked no later than she had learned to walk and talk. Family gatherings taught her how to use her voice to be a part of something, and by high school, her voice had won her a number of awards including “best vocal soloist” at The North American Music Festival in New York and a scholarship to Interlochen Arts academy. Her influences, outside the family, have been singers like Nat King Cole and songwriters like the Indigo Girls. But lately Michigan’s thriving folk music scene has been her biggest influence.

A recent graduate of Michigan State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a minor in Bioethics, and having lived for several months in Latin America, Lindsay has a unique set of experiences from which she draws to write her songs.

Joshua Rilko – Mandolin & Vocals

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Mark Lavengood – Resophonic Guitar

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Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1984, Mark Lavengood’s first musical impressions were formed by a family that valued the importance of music; a family that looked to music for strength and for the purest sense of joy and community. At a young age, Lavengood was informed by the raw movement of music, by percussion, the beat. Joining the middle school band as a percussionist in 6th grade, he quickly became an important source of talent and inspiration within his community. After teaching himself to play the drums, he began to venture into unfamiliar territory ranging from guitar to ukulele, congas to steel pans, and eventually to the resonator guitar & straight steel console (amongst other instruments).Mark studied with Dave Zerbe in the Alma College Percussion Ensemble on top of dabbling in the jazz band, choir, and marching band while studying Spanish and International Business at Alma College. Post-graduation, Lavengood honed his skills on the dobro playing with the self-proclaimed rebels of Michigan folkgrass, winter/sessions while simultaneously working part-time at the world acclaimed Founder’s Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI. It was this 1-2 combo that singlehandedly set “Huggy Bear” into existence. Mark also played with several acts within the Michigan music community like Michael Beauchamp & the Barn Roughs, Nicholas James Thomasma, Kung Fu Rodeo, the Fauxgrass Quartet, Strings ‘n Things, among others.In the summer of 2010 at the Blissfest Music Festival in Northern MI, Mark crossed paths with Josh, Lindsay & Spencer and proceeded to the song tree immediately following a classic “Cherokee Shuffle” jam.Mark first saw Michigan dobro player extraordinaire Joe Wilson (of Steppin’ In It) and Drew Howard (multi-instrumentalist, MI natural treasure) perform at the Frederick Meijer Gardens, August, 2005 and was instictively drawn toward the resonator guitar. Since then, Mark has carved his technique and attack on the instrument through observing the playing and instructions of aforementioned Joe Wilson & Drew Howard, Rob Ickes, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Todd Livingston, Sally Van Meter, and Mike Witcher – all contemporary (with some legends in the list, yet still contemporaries) dobro players in the national bluegrass and beyond community.One could call Lavengood a renaissance man where that his impact is not felt so heavily and heartily than by those at the places and professions he has spent time. Lavengood also spent time in the foothills of California’s Sierra Mountains, working in the vineyards there and playing and promoting his music.

Mark is currently playing full-time with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys and contributes his craft with other bands and projects when time permits.

-Russell Brakefield, North Adams, Massachusetts – summer, 2010, revised by Tugz, 2012, patent pending.


Mark’s Gear

Mark “Huggy Bear” Lavengood plays and endorses:

Rayco Resophonic guitars
Showcase 1941 fingerpicks
Scheerhorn steel bar
Scheerhorn capo
Blue Chip JD-style thumb pick
Schertler pick up
Red Eye Preamp/DI box
Founder’s Brewing Co.

Spencer Cain – Bass

Picture Spencer, born and raised in the north country of Michigan, was brought up by a community of pickers and music lovers. From an early age he was deeply engrossed in the powerful connections built by shared acoustic music, and since the beginning his love for the music has only grown stronger with an energy and spirit that are infectious. With a broad variety of influences that cannot easily be grouped into a single genre, Spencer’s style is characterized by a malleable and open sound that is both unique and adaptable to his surroundings. He takes an organic feeling-driven approach to music that is instantly felt by anyone lucky enough to latch onto his solid rhythm, and he enjoys nothing more than creating a clean and pure canvas on which others might paint.

Also a recent graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Civil Engineering, he is willing and qualified to teach workshops on the bass in which he will share his practical approach to taking on the monstrous instrument!

Keith Billik – Banjo

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The man of many wonders… Keith Billik never ceases to amaze us. You may have seen him earlier on in this decade when he was performing with the group Hot Toe Mitty (original bluegrass and beyond with Joe Bakaitis, Laura Bates, Brandon Foote and John Paul Schultz) or more recently with the group Pickland Orchestra (Joe Bakaitis, Brandon Foote, and Derek “Honest D” Smith) . Or perhaps you recognize him from Echos of Pink Floyd with whom he mans the electric guitar, saxophone, and all matters of sound clips necessary to bring back the Pink Floyd sound. Or maybe you’ve seen him at Elderly Instruments perched up in the crows nest taking care of manager business or helping folks around the store. Maybe you didn’t even know Keith was a musician but have seen him with his beautiful family (Andrea, Ella and Oliver) in Portland, MI. On the other hand, if you’re unfamiliar all together with this friendly face, we’re happy to introduce you!Keith is not only our bluegrass banjo driving force extraordinaire, rooted but not bound by the Earl Scruggs tradition- he has managed to do the unthinkable and work this typically clamorous instrument into the Lindsay Lou folk songs with musical maturity and innovation. His multi-instrumentalist character and wide musical background are obvious components of his playing. Just take a listen and you’ll know what we mean!

Keith’s Gear

Banjos:
2004 Sullivan Bardstown Custom (mahogany neck/resonator, radiused ebony fingerboard, Tony Pass rim, Price tailpiece, Ptacek capo, Keith tuners, Kat-Eyz bridge)
1964 Epiphone EB-44 Longneck banjo
2011 Custom Solid-body electric banjo by Scott “Stretch” Reinsmith of Elderly Instruments.Other Stuff:
Blue Chip thumbpick
Showcase 1941 fingerpicks
K&K pickup
LR Baggs Para-Acoustic DI/preamp

Download Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys’  Double-Sided One Sheet (pdf)

Graphics & Logos by Becky Cain; Page Layout and Design by Lindsay Lou

Download this blank tour poster (pdf)

Poster design by Becky Cain

Download this blank tour poster (pdf)

Poster design by Lindsay Lou

Download stage plot (pdf)

View Biography

Download hi-res photo of the band (jpeg)

Selected Press Quotes and Reviews

“Lindsay Lou and The Flatbellys bring new life to bluegrass. Sweet and charming vocals along with exceptional musical chops will keep you wanting more.”
DAVE BRUZZA – GUITARIST FOR AWARD WINNING JAMGRASS BAND, GREENSKY BLUEGRASS“Lindsay really puts her heart into what she sings and how!  She sings the way you would want to if’n you could.  Phrasing, tone, emotion, it’s all there.  Effortless seemingly.  Simply mesmerizing. Riveting! Don’t miss the musical force that is Lindsay Lou.”
DAVID GRIER – THREE TIME IBMA GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR“As a vocalist, Lindsay falls into an elite category – those who can sing anything you throw their way. I’ve known and have been fortunate to have worked with a few of these individuals over the years: Charlie Waller, Keith Whitley, Linda Williams & Moondi Klein, to name a few and attribute that association to my having developed into a more well-rounded player. Lindsay will have that effect on the players around her as well, while she is honing her already sharp vocal skills and recording new material which should please any ‘well-rounded listener’. Check her out and you’ll hear for yourself what I’m saying!” 
JIMMY GAUDREAU – REPUTABLE MANDOLIN MAVERICK

“If you are looking for ancient and soulful tones with a modern rootsy twist, that is exactly what you’ll find when listening to Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. Putting on their CD it reminds me of listening to an old 45 RPM. Each song is unique, entertaining, and flows easily into the listener’s ears. Lindsay and the boys will surely win your heart!”

CAROLINE COLIE – FOUNDER OF ACOUSTIC TRAIL INC., PAGOSA SPRINGS, COOnce in awhile you hear a record and think “This couldn’t be new. It sounds timeless.” When I hear Lindsay Lou sing and the Flatbellys play, I am transported to another time. Lindsay’s voice is among the most beautiful, authentic, and classic sounding you will ever hear. – JOHN BOMMARITO – ANN ARBOR’S 107ONE (WQKL-FM)

“Lindsay Lou and the Flatbelly’s are an ideal festival band. They can rock the stages with their heartfelt, rootsy sound and offer wonderful workshops as well as invigorate campground and campfire song circles. At the Earthwork Harvest Gathering this year, they were a favorite of the attendees because of their fantastic performances, and they were also a favorite of the festival organizers because they pitched in with volunteer work and spread music and good cheer the whole time they were here.”
SETH BERNARD – MUSICIAN & FOUNDER OF EARTHWORK MUSIC


For booking & other inquiries contact:

Joshua Rilko
lindsayloumusic@gmail.com
T 989.798.1449 
(please leave a message if no answer)

Booking & other Inquiries:
lindsayloumusic@gmail.com

Contact the Band:

Snail Mail Address:

Lindsay Lou Music LLC
119 N. Foster Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912

 

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