LINDSAY LOU and THE FLATBELLYS, MELODY WALKER and JACOB GROOPMAN in concert at Foundry Hall
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. It's an infectious vibe that could only have been born in the heart of America's Fresh Coast! (www.lindsayloumusic.com)
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, respectively, singer-songwriter Melody Walker and picker extraordinaire Jacob Groopman have fused their influences into a style they like to call "Americali." They define it as Americana with a California twist, but of course, it's much more. Drawing from genres including bluegrass, rock, jazz, classical, Afrobeat, samba and Balkan folk, yet staying close to their American folk roots, the duo create literate music that honors tradition, yet sounds completely of the moment. (www.melodywalkermusic.com)
On Walker's debut album, Gold Rush Goddess, the couple wrap their voices in tight harmony over intricate textures of banjo, guitar and mandolin as they sing of ancient truths and futuristic myths, conveying a stunning level of songwriting and musical versatility throughout.
Recorded in a historic general store on a remote sea cliff in Caspar, Calif., the songs contain not only lush melodies and solid grooves, but the ambient sounds of birds and waves echoing off organic surfaces, imbuing these tracks with a natural feel that's the antithesis of studio sterility.
Acting as co-producers, with engineer Calvin Turnbull at the soundboard, Walker and Groopman frequently recorded live through four mics, adding layers afterward. Both played a variety of instruments including guitar, percussion, bass, melodica and synthesizer; Walker also played piano, tenor banjo and organ, while Groopman added banjo and drums. They also tapped in-studio collaborators including bluegrass band the Bucky Walters (on "Do What you Love Blues" and "Family Band"), Rondo Brothers and Foster the People producer Jim Greer (on "Gotta Write Love Songs") and fiddler Alisa Rose of Real Vocal String Quartet and 49 Special (on the title track).
Both Walker and Groopman grew up surrounded by music. Her father is musician and songwriter and her mother owns an auto body shop in her hometown of Martinez, Calif. (the subject of gorgeous "Martinez," which Walker delivers as if she's breathing an existentialist sigh). They turned her on to the Beatles, bluegrass and bossa nova, and cultivated both her love of metal/prog-rock (Tool, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson) and female singer-songwriters (including "huge archetypes" Tori Amos and Ani DiFranco).
"My parents gave me the music and the drive a dangerous combo," she jokes, adding with a more serious tone, "It became the fabric that gave meaning to the world and gave me a place in it."
That foundation led to a bachelor's degree in music from Humboldt State University, where she co-founded the women's world-music/fusion a cappella group AkaBella.
Groopman, who grew up in Richmond, Va., says his first love was rock 'n' roll, but he got turned on to old American folk and bluegrass via the Grateful Dead which, it should be noted, started out as a jug band. Groopman actually played jug-band music at Oberlin College while earning a degree in jazz guitar; after moving to the San Francisco Bay area (where the Dead formed and flourished), he jumped into the local bluegrass scene. He also toured extensively with the Afrobeat band Albino! and country-rockers the Real Nasty.
Foundry Hall (View)
422 Eagle St.
South Haven, MI 49090
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|