As fans swayed to the groove of the roots band under a festival tent, the lead singer mesmerizes the crowd with her voice and stage presence. The music lulled for a split-second, and at that exact moment the joyous shout of a three-year-old girl in the crowd rang out and melted all out hearts – “I love you, Lindsay Lou!” That was the instant I knew Lindsay had something really special going for her.
I was among many who lined up after her set at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival to simply say hi, and our follow-up conversation became this interview.
Lindsay Lou grew up in a family of Gospel, Folk, Jazz, Soul, Swing music, so can speak from experience when declaring that “singing with other people is one of the most spiritual experiences.” From the youngest fan in that festival crowd, to a grown man who happened to purchase her album the day he got the news his brother had died, and listened to it as part of his healing process, Lindsay understand that her connections with fans are to be cherished, as “you never know how your music is going to affect other people’s lives and I want people to know they’re not alone.”
Lindsay Lou and her backing band, The Flatbellys, started on the foundations on bluegrass music, earning the technical chops required by the genre, and are on “seven year journey of finding our own voice” – seven being the amount of time they’ve been touring together.
Pulling from her experiences, she has more than one tip to share:
Eat healthy foods whenever you can.
Pack a cooler with sandwiches, so that you are never searching desperately for healthy food after the late night gig.
Keep your toiletries and other essentials in your backpack, so that if your luggage is delayed at the airport or you can only bring a small bag into the venue, you have your toothbrush, etc.
Don’t overpack when it comes to clothing. You really only need one or two stage outfits, and one or two offstage outfits (an option for warmer days, and an option for cooler days).
She and her bandmates recently traded their tour bus for a van with the feature of high quality surround speakers, letting them listen to the same music all together. With tight space and long trips, Lindsay also imparts wisdom on band relationships: “don’t avoid arguments. Be open, but also leave space. Try to find a good balance of being apart and coming together. A good rhythm.”
It was while on tour that she came up with the design idea for her latest merch shirt (of which I am a proud owner): a pastel pink tank top with a golden mocking bird emblazoned on it. Mockingbirds are regional to only certain areas of the continent, and Lindsay had her first encounter with one shortly before writing her latest album. The bird was singing, cycling through his entire “repertoire.” Lindsay sang back to him, and he tried to match her melodies with ones he already knew. One of the things that won me over with this shirt (other than supporting an artist with a heart of gold) was that obvious care and attention went into making the design one that could be worn in many ways, something even Lindsay might wear onstage.
Lindsay Lou, always on the road, updates her wardrobe vintage shops and at the music festivals she plays. Authenticity being key, she balances being well dressed with her down-to-earth nature. “I never want to feel like I’m wearing a costume or a mask. I believe in personal manifestation of oneself. Not subscribing to any sort of dogma, but living in the moment, and finding your truth.”