Roots ensemble Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys soar on ‘Ionia’

Lindsay Lou‘Ionia’
Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys (Earthwork Music)
4 stars out of 5

First-rate string band Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys didn’t need a whole lot of time to record latest gem “Ionia,” but the Michigan roots ensemble definitely have matched — and possibly surpassed — the greatness of 2012 effort “Release Your Shrouds.”

Lindsay Lou CDCobbled together in just four days last autumn, “Ionia” is a 12-song showcase for Lindsay Lou, Joshua Rilko, Mark Lavengood and P.J. George III. “We didn’t leave the house for those four days except to walk around the block and get some air,” Lindsay recalls. “Fall in Michigan is something to behold. Some of our favorite moments were standing on the big wrap-around porch and watching the rain come down in sheets, taking gusts of orange and yellow leaves with it.”

Lindsay is the primary vocalist and she shines brightest on “Hot Hands,” “The Fix,” “Old Song,” “House Together,” “The River Jordan” and the title track. Lavengood steps to the microphone on keeper “Sometimes” and wields his dobro throughout. And Rilko deserves kudos for his work on mandolin. Enjoy, y’all. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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