By Kevin Alan Lamb
In a world plagued by envy and once-removed gaze, it is our admiration, appreciation, and respect for the dedication, commitment, and gifts of others which will pave our path forward through these tumultuous times. Admiration requires acknowledgement; while acknowledgement calls upon the self-awareness necessary to recognize either our need, or capacity to grow. Music is an unconventional life choice which challenges its constituents to walk a magical and sometimes invisible line; but to love a song, and by way of osmosis, let it into your heart, you must admire its mother or father.
It is no small phenomenon to be moved by the artistic renderings of another’s soul. Love, and its momentous, spiritual transference guide us to those who reciprocate our quality, and help tend to the fervency of our flame. It leads us to places like WinterWonderGrass, and artists like Lindsay Lou, because sometimes we need to follow the trail of breadcrumbs leading us to the source which reminds us of what we’re fighting for, and those we’ve battled alongside.
“There was a late night rendition of the Jerry Garcia Band’s ‘That’s What Love Will Make You Do’ where I felt especially tapped into the spirit. It was an all star band put together by Royal Massat from the Billy Strings band, which also featured Jon Stickely. We did ’Do What You Like’ by Blind Faith that night, too! Another standout set was one I put together with my band and Lech from The California Honeydrops on the Soapbox Stage,” says Lindsay Lou.
Celebrating 10 years of WinterWonderGrass with its ninth chapter in 2022 (Feb 25-27), Lindsay Lou is a well accustomed bell of the ball, and WinterWonderWoman, playing every WWG since 2018.
“This festival really hits home for me coming from the North. There’s something about fully embracing the great outdoors in all its magnificence that gives the music a vivid glow like you’ve never experienced it before. I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where winter parties are a necessity for survival. WWG conjures a lot of those familiar feelings, and most importantly, gives all of us outdoorsy, mother nature obsessed, music loving people a place to gather and celebrate.”
Born the daughter of a coal miner and the granddaughter of a Rainbow Gathering healer, Lindsay Lou grew up with room in her heart for both blue collar grit and mystical mind expansion. She describes her family as a group of close knit creatives, their lives influenced heavily by her maternal grandmother’s radical ideals and zest for life.
Majestic beauty has the tendency to quiet the external world; making space to breathe in the wondrous winter wilderness, authentic music, and communal family which “sets the stage for a life worth living, a vision worth having and a dream worth creating,” says WinterWonderGrass Founder, Scotty Stoughton.
Our world is changing and I pray it is in the direction of greater gratitude for our songwriters, artists, and organizations like Bonfire Entertainment who tend to their care, acknowledging that what they give is not endless.
“Maybe the powerful memory though was watching Billy’s [Strings] show from backstage/side stage with Jeff Austin after Jeff and I rehearsed ‘Cold Rain and Snow’ for another set. That was a special moment I’ll never forget. This festival shines with spontaneous collaborations and opportunities to connect as musicians and friends,” says Lindsay Lou.
Now performing as a trio, Lindsay Lou is relishing the beautiful space it has created for her voice to soar. The trio will be playing on Sunday in Steamboat, joined by an All-Star cast which includes The Wood Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Kitchen Dwellers, Ghost of Paul Revere, Dustbowl Revival, Pickin’ On The Dead, Big Richard, and Morsel.
While I cannot confirm, nor deny the possibility, you may also catch her in action with the WinterWonderWomen who have two sets on Friday, including a Grass After Dark performance at Thunderhead Lodge; along with a set on Saturday.
Grateful for the added space and time to prepare for WinterWonderGrass 2022, Lindsay Lou is crossing her fingers that amidst the collaborations, sit-ins, and time it takes to learn new songs at WWG, she’s able to get some rest and maybe even have time for a few runs, once her real work is done.
Her voice will lift you, while her songs gift you permission to believe you can grow. Her music belongs in the mountains, in nature, the very way strings belong on a guitar.
Join her, celebrate life, and rejoice within all the beautiful things that love will make you do. Here’s the rest of my conversation with the Upper Peninsula songbird, Lindsay Lou.
Who on the bill have you played with before? (or who haven’t you if it leans that way)
I think I’ve been on the same festival bills with all of this line up. There are one or two names I don’t fully recognize, but I’m remiss to say I haven’t played with them before somewhere because I can’t remember everything haha.
Who on the bill are you friends with?
Travelin’ McCourys, Sierra Hull, Cris Jacobs, Stix n Thorns, War & Treaty, Molly Tuttle, Wood Brothers and YMSB.
Most excited to see?
“I’m the most excited to see Molly’s [Tuttle] new band, The Golden Highway! Also The Wood Brothers do it to me everytime.”
What about playing festivals feels different this time around? (2+ years into global pandemic)
“OMG. We NEED it! I feel like I have a little more time and space to prepare for this one.”
Do you participate in winter sports? I broke my collarbone in two places the last time I went skiing, any wild stories if you do?
“I broke my collarbone, too! in the 8th grade snowboarding, and haven’t done too much since then, although I have been skiing a handful of times in the last few years, and I love it! All my time usually gets eaten up with sit ins and learning tunes at WWG, but my fingers are always crossed that I’m able to both 1) get enough rest, and 2) have time to do a few runs, after my real work is done.”
What three things does the band have going on right now that you’re most stoked over?
“1) Making a new album.
2) Performing as a trio (I’ve performed as a quartet for years. The trio opens up some beautiful space for my voice, and I’m especially excited for everyone to hear Anthony Da Costa shine.)
3) I’m especially excited to go to Prague, Czech Republic this spring with IGE and a handful of my super talented friends, including: Peter Rowan, Kyle Tuttle, Paul Hoffman, Anders Beck, and Nicki Bluhm.”