Magazine Article Writing
May 9, 2011
The Road to Joy
The Wildflower Café in Bethlehem, PA hums with local talent during their open mic sessions. Tonight, 21-year old Lindsey Joy Delozier has just performed a well-received set of songs on acoustic guitar and is ready for her pièce de résistance.
“Alright everyone, this is a song about love… love of blueberry muffins!”
As she breaks into the chorus, singing her heart out about the deliciously warm baked good in all its gooey heaven, the crowd cheers and claps along.
“Thanks again, guys! You’re the best!” she says with a huge smile as she finishes and steps down from the stage.
The crowd continues to buzz as Lindsey takes a seat. She lets out a playful laugh as she looks around the dim-lit room. Her laugh matches her cheerful fashion sense, which ranges from flirty to casual and demands whatever outfit she dons be ready to take on every bit of adventure she can dig up. She’s got a smile that seems to never disappear from between her rosy cheeks, and her figure looks as though it were made to be in vibrant sundresses all year round. Large colorful flowers look right at home when nestled in her long, tousled, honey-brown locks.
But looks aren’t the only thing Lindsey has going for her. Music, family and friendship are everything, and finding a balance has never been an issue since that balance is as natural as the air she breathes. The tricky part has come in attempting to define herself as a musician. While exploring the possibilities of music and community through her travels, Lindsey is finding that she’s not alone in this journey to turn passion into career.
Xavier Ramirez, Social Media and Community Manager at Silverback Artists, poses the daunting question of today’s music industry:
“How do you stand out in a sea of pure noise and sonic shit?”
For starters, a good answer is, “you’ve got to find your roots.” But music today isn’t just some typical houseplant, and the roots don’t always stay put. Most of the time, you’ve got to go beyond anything in your comfort zone and find the environment best suited for your kind. Identifying with music means sharing cultural connections and channeling those energies into some larger community. In Lindsey’s case, her roots in Philly have built up her talent as a musician and made her resilient, but a life on the West Coast might just be her true calling.
Growing up – Come on get happy!
Lindsey was brought up surrounded by musicians with her whole family playing instruments or involved with a band.
“I grew up in the Partridge Family,” she admits.
She started singing around the age of 8 at her church, and her father would play guitar for their duets.
In high school, her interest in music and singing deepened, but she was often overtaken by stage fright. Performing with her school’s choir made her more at home on stage, and today, watching her perform with the ability to command an audience, you’d never think stage jitters once held her back. As her confidence grew, she took on more solo performances and this eventually gave way to her writing and performing her own music on guitar.
Lindsey attended Penn State University after graduating high school and enrolled in random courses with no major in mind.
“I was taking astronomy, kinesiology… archaeology, anthropology,” Lindsey says. “The next year, I was like, ‘I’m wasting money. I love music. I don’t know what I’m doing’.”
After realizing her life wasn’t headed in the direction she wanted, Lindsey found Dot Nation, a bluegrass band from Arcata, CA who invited Lindsey and her brother Brian to travel and play music. Dot Nation consisted of John James and Kaesey Craft touring around in a graffitied RV with their dog, Luna. With Humboldt, CA as their ultimate destination, Lindsey left any notions of college behind and flew out to Colorado to meet up with the band and begin a two-month trek across the country.
At 18-years old, Lindsey’s decision to drop out of school didn’t happen without protest from her family, and their concern led to some household tensions. Though they wouldn’t be supporting her financially, Lindsey knew how much her family cared for her and her aspirations, and she knew she had their support otherwise.
“We love her and it was a scary thing… to hear she wanted to follow such an unconventional path,” says her father, David Delozier, the Director of Development & Alumni Relations at Penn State Berks. “But in the end, it wasn’t really up to us… she’s doing what she loves most.”
While traveling, Dot Nation played music constantly, anywhere they could. From coffee shops and bars, to churches and backyard BBQ’s, they made connections and scheduled shows through word of mouth. They practiced at nights in the RV and busked on the streets by day, sometimes splitting up to see who could make more money or book another show.
The band picked up many hitchhikers along the way, most of them musicians of sorts who played guitars, drums, even spoons. They would play and improvise with new people, fostering strong ties with strangers of all different backgrounds. When they arrived in California, they spent some time touring the scene there, eventually making the decision to part ways, as Lindsey intended to hitchhike to other places on the coast.
“It was a little sad,” Brian says of watching his sister go on to do her own thing in California. “It was hard seeing [Lindsey] saying goodbye [to] John and Kaesey. But it was a completely unforgettable ride, and I know someday we’ll get to have another experience like that together again.”
Brian taught her the basics of hitchhiking, and with nothing more than a backpack and guitar strapped around her shoulders Lindsey was off to San Francisco. Though one would think the story of a pretty girl hitchhiking on 101 might end up on some crime drama, luck was on Lindsey’s side. She found safe rides to new destinations, but ultimately was without a place to stay.
For several days she lived the life of a homeless person, sleeping in bushes, claiming blankets from the lost and found of a Laundromat. This may seem like an isolated occurrence, but what Lindsey found was an entire community of homeless people, many musicians in similar situations, and they expressed a great concern for her wellbeing she was not expecting. She continued to make connections and eventually booked another show at a nearby coffee shop.
This modest coffee shop show turned out to be particularly fateful for Lindsey, as James “Bobo” Fay was in attendance. Jimbo, or Bobo the Bigfoot Hunter, proved to be a most valuable source of friendship and generosity for Lindsey as she embarked on her journey across California. Bobo, a leading expert in the field of Sasquatch research in the Redwood North Coast, also happens to be a notorious former roadie for Sublime with strong connections to the California music scene.
After striking up conversation after the show, Bobo gave Lindsey a place to stay for a few days and helped get her on track, setting up shows at various venues in major cities like San Diego and LA. From this, Lindsey gained amazing experience and played with Eric Wilson, the bassist for Sublime, and opened for several big names like the Mike Pinto Band, with some crowds as large as 500 people. Through Bobo, Lindsey also met with Sally Nobbs of Silverback Artist Management, the management firm of bands like Sublime and Slightly Stoopid, and has been in discussion with her about possibly interning with their company.
Making the most of each coast
Even when it comes down to it, the changing, digitalized music industry is still all about personal connections and finding a way to share the pure joys of music with as many people as possible. As a tour and community manager, Mr. Ramirez says he feels a great sense of pride watching his bands grow.
“Knowing [they’ve] gone from playing backyard parties and small venues with maybe 10 people in them… [to touring] nationally/internationally and [playing] huge festivals alongside bands I’m a huge fan of… Knowing I helped make this possible… That’s a great feeling.”
The real satisfaction in pushing forward in the music industry comes from starting at the ground up. So, for Lindsey, dropping out of college was possibly the best route she could have taken. Earning some degree in the arts certainly wouldn’t have gotten her any closer to what she really wants from life.
And what do the coming years have in store for Lindsey? Apparently this question makes her a bit anxious.
“Sometimes I freak out… ‘Ah! My music isn’t going anywhere!’ But then I go: ‘Wait, I’m 20!’” Lindsey says this with a peaceful grin and a sparkle in her eye that seems to be reflecting her glimmering future.
For now, Lindsey lives in Allentown, PA, working as a part-time nanny. Music is still a priority in her life and she continues to write and record her songs.
“I would be the happiest woman in the world if I could be a songwriter for other lovely musicians, playing music here and there on the side for fun.”
That’s her ultimate goal. For now, there is no definitive structure or path telling her how to get there. Her next move is to head back west and continue networking and playing shows, possibly pursuing an internship at a place like Silverback Artists Management.
“[My music career] is something I want to take very seriously, but it’s also something I know I’ll have so much fun doing… My philosophy is if you think things in your life will turn out good, then that’s the way it will be.”
Her sagely wisdom can be applied across the board, not just in the realm of music. But for Lindsey her true community, her passion, is forever tied to the sweet tunes that have made her who she is. Now the world has yet to see just what Lindsey will make of the music. Auto-tuned pop princesses from LA beware – Lindsey is the real deal, and she’s out to prove that the love and joy of music starts at the roots.