Boston’s Lake Street Dive play a rich, genre-bending blend of neo-soul and pop/rock informed by their various jazz, folk, funk, and country influences. The band, comprising singer Rachael Price, drummer Mike Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney, and trumpet-playing guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson, first met and formed at Boston’s New England Conservatory around 2004. Named after a Minneapolis, Minnesota (Olson’s hometown) street known for its numerous “dive bars,” Lake Street Dive initially drew fans with covers of songs by such influences as Hall & Oates, George Michael, Fleetwood Mac, and more. Over time, they began writing their own material, drawing praise for their soulful, stylistically varied sound.
The band independently released In This Episode… in 2007 and Promises, Promises in 2008 before hooking up with Signature Records, which issued the group’s self-titled effort in 2011. The Fun Machine EP followed in 2012 and featured five cover versions (such as the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl”) along with one original song. The album Bad Self Portraits appeared in 2014 with its “selfie”-referencing title track, which was also released as a single. The band toured extensively, playing hundreds of shows across the United States and around the globe between 2013 and 2014. The hard work paid off and helped build their growing fan base, as did their online cover song videos.
In 2016, Lake Street Dive released their fifth full-length album, the Dave Cobb-produced Side Pony, on Nonesuch Records. Well received, the album hit number one on Billboard’s Alternative Albums chart, and peaked in the Top 30 of the Billboard 200. After extensive touring, Lake Street Dive returned to the studio, and in 2018 delivered their sixth album and second for Nonesuch, Free Yourself Up. Self-produced in Nashville, Tennessee with engineer Dan Knobler, the album included the singles “Good Kisser” and “I Can Change.” ~ Steve Leggett