Calabrese ‘“We are named in homage to dive bar bands…we were, are and always will be a dive bar band. “Whether we’re playing for 10 people or 10,000 we want them to have that feeling.”
TELLURIDE – Lake Street Dive first visited Telluride last year at the Bluegrass Festival and wowed audiences with their big, bold, unique sound.
On Friday, Aug. 15 they return to Telluride, at the Sheridan Opera House with opening act the Brothers Comatose.
Lake Street Dive find themselves on the cusp of stardom, though they insist they will always be the same people whose stage outfits once consisted of matching sweater vests.
“We realize this could all go away tomorrow,” says vtocalist Rachael Price. “But that won’t change what we do. We want to continue to do this for a long, long time. This is what we love. We just want to make sure we keep enjoying ourselves.”
Lake Street Dive have been performing for nearly a decade after meeting as fellow students at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
The band was hand picked by Minneapolis trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson and named after a street with seedy bars in his hometown that runs the length of the city, from the Mississippi River to Lake Calhoun. Vocalist Rachael Price came from outside Nashville, Tenn., stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney is an Iowa native, and drummer Mike Calabrese called Philadelphia home.
Lake Street Dive has come a long way, but this just could be the start of something even bigger.
It took a casually made video featuring the band gathered around a single mic, performing a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” shot on a Brighton, Massachusetts, street corner to grab the public’s attention – its YouTube views now hurtling past a million views.
What followed was nothing less than a modern-day music business success story – T Bone Burnett tapping them to perform on the Another Day, Another Time show at Town Hall featuring music from and inspired by the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” taped for an upcoming special on Showtime.
The New Yorker raved of their Town Hall performance: “I can’t imagine then, that Lake Street Dive – a quartet led by an amazing young singer, Rachael Price – won’t be getting some air time soon.”
Rolling Stone called the band “unexpected showstoppers,” while Hollywood Reporter noted the group “delivered one of the show’s best moments with the swinging ‘You Go Down Smooth,’ with stirring vocals by lead singer Rachael Price.”
And just like that, Lake Street Dive went from playing for a small devoted following, to selling out venues and planning an initial European tour, with dates on several late-night TV shows in the offing.
The new album, Bad Self Portraits, being released by the Northampton, Mass. indie label Signature Sounds Recording as the follow-up to a self-titled debut and subsequent EP, is a microcosm of Lake Street Dive’s evolution.
“Our musical development has been like Google Earth,” explains Olson, “going from the entire universe to a specific place. That’s how we’ve honed in on our sound. We had the whole world of music at our fingertips, and we were unsure of what direction to take, but now we’re zeroing in a little closer.”
All four members of the band take part in the writing.
“Nothing we do is set in stone,” says Olson about the band’s recording process in the studio, and that they are, first and foremost, a live outfit.
“Songs change when we start to play them for people. That determines the stylistic direction more than anything else. When we record a song, that’s just a snapshot of where it was at that moment. And it continues to grow as we perform it.”
The show starts at 8 p.m. with the doors opening opening at 7:30 p.m. and opening support Brothers Comatose kicking off the show.
Tickets are $25 GA and $35 reserved balcony and available online at sheridanoperahouse.com.