Along with The Beatles, Lake Street Dive is one of my favorite bands.
If you’ve been reading Music Monday here on AbundantlyKate, it would be safe for you to assume that my musical tastes typically fall within the country/folk/bluegrass categories. However, I have a deep appreciation for jazz, the blues, and soul. Lake Street Dive feeds that appreciation like no other.
Founded in Boston in 2004, Lake Street Dive is comprised of Rachael Price (lead vocals), Bridget Kearney (upright bass), Mike “McDuck” Olson (trumpet & guitar), and Mike Calabrese (drums). The group formed after meeting at the New England Conservatory Of Music. Every member has been playing music since they were a young child, growing up to be very seasoned musicians. Though they originally formed with the intention to create atmospheric country music, the band decided to take a different route and incorporate classic pop, jazz, R&B, and blues into their sound. They have released five full albums, an EP, and a live video album that was recorded at their performance at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA. Citing The Beatles to be a large part of their influence, Lake Street Dive produces songs filled with quirky lyrics, undeniable grooves, and a vibe you just can’t help but tap your feet to.
Y’all, I cannot explain how good their music is. The first Lake Street Dive song I ever heard was “Seventeen”, and I’d never heard anything like it. It’s an experience. This song in particular has an awesome tempo change – it is such a jam. I will admit, my interest in jazz has been very gradual over the years, so it took a little while for LSD to grow on me. But now I can truthfully say that I am hooked. I had the opportunity to see them live this summer at Bruce Hornsby’s Funhouse Fest, and it was an incredibly inspiring experience. Rachael Price is a goddess – she is a vocal powerhouse, and her stage presence is fantastic. They sound exactly the same live as they do on their records – filled with energy and positive vibes. Bridget Kearney, their upright bassist, is a beast to watch as well. It’s empowering on its own to see a female bassist, but she is just spectacular. Her whole body moves when she plays; her passion for her craft is strikingly noticeable when she performs. I was mesmerized by that show, and the coolest thing happened at the end – a rainbow appeared, stretching over the entire sky above the festival grounds. As I sat there in awe of the incredible musical talent I had just witnessed, the rainbow served as a sign for me – a sign of inspiration and a sign of promise.
Obviously, we weren’t close to the stage, but the sound was enough for me. That’s why I was there, right? I highly recommend seeing Lake Street Dive in concert if you can!
I could literally go on and on about my favorite stuff from their catalogue, but I will give y’all a list of favorites:
- “Side Pony” from Side Pony (a goofy little groove all about a hairstyle)
- “Seventeen” from Bad Self Portraits (tempo change. harmonies. perfection.)
- “Bad Self Portraits” from Bad Self Portraits (so relatable!)
- “So Long” from Side Pony (makes me want to stroll through Central Park in a fur coat lamenting over my lover)
- “You Go Down Smooth” from Bad Self Portraits (You’ll want to snap along, you’ll want to dance, you’ll want to consider dropping everything to join a jazz rock band.)
- “I Don’t Care About You” from Side Pony (I’ve sang this loudly in my car I don’t know how many times, and I know all of you have someone you can sing it to.)
- “Neighbor Song” from Lake Street Dive (Cute and quirky until it hits you you RIGHT in the feelings!)
Again, that’s not even half of the all the LSD songs I could rave about. They also do an awesome cover of “Rich Girl” – I’ll link that live performance here. All of the songs I’ve listed above are on my Lake Street Dive-inspired Spotify playlist, as well as other artists similar to LSD like Nathaniel Rateliff and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. I’m not one of these professional playlist makers, so be prepared – this is my personal one, so it’s just a discombobulated collection of these artists’ music mixed together. But nevertheless, please listen and enjoy!
I’m not much of a dancer, but Lake Street Dive makes me want to dance. Please, please, give them a shot, and let me know in the comments below! I don’t think you will be disappointed.
As always, much love and happy listening.
(I own none of the photos used in this post – see captions for credits)
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