Eclectic Boston-Bred Band Lake Street Dive Makes A Big Leap

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Lake Street Dive members Bridget Kearney, Mike Calabrese, Mike Olson and Rachel Price. (Courtesy Danny Clinch)
Lake Street Dive members Bridget Kearney, Mike Calabrese, Mike Olson and Rachel Price. (Courtesy Danny Clinch)

Who would have thought that a handful of musicians could record a video on a sidewalk in Brighton and it would lead to their big break? It happened to Lake Street Dive.

It was a cover of the Jackson 5 song "I Want You Back." The band recorded it in one take, with one microphone.

The video was made in 2012, eight years after the group had gotten together while studying at the New England Conservatory. The four bandmates were staying at a friend's house in Brighton, and they brought a mic, an upright bass, a snare drum and cymbal, and a trumpet out to the sidewalk. They'd posted lots of videos to YouTube before. But, lead singer Rachael Price says, this video happened to get noticed by the actor and musician to whom we all supposedly have a six degrees of separation connection.

"We were coming back from a festival and I looked at our Twitter — and I didn't understand Twitter at all at that point — and saw that Kevin Bacon had tweeted about the video," Price says. "And I think in that week it shot from like 30,000 views to 700,000."

The video now has more than 4 million views. Since Lake Street Dive got that break, the band's done the late-night talk show circuit, released a couple albums, and toured internationally.

And now, the group has made another big leap — from the indie music world to a major record label. Their album released this year, "Side Pony," is the band's first on Nonesuch Records (a division of Warner Music Group).

It's tough to put Lake Street Dive into any musical mold. And that's fine with them. All of the band members studied jazz while at NEC. Price says she was obsessed with Ella Fitzgerald from a young age. They all love The Beatles and David Bowie. Their music embraces styles from jazz to disco and R&B.

The name of their latest album refers not only to the side ponytail bassist Bridget Kearney is sporting these days, but to the bold statement it makes. Kearney says the band is embracing who and what it is "in all of its weirdness, and putting it right out there."

WBUR's Rita Cary interviewed the self-professed "music geeks" of Lake Street Dive at a recent festival in Northampton. She talked with WBUR's All Things Considered host Lisa Mullins about the band and its music. Listen to that conversation above and more clips from Rita's interview with the band below.

Lake Street Dive will perform at Fete Music Hall in Providence on Oct. 6 and at the Wang Theatre in Boston on Oct. 7.

This segment aired on October 3, 2016.


Headshot of Rita Cary

Rita Cary Announcer
Rita Cary was formerly a weekend announcer at WBUR. She came to public radio from Boston-area indie rock station WXRV.


Headshot of Lisa Mullins

Lisa Mullins Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.


Headshot of Lynn Jolicoeur

Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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