Lake Street Dive turns rock into torch songs and back again | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Lake Street Dive turns rock into torch songs and back again


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Rachael Price might not be a household name, but the Boston singer is one of the greatest American singers alive. Her rich, dexterous alto can caress a jazzy change, rough up a soul groove, or shout down a rock riff with equal ease. Price’s band, Lake Street Dive, just about keeps up with her range. For example, in a wonderful live session of “Shame, Shame, Shame” the group recorded for Paste in April, double bassist Bridget Kearney sets up a supple line that would do Ron Carter proud, while guitarist Mike Olson adds psychedelic fuzz fire and a new member, keyboardist Akie Bermiss, supplies some deep soul and gospel sensibilities in his backing vocals. That track is off this year’s Free Yourself Up (Nonesuch), which, like all of the band’s albums, is a joyful exploration of the common ground between torch singers and the Beatles. “Dude” is a standout; drummer Mike Calabrese and Kearny lock into a tight, itchy rock groove while Price questions, “Would you like me more / If I were a dude?” before launching into a full-on ear-piercing wail a la Robert Plant. Though Lake Street Dive is talented at songwriting, they are also known to perform some amazing covers—their laid-back, slowed-down version of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” is both completely different from and—amazingly—every bit as good as the original. Whatever they decide to perform live tonight, it’ll be worth hearing.   v

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