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ACL Fest artist spotlight: Lake Street Dive

Staff Writer
Austin 360

It’s coming: Austin City Limits Music Festival takes over Zilker Park Oct. 3-5 and 10-12. Leading up to the fest, we’ll shine the spotlight on some of the artists you might not have heard of in this year’s lineup.

Artist: Lake Street Dive

From: Brooklyn

At the fest: Fridays, Oct. 3 and 10, Austin Ventures Stage


Formed in Boston when its members were attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Lake Street Dive has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the most promising acts in American roots music in the past few years. Their 2010 Signature Sounds debut (after a couple of self-released records) brought them to national attention, but it’s this year’s “Bad Self Portraits” that has been the breakout, earning them spots on late-night TV shows and major festival bills.

Singer Rachael Price is the immediate calling card; her soulful, expressive voice conveys passion with melodic grace while avoiding over-the-top melodrama. There’s magic in the quartet’s instrumental interplay as well, with Mike Olson, Bridget Kearney and Mike Calabrese weaving jazzy underpinnings on trumpet, guitar, upright bass, drums and percussion.

Lake Street Dive has earned a reputation for creative covers: A street-corner version of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” which appears on their 2012 mostly-covers EP “Fun Machine,” has garnered more than 2 million views on YouTube. But they’re at their best on their own material, as on this version of “You Go Down Smooth” (from the new album) recorded live in Nashville:

Could share a bill with: Bonnie Raitt, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, St. Paul & the Broken Bones.