Music review: Fans who saw Lake Street Dive at Grey Eagle caught great band riding a wave


By James Harrison

If it’s fair to say a band is making music as it’s “supposed to be,” Lake Street Dive certainly fits the bill. The four-piece from Brooklyn (by-way-of Boston), is killing it right now. Their new record, a flawless blend of jazz, pop, rock and blues sensibility, dropped last week to wide acclaim; and enthusiasm surrounding the band is snowballing. So those who were lucky enough to snag tickets to their sold-out concert at the Grey Eagle on Tuesday knew they were in for a treat.

The band had played venues in Asheville several times before, but none of those visits found them riding momentum like they’ve found in the past few weeks. After appearances this month on both David Letterman and The Colbert Report, combined with a steady stream of rave reviews for their Bad Self Portraits LP, lead vocalist Rachael Price couldn’t keep it to herself.

“We’re having a really exciting month,” she said, to roaring applause. “We’re pumped as hell.”

Price, an alto whose talent is through the roof, was backed by Bridget Kearney on upright bass, Mike Calabrese on drums, and Mike Olson on guitar and trumpet. Along with their instruments, the three musicians lent their voices in harmony as a backdrop for Price’s warm, golden voice to soar wide open. The room was in awe of her range, howling in approval as she willed up notes that stretched to impossible places. At one point, a man leaned over and likened her sound to Amy Winehouse—a fitting comparison that still felt kind of unfair, given Price’s mastery and noteworthiness as a singer in her own right.

The group played through most tracks on their new album, a few old favorites, and a couple of new songs which aren’t yet named. Before wrapping their set, Price thanked the crowd for supporting them at Asheville gigs over the years, and promised to return as soon as they could.

So in the meantime, get your hands on that record. Through and through, “Bad Self Portraits” is solid, ready for you to crank at full volume in your car, your kitchen, or outside on the porch as winter gives way to spring. Odds are when the cold rolls in again, you’ll still be cueing up Lake Street Dive for another listen. They’re that good.