The Cream of Four Crops: A Conversation with Lake Street Dive’s Mike ‘McDuck’ Olson

Originally published with The Bluegrass Situation on February 15, 2016.

Lake Street Dive rather famously borrows a little bit from a lot of things. At times exuding an old school R&B vibe, at others a bright pop sound, their music is equal parts the Beatles and Motown, with a bit of brassy big band thrown in for good measure. Where that kind of uncategorized approach might sound messy — even noisy — under another band’s thumb, Lake Street Dive doesn’t lose track of their identity, even as they pepper it with myriad influences.

The classically trained four-piece includes guitarist and trumpeter Mike “McDuck” Olson, upright bassist Bridget Kearney, drummer Mike Calabrese, and vocalist Rachael Price, whose bluesy alto grounds whatever musical path the band explores. Lake Street Dive is set to release their third studio album and Nonesuch Records debut,  Side Pony,  on February 19. Produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson), the album involves new risks — like challenging time signatures — alongside the jazzy approach to pop the band has played heretofore. It’s a step forward for the band but, as Olson explains, not a new direction.

[Full article available at The Bluegrass Situation.]

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