Wednesday at the Rose: Lake Street Dive brings new member to town

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The band, known for blending jazz, soul, pop and other styles, will also showcase new music.

The past several years have been a period of change for Lake Street Dive. The pandemic postponed touring and delayed the release of an album, and also prompted the exit of founding member Mike Olson (guitar, keyboards, trumpet, vocals) in May 2021. The group, often referred to as LSD, has soldiered on with new guitarist James Cornelison and will be performing at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

“Mike came to us to explain how he was after being home for a while with his kids,” Akie Bermiss said. “We had time to figure out what we wanted to do moving forward. We knew James from my first tour with the band. He was in the opening band so we knew what he could do.

“James has been with us since last fall,” Bermiss continued. “It’s definitely going super great. I don’t want to jinx it or put the cart before the horse but it’s been really awesome. We kind of get in there and play. There’s not a lot of instruction. It’s sort of like, ‘Be you and do what you can do with the music.’ It’s been very organic.”

Bermiss (keyboards, vocals) knows what it’s like being the new guy in LSD, which formed in Boston in 2004. In 2015, he joined forces with founding members Rachael Price (vocals, ukulele, guitar), Bridget Kearney (bass, piano, vocals), Mike Calabrese (drums, vocals) and the now departed Olson.

“I can say, it’s pretty daunting to jump into this band,” Bermiss said. " It’s trial by fire. Even as long as I’ve been playing, I wasn’t sure what I should play but we figured it out. I did what I thought was sort of conservative and then I’d do something a little outside of that pocket every night. I’d look around the stage and see how the band was reacting. If they liked it, I’d keep doing it and I began to understand the musical language of the band.”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The discography

Lake Street Dive, which is known for blending vocal jazz, blue-eyed soul, contemporary pop and other styles, self-released its debut, “In This Episode…” (2006), and the follow-up, “Promises, Promises” (2007). The group signed with Signature Sounds Recordings, which released “Lake Street Dive” (2010).

“Fun Machine” (2012 EP) and “Bad Self Portraits” (2014) followed on the label. For “Side Pony” (2016), LSD moved to Nonesuch Records, which also released the full-length, “Free Yourself Up,” and the companion EP, “Freak Yourself Out,” in 2018.

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LSD has placed four songs in the Top 30 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart. “Call Off Your Dogs” and “I Don’t Care About You” reached number 24 and 29, respectively, in 2016. Two years later, “Good Kisser” peaked at number 12 and “Shame, Shame, Shame” topped out at number 24.

“Obviously,” LSD’s most recent album, was completed before the pandemic but Nonesuch moved the planned release date of fall 2020 to March 2021. This was the second LSD project for Bermiss, who ended up writing or co-writing more than half of the songs on the record.

“That was another terrifying moment,” Bermiss said. “I was like, ‘Are you sure you want to use the songs I was part of?’ I was definitely scared about it but it worked out super well.”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Fresh covers

“Fun Machine: The Sequel,” LSD’s third EP, is set for release by Fantasy Records on Sept. 9. It’s the thematic follow-up to the 2012 EP, “Fun Machine” and has covers of songs by female artists like Shania Twain and Bonnie Raitt.

“We listen to a lot of music together on tour or we’re suggesting different records to each other to check out,” Bermiss said. “Out of all that, we made a playlist of new songs to cover. We all shared this comprehensive playlist and we listened to it to see which ones we got excited about. We started sharing ideas about how to cover them until we were like, ‘This sounds like it could be a ‘Fun Machine’-style album.’ Then, we got to work.”

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The vinyl version of “Fun Machine: The Sequel,” releasing Dec. 9, has bonus covers of the Beatles’ “Dig a Pony,” “Two of Us” and “Don’t Let Me Down.”

“We were just going to do an EP but we had a few Beatles songs we did during the pandemic,” Bermiss said. “We literally filmed it on a rooftop like their rooftop session. It sounded pretty cool and we hadn’t released it so we decided it would be fun to put that on the vinyl. It all kind of flows together when you hear it.

“We’re slowly folding songs from ‘Fun Machine’ into our set and figuring out how to reproduce them live,” Bermiss added. “We’re doing a lot of shows and enjoying the new music. We’re excited to be playing again and doing a full tour. The vibe now is sort of getting back to business as usual but also bringing some new ideas with us.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: Lake Street Dive with special guest Madison Cunningham

Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Cost: $23.50-$53

More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com

Artist info: www.lakestreetdive.com

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