Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive takes its name as an homage to dive bar bands, which seems incongruous for a quartet of conservatory-trained jazz musicians.

But the group shouldn’t be pigeonholed as a jazz band, either. After nine years of relative anonymity, Lake Street Dive was tapped by T Bone Burnett to perform at the decidedly folky “Another Day, Another Time” show at New York City’s Town Hall — featuring music from and inspired by the Coen brothers’ film “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Photo: John Davisson

The band is booked by Brad Madison and Chris Faville of Mongrel Music, a decidedly Americana-leaning agency. Yet its first viral YouTube splash featured the foursome singing the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on a Brighton, Mass., street corner. They describe their sound as “pop-soul.”

Lake Street Dive comprises classmates from New England Conservatory in Boston, brought together by guitarist/trumpeter Mike Olson and each is accomplished in their own right. Singer Rachel Price, bassist Bridget Kearney and drummer Mike Calabrese form the rest of the quartet that bowled over critics at the Town Hall show.

T Bone discovered them and invited them to play – it was just one song,” manager Emily Lichter of 525 Worldwide told Pollstar.  “I could feel the room explode after they played.”

Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report” personally requested an appearance on his Comedy Central show. Ticket demand skyrocketed. With a tour already booked to promote Bad Self Portrait, Lichter said the band made a conscious decision to stay the course, even though they could have easily moved shows to bigger rooms at higher ticket prices.

Photo: Courtesy of Mongrel Music

“We have decided to cap tickets at $25 for the rest of 2014,” Lichter said. “Part of the reason is we believe in really connecting with fans, musically and energetically. We could probably charge $40 and people would probably buy them. But we all feel like we want it to be an organic trajectory and be reasonable and affordable.”

Lake Street Dive has a full dance card for the remainder of 2014, playing festivals in September and October, and headlining in new markets before returning to the Northeast by November.