Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns have been playing together as a band since 2009. But their repertoire suggests a much longer, deeper history, dating back to the early part of the last century, when people were buying phonographs and drinking absinthe in its original form.
The group has performed across the U.S. and Europe and cut two albums, which combine jazz standards and songs that vocalist Meschiya Lake wrote. And when Lake sings it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the past and the present. She brings an early jazz sensibility to songcraft and presentation that places her as a top drawer cabaret singer… blues belter… and honest-to-goodness, modern-day chanteuse.
Listen as she talks with Gwen about her start at the Elk Creek Steakhouse & Lounge in Piedmont, South Dakota (where she won a $500 prize for singing at age nine) to her time in the Know Nothing Family Zirkus Zideshow.
We’ve put together a playlist of all the music heard in this hour’s show, which you can download and take with you to your local record store.
Many thanks to Babs Evangelista for permission to use her photographs of Ms. Lake.