Brooklyn, NY — Celebrating their 20th anniversary as modern day purveyors of old school funk, the seven-piece Brooklyn-based juggernautLettuce drops their third studio album Fly on June 5 via Velour Music Group. Having blown up stages from coast to coast last year, ranging from The Fillmore in SF to Terminal 5 in NYC, Bear Creek Music Festival to Camp Bisco and all points in-between, Lettuce entered the studio this winter with a fresh batch of road-tested material and a revitalized sound honed razor sharp by a year spent on the road. The results are a decidedly raging slab of relentless groove, hyper-charged syncopation and psychedelicized soul anthems.
As a rhythm section, Erick “Jesus” Coomes and Adam Deitch set the pace with a deep and wide pocket. Guitarists Eric Krasno andAdam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff weave electrified six-string rhythms that summon the magic of The JBs’ Catfish Collins/Hearlon “Cheese” Martin dual guitar frontline, while Keyboardist Neal “The Hawk” Evans doubles up the low end as he simultaneously floats and stings with jabs of Hammond B3 organ. Riding along in lockstep is saxophonist Ryan “Zwad” Zoidis and trumpeter Rashawn Ross, punctuating the funk with blasts of bold and infectious horn lines, while guest appearances by Brian “BT” Thomas and Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelumfurther solidify what is already one of the fiercest horn sections of this era.
On Fly, the pocket is deeper than ever, drawing on a range of styles that can be traced from the early ’60s through the early ’80s, but set apart by plenty of modern hip-hop sensibilities, including heavy bass, kick and snare pumping in the tracks. Look no further than the album’s title cut, though, for how Lettuce has re-imagined the genre. The laid-back vamp, recorded all-analog to two-inch tape, gets full Jamaican studio treatment, dubbed out with vintage reverb and delay. Meanwhile, tracks like “Madison Square” and “Ziggowatt” (Deitch’s ode to legendary Meters’ drummer Zigaboo Modeliste) sound like futuristic cuts from the Stax back catalog. Evans’ “Bowler” may be the best evidence of where this supercharged group is headed, with a tasty, stick-in-your-ear melody that continues through the track and begs to be ripped open onstage. The album’s one cover song, an all-instrumental version of War’s “Slippin’ into Darkness,” is a reminder of the genre’s vintage origins. Soul vocalist Nigel Hall comes in on the Krasno-penned track, “Do It Like You Do” and Charles “Dawg” Haynes provides added percussion on “Let It GOGO.”
Having evolved and refocused since 2008’s full length release Rage! without ever dropping the beat, Lettuce is getting ready to take audiences to the cosmos with Fly in the trunk and a tour on the horizon.
Fly track listing is:
4. Madison Square
6. Jack Flask
7. Do It Like You Do
9. Let it GOGO
10. Slippin into Darkness
11. The Crusher
12. Ghost of Jupiter
Upcoming Lettuce tour dates:
May 2 | Tipitina’s | New Orleans, LA
May 3 | The Howlin Wolf | New Orleans, LA
May 18 & 19 | The Fillmore | San Francisco, CA
June 6 | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY
June 7 | The Westcott Theater | Syracuse, NY
June 8 & 9 | SPAC | Saratoga Springs, NY (w/ Dave Matthews Band)
July 5 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA
July 19 | Gathering of the Vibes | Bridgeport, CT
July 21 | All Good Music Festival | Buckeye, OH
September 8 | Catskill Chill Music Festival | Hancock, NY
September 15 | Jomeokee Music Festival | Pinnacle, NC