JULY 20-22, 2017 | MASONTOWN, WV

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Live At Deep Roots Mountain Revival 2017

For more than two decades, Lettuce have brought a new vitality to classic funk,
matching their smooth and soulful grooves with a hip-hop-inspired urgency and
mastery of beat. Now, on their fourth studio album Crush, drummer Adam Deitch,
guitarists Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno, bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes,
keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpet player Eric Bloom
deepen that sound by channeling the sonic freedom and infectious energy of
their incendiary live show.

Produced by Lettuce and recorded/mixed by Joel Hamilton at Brooklyn’s Studio
G, Crush first came to life on the road, with the band developing new material
and testing it out live as they toured. “We’ve all noticed that our music goes into a
lot of different directions onstage, and we wanted to capture that in a way that we
never really have before,” says Coomes, who names classic psychedelia and
‘90s hip-hop among Lettuce’s key inspirations on Crush. “It’s definitely more
wide-open in terms style, but it still stays true to the funk.”
The follow-up to 2012’s Fly, Crush finds Lettuce brilliantly infusing their
psychedelic and hip-hop sensibilities into bass-heavy funk. With its spidery guitar
work and hypnotic beats, “Phyllis” is a delicately sprawling epic that embodies
what Deitch refers to as “a chill-hop vibe that’s kind of the flip-side of all that
powerful uptempo funk that people might expect from us.” On “Get Greasy,”
Lettuce give a nod to the groove-fueled EDM subgenre known as future funk,
building off its highly danceable rhythm with a blissfully loose and horn-laced
arrangement. And on “He Made a Woman Out of Me,” guest vocalist Alecia
Chakour lends her bluesy growl to a scorching take on Bobbie Gentry’s 1970
country-soul classic.

According to Lettuce, that sense of unity and togetherness has much to do with a
camaraderie that’s only intensified over the lifespan of the band. Formed in 1992,
when several band members attended a summer program at Boston’s Berklee
College of Music as teenagers, Lettuce was founded on a shared love of
legendary funk artists like Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power. After returning
to Berklee as undergrads in 1994, Lettuce started playing in local clubs and
steadily built up a following that soon extended to cities across the country and
then throughout the world. Releasing their studio debut Outta Here in 2002 and
its follow-up album Rage! in 2009, the band dedicated the coming years to
balancing their frequent touring with involvement in a host of other musical
endeavors (including Evans and Krasno’s role as founding members of
acclaimed soul/jazz trio Soulive).

In recent years, Lettuce have watched their fan base expand as they’ve hit bigger
and bigger stages and earned their name as a can’t-miss festival act. And in
making Crush, the band had no trouble harnessing the spirit of their explosive
live show. “Some of these shows we’ve played over the past couple years have
been so amazing, it’s like you go home a different person,” says Coomes. “I’m
sure remembering those moments in our minds and our hearts helped bring out
something special when we were recording these new songs.”

So while Crush offers everything from all-out party jams to headphone-ready
journeys into space funk, each track was born from an unabashed joy and love of
live performance. “That energy we get when it’s prime time and we’re about to go
onstage and we’re just excited beyond belief—that all came out on this new
album,” says Deitch. “There’s a feeling that the band is rising, and it’s a really
beautiful thing.”



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