Lettuce is one of those bands we’ve been covering forever, and there aren’t that many of them really. Even in the jam scene, where bands thrive off of mixing up the setlist and improv-fueled rock, bands can get pretty stale. We’re not going to name names, but Lettuce is not one of them.
In the five years that we’ve been covering Lettuce, we’ve watched them go from Suwannee side-stage Sweethearts to festival-curating funk ambassadors that have a soft spot for hip hop beats. In a recent interview, drummer Adam Deitch described the title track off the new Mt. Crushmore ep by saying, “it kind of has that hip hop feel, that psychedelic-hip-hop feel that we’re moving closer and closer to.” So it went on Friday evening when they kicked off a two-night run at Playstation Theater in Times Square with that same song. It’s Daptone and Dilla all rolled into one, perfected in only a way that Lettuce could.
Atmospheric boom-bap beats is the latest from this kitchen of masterful chefs, but they haven’t abandoned the funk either. The setlist was carefully curated to balance these hard-hitting hip hop beats with the Jazzfest vibe that they cut their teeth on for 20+ years now. Seemlessly, the band would bounce back and forth between these stylistic experiments without missing a beat. This went on for a solid two hours and included cuts like “Sounds Like a Party,” “Trillogy,” “Madison Square,” “Sam Hugg’s Flying Rage Machine,” the new afrobeat cut “Ransome,” and many more. It’s a pleasure watching this band continue to grow and experiment with their sound, and growing the audience steadily during this time.
Give Mt. Crushmore, the recent EP release from Lettuce, a listen below.