Elevate, then Resonate, and now, Unify, the guys in GRAMMY-nominated funk sextet Lettuce have been sending not-so-subliminal messages with their music (and album titles) for going on three decades now. Their newest effort, Unify, however, showcases exactly what the band has been working towards all these years; not just the unification of humanity through music, but also the coming together of each member to make the band’s most powerful, funkiest form to date. From the fit-for-the-times “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which Parade Magazine called “a mantra for moving out of dark days and into the light,” to the classic Lettuce vibes of “Gravy Train,” to the stamp of approval from funkmaster general Bootsy Collins on “Keep That Funk Alive,” the band—Adam Deitch (drums), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone), Adam ‘Shmeeans’ Smirnoff (guitar), Erick ‘Jesus’ Coomes (bass), Nigel Hall (keyboards/vocals), Eric ‘Benny’ Bloom (trumpet)—have cemented their role as groove disciples for the next generation with Unify; proudly becoming funk’s torchbearers for all booty shakers, young and old.
Fans can now listen to Unify in its entirety right here and order vinyl and Unify-centric merch bundles here. A full list of Unify World Tour dates can be found below. For more information please visit lettucefunk.com.
NPR’s Morning Edition invited Lettuce drummer Adam Deitch and album guest Bootsy Collins to talk about the past, present, and future of funk. Listen to their interview here.
More About Unify: “Dealing with the pandemic, being in separate places, trying to survive without our best friends, without touring, not to mention the political divide in this country,” says Deitch. “We really needed to unify.” Zoidis recalls, “This album came together at a time when we were away from each other longer than we had been in years.” Although the band was able to do a lot of writing and pre-production from their respective home studios, they hadn’t been in the same room or on the same stage together since their European tour was cut short in March 2021, so the first song on Unify captures the raw energy of a much-needed reunion at Colorado Sound Studios—though, that’s not exactly where the story begins.
The roots of Unify took hold several years back when Lettuce assembled at Colorado Sound to begin work on Elevate. Armed with dozens of songs, the band tracked enough material for that record, its successor, and then some (including a vinyl-only, 45-minute, live-in-the-studio, one-take improvisation, Vibe). Combined with some stellar pre-existing tracks held over from the prior two albums, Lettuce was now primed for a third. The group decamped to the Denver studio and reunited with its esteemed engineer, Jesse O’Brien, mixing alongside O’Brien, and, once again, self-producing the finished work. And, rather than extensively road-testing the songs- fleshing out the repertoire in countless performances on tour before being recorded, this time the band discovered the music as much as made it; essentially debuting the new material as they tracked it live in the studio.
A totally collaborative effort, there were exciting cuts full of brilliant lyrics and arrangements from Hall (whom Coomes calls “one of the greatest singers ever”) and fiery horn parts from Bloom, not to mention the tantalizing prospect of unveiling it all on the upcoming tour. “It’s very, very exciting. Our audiences are going to hear how we end up interpreting these songs for the first time, in the live form, and then for the 300th time; they’ll get to hear right along with us how the songs will morph and evolve,” says Smirnoff. Adds Coomes, “We’re just getting tighter and tighter. Really, these are the first records made with the six of us as a team, and it’s the best the band has ever been: live and in the studio; the funkiest and the most fun.”
Lettuce will take their plethora of brand new material out on the road (and across the pond) for the Unify World Tour, including two newly announced dates with the Tower of Power: July 7th in San Diego accompanied by the San Diego Symphony and July 20th at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony. For the rest of the Summer, the band will hit some of the country’s most beloved festivals including Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Sonic Bloom, and High Sierra. Lettuce will begin their European leg of the Unify World Tour on September 20th in London. A full list of tour dates is below and ticket information can be found at lettucefunk.com/tour.
Catch Lettuce On Tour:
June 16-19 - Hummingbird Ranch, CO - Sonic Bloom Festival
June 19 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
June 23-26 - Rothbury, MI - Electric Forest Festival
June 24-25 - Swanzey, NH - Northlands Music & Arts Festival
June 30-July 3 - Quincy, CA - High Sierra Music Festival
July 7 - San Diego, CA - The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park w/ Tower Of Power and the San Diego Symphony
July 20 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre w/ Tower Of Power and the Colorado Symphony
Aug. 11 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
Aug. 12 - Huber Heights, OH - Rose Music Center at The Heights
Aug. 13 - Richmond, VA - Jam Packed Craft Beer & Music Festival
Aug. 26 - Martha’s Vineyard, MA - Beach Road Weekend Festival
Sept. 20 - London, UK - Scala
Sept. 21 - Tourcoing, France - Le Grand Mix
Sept. 23 - Paris, France - Billard L’alhambra
Sept. 24 - Rouen, France - Le 106 club
Sept. 26 - Frankfurt, Germany - Batschkapp
Sept. 27 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Bird
Sept. 28 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso Noord
Sept. 29 - Leuven, Belgium - Het Depot
Sept. 30 - Berlin, Germany - Gretchen
Oct. 2 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Pumpehuset
Oct. 3 - Oslo, Norway - Cosmopolite Scene
Oct. 4 - Jahanneshov, Sweden - Slaktkyrkan
Oct. 5 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Jazzklubben Nefertiti
Oct. 7 - Hamburg, Germany - Mojo Club
Oct. 8 - Brno, Czechia - Groove Brno
Oct. 9 - Vienna, Austria - Club Porgy & Bess
Oct. 11 - Bern, Switzerland - Bierhübeli
Oct. 12 - Pisa, Italy - Lumiere
Oct. 13 - Rome, Italy - Monk Club
Oct. 14 - Milano, Italy - Santeria Toscana 31
Oct. 15 - Rovereto, Italy - Auditorium Melotti
Oct. 17 - Stuttgart, Germany - Im Wizemann
Oct. 18 - Mulhouse, France - Noumatrouff
Oct. 20 - Barcelona, Spain - Sala La Nau
Oct. 21 - Madrid, Spain - Sala Caracol
Oct. 22 - Cenon, France - Le Rocher de Palmer