Funk superheroes Lettuce made a triumphant return to their second home, Florida’s Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park, for a pair of action-packed sets last weekend. The band served as the spiritual anchor for the newly minted Suwannee Rising Music Festival and certainly seemed to take the responsibility to heart, laying down delicious slabs of piping hot funk and even welcoming legendary bassist Oteil Burbridge of Dead & Company and the Allman Brothers Band, and more for a deep, funky sit-in.
When the promoters of the Suwannee Rising set out to establish a tone for the new festival, they looked first to the past. Elements of the recently-defunct but dearly-beloved Allman Brothers festival Wannee and the much missed Bear Creek Music Festival were merged along with some of the best up-and-coming Florida area talent for the inaugural lineup. At the heart of it all was Lettuce, a band that is over twenty appearances deep at the renowned music festival venue.
Lettuce closed out the Amphitheater Stage both nights of the festival with powerful sets of super-charged funk, with the always dynamic rhythm section of beat master Adam Deitch on drums and low-end wizard of Jesus Coomes on bass. With that granite foundation under their musical feet, the rest of the band was safe to take chances and lay it all on the line. Guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff kept a slippery guitar line going at all times, providing a slick path for keyboardist Nigel Hall to lay down soaring chords and punchy fills throughout the weekend. As always, The Shady Horns, a.k.a. trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom and sax guru Ryan Zoidis, peppered the set with brash brass interjections and trippy effects.
Not content to merely deliver hours of breathtaking funk jams, Lettuce also brought out secret weapon Oteil Burbridge on Friday night for a scat singing, bass thumping scorcher of a sit-in. Check out video of Oteil’s sit-in and a few other choice selections from Lettuce’s weekend at the Suwannee in the clips below, brought to you by Rex-A-Vision. Enjoy!
Lettuce – “4th Dimension-Royal Highness”
Lettuce – “Khru”
Lettuce w/ Oteil Burbridge – “Relax”
For a list of Lettuce’s upcoming tour dates, head to their website here.