One of the funkiest of funk collectives, Lettuce has been preaching its own virtuosic brand of the funky gospel for 20 years now. The members – sometimes a rotating cast, but centered on the core of founders drummer Adam Dietch, guitarists Eric Krasnow and Adam Smirnoff, keyboardist (and Buffalo native) Neal Evans, and sax men Ryan Zoidis and Sam Kinniger – met while attending a summer course at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts in 1992, and have been deepening their bond over the marriage of classic funk and jazz-based improvisation ever since.
By this point, Lettuce has solidified its place near the top of the modern jam/funk heap, through the raw, visceral power of its live shows, the inescapable funk force of its rhythm section, and the daring, wildly inventive flights favored by its improvisers. Along with its “brother band,” the Buffalo-born Soulive – which features keyboardist Neal and his brother, drummer Alan Evans, as well as guitarist Krasnow – Lettuce has helped to forge what is now clearly an unbreakable alliance between the funk/R&B and jam-band audiences. For this alone, we owe them a debt of gratitude.
Lettuce will take over the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) at 8 p.m. Friday. The show starts with a DJ set from Kraz. Advance tickets are $18 (box office, Ticketmaster) or $20 on the day of show..
– Jeff Miers