Lettuce performing at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, Illinois
photo by DeWook
I used to collect a lot of records. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I walked into a Half Priced Books and finally broke the bubble. I found Herbie Hancock’s “Future Shock” on vinyl. How could I resist? $6 was a deal and it was in mint condition. Sold! Boom, my addiction to records had begun again. Being that I haven’t collected record since my teenage days, I had
a lot of work to do!
I focus my record digging at a place in West Allis called Record Head. I’ve dug-out most of my collection from there and have been moving my way slowly into the Jazz section scooping up every Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and John Coltrane album. Working my way into the “L” section I found a few records by a band called Lettuce. Even though this band screams funk, they were in the Jazz section. I found up a copy of “Resonate” and a few other records. I Went home to start dinner and then it was time to check out the new sounds I just purchased.
“Resonate” literally blew up my stereo. To begin with, I work with a lot of jam bands as a photographer so I was already excited to hear this record, but the sound of a jam band improving with horns turned my head. Had I found the missing link between Jazz and jam? I think so! I spoke with Chris Siebold of Kick The Cat a few weeks ago trying to explain my theory that all music comes from Jazz.
At that time I had not heard Lettuce yet, so I had yet to discover this bridge. Knowing what I know now may have changed the direction of that conversation with Siebold, but I digress. For 3 days straight I listened to “Resonate” by Lettuce. “Lude” is becoming my favorite track on the album and I was now on the hunt for every Lettuce record I could find.
A few days into my new found love for Lettuce I discovered that they were on tour. With about 9 days before their show at the Vic Theater in Chicago I knew there was a slim chance to get a press pass to do a write up on these musicians from Boston.
Chicago traffic is always horrible and parking is even worse but I think the odds were in my favor. I Made Chicago in 90 min and found parking two blocks out from the venue. Wook was on the move. After going through the Covid check point and having my camera bag man-handled, I was in, and shocked to find a photo pit. Yes a photo pit in
the Vic. Very rare. I was beyond stoked at this moment and ready for the show to begin.
Lettuce was fashionably late but took command of the room when they walked on stage. The lights shifted with colors and shadows creating chaos and confusion, just the way I like it. I went to work.
Looking at sea of smiling faces, I walked the room from position to position listening to every sound emanating from the stage.
I followed the cadence, I flowed with the audience waiting, looking to capture the perfect image.
The show at The Vic was magic for me. Lettuce connected many dots for me and before my record store journey, I had no idea they even existed. To think that if I had not returned to my love of vinyl, Lettuce and I would never have crossed paths. For this new awakening, I thank these talented musicians for opening new doors for me. My record collection has just begun and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
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