Lettuce Presents Guest-Filled Tribute To Jerry Garcia Band At Lockn’ Festival

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Funk stalwarts Lettuce closed out the third day of this year’s Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia with a guest-filled celebration of the Jerry Garcia Band. Lettuce recruited old friend Eric Krasno, members of Dead & Company, Tedeschi Trucks Band and more for a memorable late night set at the festival’s Relix Stage.

Lettuce and Kraz first pulled from the Garcia/Saunders repertoire for the instrumental “Finders Keepers.” Keyboardist Nigel Hall then fronted the group on Smokey Robinson’s “I Second That Emotion.” Next, bassist Oteil Burbridge made his way over from the main stage, where he had performed with Dead & Company, to add to a dub-laden version of Peter Tosh’s “Stop That Train.” Burbridge showed off his scat-singing skills while soloing on a song that was a staple of the Jerry Garcia Band repertoire. Tedeschi Trucks Band vocalists Alecia Chakour and Mark Rivers sang harmony with Krasno handling lead vocal duties.

Guitarist John Mayer was the next guest to join in on the fun. Mayer led Lettuce, Krasno, Rivers and Chakour on a groovy “After Midnight.” The Dead & Company guitarist belted out the JJ Cale classic and took a pair of raucous solos. Drummer Adam Deitch powered the ensemble through to a strong and soulful finish on “After Midnight” as Hall, Rivers and Chakour traded improvised vocals. Mayer’s Dead & Company band mate Bob Weir then emerged to pay tribute to Jerry by leading a slow and throbbing “Sugaree.” Krasno shined with a fierce solo that brought “Sugaree” to a close.

Trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom put down his horn and made his way to center stage to lead the ensemble on Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue.” Mayer and Weir both stuck around for “Tangled Up In Blue,” “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” The Dylan cover featured a stellar jam in which all four guitarists on stage expertly weaved in and around each other’s parts. Lettuce guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff handled lead vocals on “That’s What Love Will Make You Do,” while Nigel Hall sang “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” Nigel left his keyboard setup during the Marvin Gaye cover to take center stage. Hall vamped on the lyrics with the help of John Mayer as the pair showed off a chemistry that developed instantly.

Weir vacated the stage after “How Sweet It Is” as Lettuce, the vocalists, Mayer and Krasno made their way through the title track of Jerry Garcia’s 1978 album Cats Under The Stars. Bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes was tasked with singing “Cats Under The Stars” and did an admirable job. Kraz and Mayer engaged in a sizzling call-and-response segment towards the end of the song. The ensemble went on to finish the once-in-a-lifetime set with a powerful rendition of “They Love Each Other” highlighted by Hall’s synth solo.

Watch pro-shot video of set beginning around the 14:20:00 mark:

Setlist

Set: Finders Keepers, I Second That Emotion, Stop That Train, After Midnight, Sugaree, Tangled Up In Blue, That’s What Love Will Make You Do, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), Cats Under The Stars, They Love Each Other

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