Live music program: Lettuce, a funk sextet sandwiched between two singer-songwriters

John Craigie. Photo by Bradley Cox

John Craigie
8 p.m. Wednesday and Thusday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Singer-songwriter John Craigie, from across Portland, is set to release his latest album, ‘Mermaid Salt’, next week. The first single, “Distance”, is about drug addiction and other ways of losing someone you love, softened by Craigie’s warm vocals, accompanied by piano and acoustic guitar. “Helena” is a lightly funk-tinged track, and Craigie’s voice rises higher as he sings about a building burning down. Craigie’s discography is deep and dates back to 2009, so he’ll have plenty of tracks to choose from.

Salad. Photo courtesy of the artist

8 p.m. Saturday. State Theater, 609 Congress St., Portland, $28 in advance, $30 day of show.
Make your Saturday night funky by seeing Boston funk band Lettuce, the sextet featuring longtime Portlander Ryan Zoidis on saxophone. ‘Unify’, which will be released in June, will be the band’s eighth studio album. If the lead single, “Gravy Train,” is any indication, the album, and certainly the live show, promise to be satisfying listening experiences that will elicit plenty of dancing. In 2019, the album “Elevate” was nominated for a Grammy for Instrumental Album of the Year. Lettuce celebrates three decades as a band, and the party starts at eight o’clock.

Jill Sobule. Photo by Shervin Lainez

Jill Sobule
8 p.m. Sunday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
You may remember singer-songwriter Jill Sobule from her breakthrough 1995 pop hit “I Kissed a Girl.” Several albums followed, and she continued to prove herself as a skilled songwriter who doesn’t shy away from singing about eating disorders, the Christian right, and the many struggles of adolescence among a myriad other subjects. His song “Supermodel” caused a sensation in the movie “Clueless”. Sobule’s latest release is 2018’s “Nostalgia Kills”, which features songs like “I Don’t Wanna Wake Up” and the bittersweet title track. Few artists distinguish between funny and poignant as Sobule does. Folk-rock singer-songwriter Emma Ivy, who splits her time between Maine and New York, opens the show.

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