Bootsy Collins and Lettuce, positively helping to keep the funk alive At the beginning of lockdown, the legendary funk bassist began posting uplifting messages to Instagram, where they found a receptive audience in drummer Adam Deitch of the band Lettuce.

Bootsy Collins and Lettuce, positively helping to keep the funk alive

Bootsy Collins and Lettuce, positively helping to keep the funk alive

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Left, drummer Adam Deitch of the band Lettuce, with funk superstar Bootsy Collins. Patti Collins/NPR hide caption

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Patti Collins/NPR

Left, drummer Adam Deitch of the band Lettuce, with funk superstar Bootsy Collins.

Patti Collins/NPR

"We're off tour, we're depressed, we're making no money," recalls Adam Deitch, drummer for the funk band Lettuce, of those early lockdown days. Around that same time, the legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins had started posting messages of positivity to Instagram, "just saying," Deitch remembers, "'hang tight, be cool, and keep that funk alive.' "

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The meaning and rhythm of that last message in particular (Collins' unofficial mantra) really stuck out to Deitch, who immediately got to work on a song based around it. That song, now including a feature spot from Collins, is the centerpiece of a new album from Lettuce out tomorrow, called Unify.

In a conversation with Rachel Martin, the pair remember their initial meeting and the serendipity — at least, in part — of having some space to reflect.

To hear this conversation, use the audio player at the top of this page.