HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

G.Love at The Ark, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020

» See more SOUND CHECK

Garrett "G. Love" Dutton has been releasing music for more than 25 years now, on his own and with his band Special Sauce. His goal? "To make people happy, to inspire them and bring them love," he says by phone.

G. Love's latest exercise in that is "The Juice," a new solo album that comes out on Friday, Jan. 17. The set was co-produced by Keb' Mo', his onetime labelmate at Okeh Records and still a good friend. The 11-song set blends all the special sauce that is G. Love -- blues, soul, funk, some folk and pop and some politically tinged lyrics -- and features guest appearances by Mo', Robert Randolph, Marcus King and others.

G. Love is, understandably, juiced about the project, which will be his focus for the coming months...

"The Juice" was an idea that squeezed out of the Philadelphia-born G. Love, 47, about six years ago, when he broached the idea of a collaborative album with Mo'. The latter, however, was working on another project with Taj Mahal, but he offered to produce an album for Love, adding Nashville songwriter Gary Nicholson to the mix as they got started. "The record for me was a lesson in kind of the fundamentals of music. I really learned a lot. Keb's approach is so thoughtful and meticulous. It was really cool. Every note, every lyric, the way every instrument lands on every beat has to just be the right way and just the right amount of feeling and just the right reason for writing it. He's into the detail."

Keb' Mo's perfectionism, meanwhile, allowed G. Love to learn even more about approaching music than he had before. "I've been doing my thing and spent the majority of my adult life trying to learn how to play the blues off old records and stuff, like that, performing around the world, blah, blah blah. So I felt like I know what Im doing, but it turns out that I really didn't. It turned out there's a lot of stuff I could learn and improve. I feel like I came out of this a way stronger vocalist, for starters. And I learned more about songwriting, too."

G. Love acknowledges there's a great deal of political content in "The Juice," including the title track -- but with a purpose. "It's a really interesting time to be alive and to be American and to be engaging in all these social network platforms because people are obviously so divided and there's a lot of anger and hate towards people who don't see the world the way you see it. Those activists and people who are trying to fight for things like the environment and women's rights and immigrant's rights....I want to energize those people with my music and be positive. And, y'know, we're just lucky to be Americans. Whether you're Republican, Democrat, you're not getting bombed, you're most likely being well fed and looked after on all fronts and have a pretty good shot at bettering your situation. You can't ever forget that, and I think a lot of people have."

G. Love & Special Sauce and Shamarr Allen perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. $40 and $99. 734-761-1800 or theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration