Local Wire

G. Love & Special Sauce

In the beginning, Philadelphia native Garrett "G. Love" Dutton — hitting the national music scene like a fourth Beastie Boy crossed with splashes of Beck and Bob Dylan — created the song "Cold Beverage" with his two-man backing band, Special Sauce. The year was 1994, the shambling song came from the trio's self-titled debut, and it slowly became a radio and MTV hit, fusing hip-hop to vintage blues, jazz, and funk. That was the peak of Dutton's commercial success, but he's actually grown his fan base since then as a must-see live act who consistently packs venues. In recent years, G. Love & Special Sauce have been affiliated with surfer-dude/acoustic-pop superstar Jack Johnson's record label, Brushfire, and they've been embraced by the jam-band scene, too, which hasn't hurt their bottom line one bit. The trio's most recent album, 2008's Superhero Brother (the band's 10th), reflects some of that with a bit of Dead-style guitar noodling and Jerry Garcia-channeling vocals mixed in with their usual soul-man rap-blues steez. Expect G. Love to get the party started right with a career-spanning set that will probably also include a smattering of new tunes from the studio album they're working on.
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Michael Alan Goldberg