…we signed with Jack Johnson’s record label, Brushfire Records, and shortened the name down to just G. Love. We all agreed that it was time to change things up a bit.
story by Mike Scales
photo by Scott Soens
If you happened to be roaming the summer streets of Philadelphia circa 1992, you may have caught a young punk named Garrett Dutton spray-painting his tag under a train viaduct or down a dark alley. You may have also watched in amazement as that same kid, strapped with his acoustic guitar and harmonica, sang the soul of Philly from a street corner with the cool swagger of a young John Lee Hooker and with enough hip hop stomp to ignite a circle of b-boys to breakin’.
Christening himself G. Love, Dutton was discovered by drummer Jeffery “Houseman” Clemens in a small Boston club. Then, with the addition of bassist Jimmy “Jazz” Prescott, G. Love & Special Sauce was born. Released in 1994 on Epic Records, their self-titled debut introduced the masses to a unique Delta blues/hip hop sound that had crowds jumpin’ like the old days to songs like “Cold Beverage” and “My Baby’s Got Sauce.” Other album highlights of the band’s career thus far include the collaborative effort of ’97’s Yeah, It’s That Easy, which employed a host of additional musicians to add to the sound, and the beautifully produced and truly hip hop beats of ’99’s Philadelphonic.
In the wake of the 10-year anniversary of their debut album and between rescheduled flights on the West Coast, G. took the time to chat with Chicago Innerview. “Man… I’m having more fun now then I ever did,” said G. Love of his substantial recording career. “It was just a whirlwind back then. Everything moved so fast… Now, I understand how the industry works and I’m more comfortable with it and I can just relax.”
Having a good grip on the business side of things definitely has its benefits, but these days G. has one much more important inspiration to keep him going – his three-year old son, Aiden. “My son is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” he said, with the great pride of an excited young father. “It’s really empowering to be able to be someone’s whole world and teach that person everything you know. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m back in high school. I’m spending much more time at home with my family just chillin’ out and practicing guitar.”
Relaxing time at home proved beneficial to the writing process without a doubt. G., Houseman and Jazz have put out the most rock-influenced record of their career, entitled The Hustle. They also have a new label and a new name to keep things fresh. According to G., “after 9-11, the record industry suffering greatly. Lots of bands were laid off of labels, including us. So, we signed with Jack Johnson’s record label, Brushfire Records, and shortened the name down to just G. Love. We all agreed that it was time to change things up a bit.”
G Love :: Riviera :: October 30.