Welcome to Jamtown: the new collaboration between G. Love, Cisco Adler, and Donavon Frankenreiter. The trio, who have been friends and off and on again collaborators since G. Love and Frankenreiter met in 2003, recorded with Adler last December. A five song EP is being released on June 23rd on Adler’s Bananabeat Records. Continue reading →
“High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.
We seem to be enjoying a bit of a 90s renaissance lately. A bill full of 90s headliners sold out The Fillmore in Philadelphia two weeks ago, and last week another Clinton addressed a Philly-hosted national convention. An “I Love The 90’s” Festival featuring Salt-n-Pepa, Vanilla Ice and Color Me Badd hit BB&T last week. The revival is afoot.
Most of Philly’s Gen X-ers will remember that era of the city’s cultural history with a special reverie, and listening to Garrett Dutton reflect on those years in anecdotes is sure to evoke nostalgia for anyone who was there.
In a candid interview held backstage at his Fillmore show earlier this year, the man known as G. Love talks sentimentally about his days tagging walls and playing street corners and cafes, about basketball and the neighborhoods he called home. He recounts first recognizing the potential of integrating elements of blues rock and hip hop to develop his signature sound. He doesn’t pull punches, either, about the frustrations he faced as a recording artist, with open rebuke for the elements of media or local industry that from his perspective offered paltry support.
While Dutton is known best for the hits that drove his early following, his latest records and performances show an artist still evolving. Last October, G. Love and Special Sauce released their latest record Love Saves The Day, a collection of blues rock tracks including collaborations with the likes of Lucinda Williams and Los Lobos vocalist David Hidalgo.
Speaking of that 90s revival, though, mark your calendars: G. Love plays the Mann with Blues Traveler and The Wallflowers on August 21st. Tickets and more information on that show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
If you missed Garrett “G. Love” Dutton and Special Sauce Saturday night at their first-ever Fillmore appearance just because you figured you’d probably only enjoy a handful of their old hits from the mid-nineties – well you had a nice, lazy Spring Sunday today to think about the mistake you made. And if you went to the show anticipating that maybe you’d enjoy most that handful of hits, you’d have been pleasantly surprised.
Because okay, let’s be honest: it happens so often, as artists get a bit older, that they lose a little edge, or their line on the zeitgeist. They grow a little less relevant, less hungry. They may come through town every few years for a show, their old fans generally at best tolerating any new music with polite applause as they wait for the opening chords of the songs they recognize, the songs they came to see. And either those songs hold up, a couple decades on, for a best-case scenario, or they don’t, in which case you’re really there purely for the sake of nostalgia.
Here’s why Saturday night’s show wasn’t an example of that: somehow, Special Sauce has managed to renovate wholesale their sound and style. Continue reading →
While out on the road in support of their latest effort, Philadelphia-born G Love & Special Sauce stopped by the World Cafe studio to record a live performance and interview with David Dye. Love Saves the Day is the band’s tenth album and follows 2014’s Sugar with a collection of songs that are chock full of guest appearances and classic G Love tales.
VuHaus was on hand to film a few songs during the session, including this clip of “Back to Boston.” Check it out below and tune into G Love’s World Cafe session on Friday, January 15th on 88.5 XPN.
Next Friday, October 30th, G. Love and Special Sauce release their new album, Love Saves The Day. The album features guest appearances from DJ Logic, Lucinda Williams, Citizen Cope, Ozomatli and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos. Continue reading →
In between flipping burgers and lighting sparklers, take a few minutes to check out live videos from Philly artists this weekend over at VuHaus, a new collaborative public radio video website. From Marian Hill to Hop Along, here are a handful of Philadelphians not to miss. Continue reading →
G. Love & Special Sauce have officially reached the legal drinking age. The year 2015 marks the 21st birthday since the Philly-bred band released its self-titled debut album in 1994. But with a career spanning 11 albums (including G’s four solo albums), for some reason, some people still only know G. Love primarily for “Cold Beverage.” Stop the madness! Together, the band, which also includes drummer Jeffrey Clemens and James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on bass, have recorded a slew of great jams with their trademark style that’s part hip hop, part unhinged blues, and for some reason these other jams have gone unnoticed. But not anymore! Here’s ten great deep cuts from G. Love & Special Sauce. Continue reading →
G Love has been a staple of the Philadelphia music scene for what seems like forever, with his first album, G. Love and Special Sauce, coming out nearly 21 years ago. But G. (born Garrett Dutton) never stopped making music and is back to the old touring grind this March with an extensive U.S. tour, which includes two stops in Philly at South Street’s Theater of the Living Arts, to promote his newest album, Sugar.
But this year’s Sugar Blues Tour is just the latest in G. Love’s storied music career; he’s basically toured nonstop over the course of the past 20 years, and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. In this interview for The Key, G. talks about his band hitting the drinking age, the return of original bassist James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott, and the grind that’s necessary to stay relevant in the music business. Continue reading →
Tonight, two legendary acts come together for one performance; Iron Maiden is playing with Alice Cooper at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Expect lots of head banging and moshing at this performance. You can purchase tickets here.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28
Asobi Seksu—which means “playful sex” in Japanese—is aptly named. Pairing shoegaze inspired grunge-pop with the dynamic vocals of Yuki Chikudate (who slips effortlessly between falsetto, full-out belting, and simply speaking melodically), the band is edgy, harsh, and brisk, yet cloyingly catchy. (Or, in a phrase: playfully sexy.) Chikudate’s lyrics are a mix of English and Japanese, which band mates James Hanna and Larry Gorman have encouraged since the group formed in 2004. This blend of language is a defining trait of the Asobi Seksu sound, tying together their five studio albums, each of which is so packed with emotionality that lyrics are a secondary mode of communication. The band’s latest album, Fluorescence, continues in the tradition of mixing bitter and sweet. The track “Trails” finds Chikudate’s vocals skipping giddily over droning guitars in the chorus, when she’s not roaring the verses. There’s a quiet moment as the guitar relaxes into an upbeat riff, a calm before the storm of their huge, powerful sound, and then Chikudate bellows the bridge. Asobi Seksu performs with Boris and Liturgy at 8 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. —Naomi Shavin
Also Playing: Brown Recluse + Lushlife, Sunny Ali And The Kid at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); Chris Botti at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $39.50–$49.50); Medeski, Martin, And Wood + Antibalas at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., $40.20); Surgeon + Maze In Change, E Morto Cosi at The Fire (9 p.m., 21+, $8); The Quelle Source + Long Walk Home, Bailey Hounds, Goodnight Lights at The M Room (8 p.m., 21+, $8)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29
G. Love + The Apache Relay at Electric Factory (9 p.m., all ages, $32.95); We Were Promised Jetpacks + Royal Bangs, Bear Hands at Union Transfer (8:30 p.m., all ages, $15); Immortal Technique + Reef The Lost Cauze at The Trocadero (9 p.m., 18+, $21–$23); Lucinda Williams at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $39.50–$59.50); Taggart + Faux Slang, Knife Show, Creeping Weeds at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $10); The Extraordinaires + Circadian Rhythms, Netherfriends, Thom McCarthy at PhillyMOCA (all ages, $10)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30
Tera Melos + Hermit Thrushes, Pattern is Movement, Banned Books at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $10); Rasputina + Eszter Balint, TivaTiva at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $15)