G. Love shares friendship, musical collaboration at Vilar Center residency with Robert Randolph | VailDaily.com

G. Love shares friendship, musical collaboration at Vilar Center residency with Robert Randolph

G. Love shares friendship, musical collaboration at Vilar Center residency with Robert Randolph

Robert Randolph, with G. Love, Michael Kang and special guests Garrett Sayers, Nikki Glaspie and Nigel Hall, kick off a series of four concerts at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday. The concerts are socially distanced, with limited admission to protect guests, performers and staff per current public health protocols.

The group of collaborators convened in Beaver Creek this week to participate in the VPAC’s winter series, The Residency. Over the course of their stay, artists develop performances and work together to create new sounds. The series kicked off last weekend with Micaela Taylor’s All Star Band Featuring: DJ Logic, MonoNeon, Daru Jones and Vernon Reid, combining music from Grammy Award winners with contemporary dance. But this weekend’s performances will be almost like a family reunion as well: many of the performers are friends already.

G. Love, originally from Philadelphia, has toured with Jack Johnson, Citizen Cope, The String Cheese Incident and Dave Matthews, among others.
Special to the Daily

This weekend’s residency features Randolph on guitar — G. Love called him a “true, true master of his instrument” in a recent interview.

“The things he can do on a guitar, it just blows your mind,” he said.

His virtuoso combines with his collaborators’ jammy sounds: Michael Kang plays guitar in popular jam band The String Cheese Incident. Garrett Sayers plays bass in The Motet, and Nigel Hall, Lettuce’s vocalist, rounds out representatives from some of the biggest names in jam. Drummer Nikki Glaspie finalizes the roster. Her experience touring worldwide in Beyoncé’s all-woman backing band engraves “legend status” into this weekend’s performances.

“We really won’t really know what’s going to happen till we get into it, basically a musical language,” G. Love said.

G. Love became one of the front-facing hip-hop-meets-guitars artists in the ‘90s with his band G. Love & Special Sauce. The band’s 2020 record “The Juice” received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Winners will be announced on March, 14, 2021, airing on national television from 7 to 9 p.m. MST.

Collaboration isn’t exactly a foreign concept to G. Love either. Part of his street cred comes from his work with Slightly Stoopid, Donavon Frankenreiter and The Avett Brothers, who produced the band’s 2011 record, “Fixin’ to Die.” He’s toured with Jack Johnson, Citizen Cope and Dave Matthews Band.

“You’re not in your regular drive with your regular band partner. It’s fresh energy. It just can be kind of exciting,” he said.

Robert Randolph's performance history shows his appreciation for mixing genres and collaborating with other musicians, which he will showcase at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
Special to the Daily

Even more exciting is the chance to reconnect with old friends, and get to work at a time when work is incredibly scarce for musicians.

G. Love met Randolph years ago in New Orleans. They reconnected in New York, started going to parties together and eventually became close friends. Then at a music festival in Florida, Randolph called G. Love up on stage for a song. G. Love & Special Sauce, his band, have opened for The String Cheese Incident a number of times, and G. Love and The Motet have been “best buddies since the Boston days,” back in the early years of Special Sauce.

“I know everyone’s going to be really hungry to play, because obviously there’s not really any gigs happening for any of us,” G. Love said. “This is kind of a rare opportunity right now to get together and in a safe way. And it’s a big creative with some wonderful musicians. I think it’s a good opportunity for everybody to get a little work. And to get a little time into performing in front of a couple of people.”

But while this weekend offers an incredible opportunity for performance, for G. Love, it’s still going to be about the same thing it’s always been about.

“A big thing about like being on stage is what’s the goal? Well, the goal is to make people happy,” he said. “You are able to be in this creative, euphoric space to make people happy, to make yourself happy, and you know inspire everybody.”

For more information about The Residency, including a list of upcoming performances, visit vilarpac.org.

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