Inside the Love
VAIL – There’s much more to G. Love than cold beverages and saucy babes.Although, he does have a pitcher of lemonade tatooed on his arm. Somewhat of a lucky charm, lemonade is the singer-songwriter’s drink of choice when practicing his guitar on the front porch.But the thoughts of Garrett Dutton (aka G. Love) – who launched into stardom in 1994 with college-craze hits “Cold Beverages” and “Baby’s Got Sauce” – run much deeper than lemons and sugar.
G. Love’s a father now, and he’s finally feeling good after the harsh breakup with his son’s mother. (G. Love sings all about it on his 2004 release, “The Hustle.”) The experience hasn’t left him discouraged about love, but it’s definitely changed his perspective a bit. “After having a child with someone and having it not work out, I felt it was the first failure in my life,” G. Love said from the tour’s stop in Flagstaff, Ariz. “It was a real devastation, a blow to my pride, my love, my spirituality. Every part of my emotional being, my physical being got crushed. I was a mess. I feel great now, but I had never been through such an intense breakup.”During the split, G. Love said he found comfort in old blues songs and Guitar Slim records – influences that can be heard in G. Love’s own brand of “hip-hop blues,” a term G. love coined himself.
“I finally felt the emotions that had been inspiring those songs, like ‘The Things I Used To Do,'” G. Love said. Next time G. Love meets that special someone, he said, he’s going to approach it differently.”I really feel like marriage is a three-headed, hopefully nice, dragon,” G. Love said. “First you have to have a friend, then you have to have a romance, an infatuation, then you have to have a small business, because eventually the flame is going to go out, like that Johnny Cash song. But this intense friendship will still be there, and then you have to start running your marriage like a business to reach certain goals to share together, like buying a house.”
On the newest album, which has two working titles, “Hot Cookin’ and “Ain’t That Right,” due out in late August, G. Love continues to sing love songs and quintessential party tunes, but he dives into social commentary and politics, as well. It’s a reaction to the decline of activism and apathy he’s experiencing on college campuses.”I see a complacent energy from the youth. Everyone is so caught up in reality shows and materialism,” G. Love said. “Everyone needs to wake up. Part of being an American is caring about what’s going on around the world. We’re in a war, but no one wants to admit that.” In addition to his band Special Sauce – James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on upright bass and Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens on drums – the new record features special guests Ben Harper, Los Lobos, Jack Johnson, Donovan Frankenreiter, Leo Neocentelli of the Meters and Amos Lee, among other musicians he and Special Sauce have met during the past 12 years on the road. G. Love said playing with different musicians can take a song in whole new direction.
“It’s a catalyst to be creative,” he said of the collaboration. “As a songwriter and musician, that’s what you live off of, those moments of creativity. That’s like web fluid if you are Spiderman.”G. Love and Special Sauce play for Spring Back to Vail, a two-week long end of ski season celebration, tonight in Ford Park. Doors open at 6 p.m. The crowd can expect G. love’s signature synthesis of blues, hip-hop, rap and reggae.”I like to play and write songs about finding love, losing love, making love, basketball, lemonade and politics.”
Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado