Pioneering alternative hip-hop blues act G. Love & Special Sauce will perform at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, in partnership with JaxLive, on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tickets are currently on sale.
G. Love certainly has come a long way in the 20 years since drummer Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens discovered him performing in a Boston pub. The two started playing together and, after Clemens brought in upright bassist James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott, G. Love & Special Sauce was born. Their self-titled debut, featuring the hit “Cold Beverage,” wound up going gold. The band became known for their live shows and performed around the world. G. Love has played with and without Special Sauce over the years, but now the trio is back together. G. Love believes the current manifestation of the band is stronger than ever and is riding a creative high, adding “and we didn’t want to kill each other.”
“When you get the spark, you got to ride that energy,” says G. Love, and that spark certainly ignites on his 10th studio full-length “Love Saves The Day."
He calls the latest release “the fullest realization of the hip-hop blues” that he first pioneered with Special Sauce in the early 90s. The album, out now on Brushfire Records, not only features G. Love’s long-term Special Sauce rhythm section – Prescott and Clemens – but also prominent guest performers including Los Lobos guitarist David Hidalgo, Lucinda Williams, Citizen Cope, Ozomatli, DJ Logic, Money Mark, Zach Gill and Adam Topol.
To create their down and dirty “trashcan blues” sound, G. Love & Special Sauce returned to Brushfire Records’ Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles. The band was excited to reteam with Sugar engineer and producer Robert Carranza (Jack Johnson, Beastie Boys, Mars Volta). They recorded live with few edits to capture the immediacy of the music: G. Love making his guitar snarl and his harmonica moan, bassist Prescott bringing nimble funk to the bottom end and Clemens’ drum work crackling with power.
The new album completes the trilogy for G. Love that started with 2011’s “Fixin To Die.” That disc stripped his music down to its roots and saw him record with The Avett Brothers, while Sugar, in G. Love’s words, “reconnected the blues with the electric side” and reunited the original trio to create the band’s signature style of blending John Lee Hooker blues with “Golden Era” hip-hop beats. On “Love Saves The Day,” the group dives even deeper, making the grooves heavier, the music rawer and the performances more authentic.
G. Love proudly describes himself as a road dog who “will be touring until I fall off the earth” and plans to keep on pushing with Special Sauce from stage to stage. Whether “Love Saves The Day” makes one dollar or a million isn’t a big concern to him. It stands as a huge success because he made the gritty, honest album that he intended by “keeping it raw, keeping it immediate, keeping it real.” It’s an approach that he has honed over the years: “be original and be true to what you do.”
In addition to general admission tickets, a limited number of “G. Love’s Pre-Show Pop Off” packages are available for purchase. “G. Love’s Pre-Show Pop Off” package includes a general admission ticket with early entry, access to a pre-show performance and Q&A with G. Love at sound check, group photo on stage with G. Love and a limited edition poster autographed by G. Love. “G. Love’s Pre-Show Pop Off” packages will be available for purchase only via ticketmaster.com.
General admission tickets will be available for purchase at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and St. Augustine Amphitheatre Box Offices, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at (800) 745-3000. They start at $30.