G. Love bringing fresh tracks to Lake Tahoe
IF YOU GO
WHAT: G. Love & Special Sauce with opening act Jontavious Willis
WHEN: Saturday, March 7; Doors open 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: South Shore Room, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe; 15 Hwy 50 Stateline, NV
MORE INFO: philadelphonic.com
G. Love (Garret Dutton) has plenty of new stuff to share for 2020. He released a new album, The Juice, on Jan. 17. His wife gave birth to their third son, Garret Cas Dutton, on Feb. 12. He begins his spring tour with a full band (G. Love & Special Sauce), and they’ll be stopping by Harrah’s South Shore Room on Friday, March 7.
BACK IN TAHOE
Dutton said he’s familiar with Lake Tahoe, coming here often year after year and always looking forward to returning. He said he enjoys the scenery and the outdoor lifestyle between fishing and the mountains and it’s always a good crowd.
“We play other casinos around the country, and the casinos in Lake Tahoe always feel like a regular venue, like a party — not like you’re playing in a casino,” he said. “That has to do with the crowd. It’s a cool group of people that live out in Tahoe.”
G. Love will not be hitting the slopes this time because he just had foot surgery, but he always makes the effort to check out things where he’s playing.
“I really try to take advantage and check out all of the places I play,” he said. “It’s a beautiful part of my life I’m really thankful for.”
G. Love released his ninth album, The Juice, on Jan. 17. Five-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ produced the album, which blends elements of blues, jazz, rock, funk and soul with hop-hop grooves and electronic beats.
G. Love said the album is very personal to him on two fronts: It’s how he feels about the world and the times we’re living right now; and it gets personal showing the intimate side of his family.
Part of the album is a rallying cry for people who are supporting and fighting for progressive and liberal movements. The song “The Juice” is a protest song against the Trump administration.
“I wanted to do a song as a knee-jerk reaction to how things were going in 2016 after Trump was elected,” he said.
G. Love recites the chorus, that he says just came out when he created it: “We got the Juice/ We got the love / We got the dreams / We had enough.”
Working with Keb’ Mo’, G. Love said this was one of the most important tunes he got to write and play.
“It was a magical moment in the studio and so wonderful to sing it coast to coast,” he said.
G. Love said he knows the song will be polarizing and there might even be some long-term fans who lost interest, but he feels the message is important.
“To me, the job of the musician is to always challenge authority and to speak the truth that we believe,” he said. “I write songs about the simplest things in life and I write some things that we face together as a society.”
Keb’ Mo’ produced The Juice and many other musicians helped contribute. The album features well-known names and up-and-coming artists.
“For one thing, it’s great to hang out with your friends in the studio and to meet new friends,” G. Love said. “When you have a creative source that you respect to join you in the studio, everybody brings their A-game — everybody pushes their best performance.”
“Go Crazy” is the lead single off the album and features Keb’ Mo’, who is featured on several tracks.
G. Love said Marcus King came to the studio in Nashville the day King was moving into town. While King was moving, he took a break and joined G. Love in the studio for two hours and played guitar and added vocals for the song “The Juice.”
“It was so cool that Marcus came through,” G. Love said. “He was so sweet.”
G. Love had many other friends helped contribute to the album: Roosevelt Collier, Robert Randolph and Ron Artis II all joined.
“These guys are true masters on their instruments,” G. Love said.
Keb’ Mo’ pushed G. Love the entire time, to perform his best and to do something new.
“Keb’ pushed me and challenged me from the very first minute of sending him song songs to the very last vocal performance,” G. Love said. “There were times I was really frustrated and out of my comfort zone, but he helped me make my greatest record.”
He has big goals for this album.
“Hopefully I get a blues Grammy for this one.”
TOURING FOR 30 YEARS
G. Love’s reputation is built around his live music and he said the band is known for their live shows.
“When we hit the stage, we really deliver an amazing show,” he said.
He said he’s got to work harder and harder these days to keep up in the industry. Besides music, he has his own hot sauce: G.Love’s Special Sauce. There is also a G. Love IPA, called The Juice IPA, brewed by Good Life Brewing out of Bend, Oregon. It will be available at certain places on the spring tour.
G. Love said he loves his craft and he said it’s always been his hobby. He’s happy to have been able to do his passion professionally for the last 30 years. His mentality is that he is going to play the best show of his life, every time he gets on stage.
“First thing when I wake up, I say I’m gonna have the best show of my life tonight,” he said. “And I keep repeating it, and keep on the path to greatness.”