G. Love & Special Sauce
Event Start Date : Jan 30, 2020
Event End Date : Jan 30, 2020
G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE TICKETS
Pre-sale begins 8:00pm October 9
Tickets on sale 12:00 October 11
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Seated GA Tickets - $40
Standing GA Tickets - $35
For any wheelchair or ADA needs, please contact the Box Office in advance of the performance at (202)-769-0122.
Please note that the front row of tables and chairs will be cleared for this show to create a general admission Pit. Be advised that there may be some seated areas where vision of the stage is obstructed.
G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE
âIâve been in the game a long time, but Iâve always considered myself a student,â says G. Love. âFinishing this album with Keb Moâ felt like graduation.â
Recorded in Nashville with a slew of special guests including Robert Randolph, Marcus King, and Roosevelt Collier, âThe Juiceâ is indeed diploma-worthy. Co-produced and co-written with GRAMMY-winning icon Keb Moâ, itâs an electrifying collection, one that tips its cap to more than a century of blues greats even as it offers its own distinctly modern pop spin on the genre, mixing programmed beats and hip-hop grooves with blistering guitar and sacred steel. G. Loveâs lyrics are both personal and political here, artfully balancing his appreciation for the simple joys in life with his obligation to speak out for justice and equality, and his performances are suitably riotous and rousing to match, with infectious call-and-response hooks and funky sing-along choruses at every turn. Easy as it is to succumb to cynicism these days, the songs on âThe Juiceâ refuse, insisting instead on hope and determination in the face of doubt and despair.
âIâve always tried to make music thatâs a force for positivity,â G. Love explains. âIt was important to me that this album be something that could empower the folks who are out there fighting the good fight every day. I wanted to make a rallying cry for empathy and unity.â
Born Garrett Dutton in Philadelphia, PA, G. Love grew up equally enthralled with folk, blues, and rap, devouring everything from Lead Belly and Run D.M.C. to John Hammond and the Beastie Boys. After migrating to Boston, he and his band, Special Sauce, broke out in 1994 with their Gold-selling self-titled debut, which earned widespread critical acclaim for its bold vision and adventurous production. Over the next twenty-five years, G. Love would go on to release seven more similarly lauded studio studios albums with Special Sauce (plus four solo albums on his own), solidifying his place in music history as a genre-bending pioneer with a sound The New York Times described as âa new and urgent hybridâ and NPR called a âmusical melting pot.â G. Loveâs magnetic stage presence, meanwhile, made him a fixture on festival lineups from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, and his relentless appetite for tour and collaboration landed him on the road and in the studio with artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, and DJ Logic.
While G. Love has covered considerable sonic ground during his prolific career, heâs always found himself drawn back to the blues, and to one bluesman in particular.
âKeb Moâ and I got signed to the same label at the same time back when I first started out, and we toured together early on in my career,â G. Love remembers. âHe used to introduce me onstage as âa true American original,â and I could tell that he got a kick out of what I did. We didnât see each other for a while after that, but a few years ago we reconnected and did a co-headline tour, which was really special for me.â
Two decades after theyâd first hit the road together, the unlikely duo picked up right where they left off, and after a couple late-night jam sessions, G. Love pitched Keb Moâ on producing his next album. The pair decided to test the waters with a writing session first, teaming up with GRAMMY-winner Gary Nicholson (famed for his work with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Willie Nelson, and Ringo Starr among others) for a week in Nashville, where they penned a handful of tunes based on phrases G. Love had saved in his phone or rough demos heâd recorded at home on Cape Cod. Those tracks quickly became fan favorites on the road, and G. Love knew he was on to something special.
âI got wrapped up in touring and in my Jamtown project with Donovan Frankenreiter and Cicso Adler after that first session, and even though I really enjoyed working with Keb Moâ and Gary, it was a year-and-a-half before I was able to get back down to Nashville to finish writing the album with them.â
When it came time to record, Keb Moâ was meticulous, working closely with G. Love in the studio on nearly every aspect of his performances. While G. Love was used to creating raw, loose albums by the seat of his pants, Keb Moâ worked in a much more deliberate, methodical fashion, building songs up like a hip-hop producer. Heâd create a beat on his keyboard, lay down a bass line, and then coach G. Love through the tracks sometimes line-by-line.
âHe was always impressing on me where to place the emphasis and how to phrase my lyrics and guitar playing in relation to the beat,â G. Love explains. âHeâd tell me to sing like I had a shovel in my hands and I was digging on the one.â
The resulting mix of G. Loveâs idiosyncratic style and Keb Moâs old-school influence proves intoxicating on âThe Juice,â which opens with the shuffling, anthemic title track. âWe got the juice / We got the love / We got the dreams / We had enough,â G. Love sings, setting the stage for an album all about recognizing your power to impact the world around you in ways both big and small. The infectious âBirmingham,â for instance, is an ode to perseverance when , while the funky âGo Crazyâ cuts loose in the face of our maddening 24-hour news cycle, and the relentless âShake Your Hairâ rattles off a head-spinning list of modern ills before declaring âdonate, donât wait, spread love donât hate.â
âIâve never been the kind of guy who thinks heâs going to change the world with his guitar,â reflects G. Love. âBut maybe I can write the kind of songs that give strength and encouragement to the people who are out there doing the work to make this planet a better place. Those are the people I want to lift up with my music.â
When G. Love sings about making the world a better place, heâs not just singing about politics, though, and âThe Juiceâ serves as a beautiful exploration of the ways we can brighten our own little worlds and the worlds of those we care about on a daily basis. The gritty âSoulBQueâ is a celebration of community and friendship, while the rootsy âSheâs The Rockâ pays tribute to all the little ways lovers can lift each other up, and the breezy âDigginâ Rootsâ spins cultivating a garden into a metaphor for the importance of tending to your home and family and neighbors.
âI was going through a tough time in my life when I met my fiancĂŠ, but my whole world seemed to turn around after that,â says G. Love. âI started meditating, we had a son, and we moved out to the Cape. Thatâs when I stopped writing breakup songs and started writing love songs and family songs and friendship songs.â
Life is good for G. Love these days, and heâs not taking a moment of it for granted. In fact, in just the past few years alone heâs launched his own beer collaboration with Oregonâs Good Life Brewery (The Juice IPA), started his own festival in Massachusetts (The Cape Cod Roots & Blues Festival), and founded his own record label, Philadelphonic, which he aims to use as an outlet for curating both music and visual art (the cover of âThe Juiceâ features a brand new work G. Love commissioned from renowned painter Greg Haberny).
âIâm more inspired right now than Iâve ever been before,â G. Love reflects. âI feel more thoughtful, seasoned, marinated, confident. Iâm making the records Iâve always wanted to make.â
Cue âPomp and Circumstance.â
Hailing from Greenville, Georgia, Willis grew up singing Gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. Since an early age, he had the talent and passion for the music and the ability to sharpen his skills fast. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing âHoochie Coochie Manâ and was instantly hooked on the blues
He got his much-needed break from the living legend Taj Mahal, who described him as the âWonderboyâ and âthe Wunderkind.â In 2015, Mahal asked Willis to play on stage with him. That appearance resulted in a roaring response from the audience and led Willis to bigger stages and broader opportunities, including an opening slot at select shows along the TajMo tour, featuring his musical mentors Taj Mahal and Kebâ Moâ
Many fans of Willis regard him as an old soul. His style of playing the instruments and his voice touches the very roots of country blues. He brings back the true soul of the music. A newspaper headline once called him a â70-year-old bluesman in a 20-year-old body.â
Spectacular Class is the follow-up release to his debut album, Blue Metamorphosis, which was released in 2016 and garnered him rave reviews from such notable magazines as Living Blues and Blues & Rhythm. In 2018, the album earned recognition by the Blues Foundation through their International Blues Challenge, where he was honored with the Best Self-Produced CD Award.
Date And Time
Thu, January 30, 2020, 7:30 PM EST
Doors at 6:30 PM
The Hamilton Live
600 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005