G. Love and Special Sauce At Their Best in Years with “Love Saves The Day”

Featured Image courtesy of the Artist

In 2009, upright bassist Jimi “Jazz” took a break from recording and performing with G. Love & Special Sauce after some fifteen plus years together as a trio. The announcement came as little surprise to anyone who had watched the behind the scenes documentary, A Year and A Night, which chronicled the band’s 13th year on tour. The documentary revealed strained tensions among the band that surely troubled many fans. Prescott’s departure did little to quell concerns about the band’s future.

Then, last January, the band announced the release of a new album, Sugar, and that the original trio consisting of Prescott, Garret “G. Love” Dutton, and Jeff “Houseman” Clemens on drums, has officially returned. Since then, the band has seen a bit of a revitalization post both in the studio and on the stage, touring nationally, releasing Sugar in 2014, a follow-up EP to entitled Sweet ‘N Blues (Extra Sugar) earlier this year. On Friday, they’ll release their third studio effort in under two years: Love Saves The Day.

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Album Art courtesy of the Artist

True to their saucy form, the new record includes a number of guest appearances, including David Hidalgo, Citizen Cope, Lucinda Williams, Ozomatli, Zach Gill (of ALO), Kristy Lee and more. Love Saves The Day, like Sugar before it, seems to have allowed the trio to return to their original form, combining a love of contemporary hip hop and rock with traditional blues riffs. The first notes of the opening title track seems even shout “We’re back! Pay attention… it’s about to get good.” And so, it does.

Hidalgo’s guitar helps Dutton out a bit in bringing a raw, yet mature rock & blues edge to tracks “Love Saves the Day,” “Dis Song,” and “That Girl,” the latter of which features Dutton’s harmonica and rap-style singing that could slide the song quite easily into albums like Philadelphonic or Electric Mile. Legendary Lucinda Williams adds backing vocals to a cover of Lead Belly‘s “New York City” that, combined with the addition of the piano chops of ALO’s Zach Gill, make the track a fitting tribute to the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Our first taste of Dutton’s acoustic blues chops doesn’t come until “Muse,” a song that features vocals of Clarence Greenwood, who you might know as Citizen Cope. “Muse” might arguably be the album’s most complete track, as Greenwood’s smooth voice over rising horns from members of Ozomatli can move anyone to want to break out in song. Layered acoustic and electric blues riffs plus Money Mark on piano give the song a continuous rhythm, a driving pace fitting for a road trip through southern cities.

Ozomatli returns for “Let’s Have a Good Time,” a party anthem with help from the ultimately party band. Though an obvious southern blues undertone and song structure, Ozo brings a lightheartedness with their backing vocals and powerful horn section in their call for listeners to have a good time. The song rivals “Muse” for best on the album. It’s the ultimate battle of themes (love vs. partying), and it’s well worth the price of admission.

“Peanut Butter Lips” and “Pick Up the Phone” really give the album a lot of steam, but it’s somewhat lost as the album comes to an abrupt ending with Dutton’s usual basement tape-style acoustic solo jam ending, this time in the form of the song “Lil’ Run Around.”

Love Saves The Day is the most exciting, complete, and fun album from G. Love since 2004’s The Hustle, and if inter-band relationships hold together as well as the new record, their live performance will be one not to miss if and when they come to your town.

Love Saves The Day is available in stores and online Friday, October 30. You can pre-order the album here and watch the recording of “New York City” from the new album below!

Excited for G. Love’s latest and greatest? Already got a taste? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Pingback: G. Love & Special Sauce Talk Playing The Fillmore This Saturday: “The Greatest Muse is Life Itself” - Rock On Philly

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