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G. Love & Special Sauce


G. Love & Special Sauce CD: Long Way Down - live
Record Label: 101 Distribution
by John Noyd
March 2010

Deconstructing preconceptions, Philadelphia’s G. LOVE set 1993 on fire as a “white boy” daring to integrate the blues into hip-hop. Seventeen years later he’s still tearing up the joint, jamming and jiving. Appearing March 5th at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall and March 6th at Madison’s Barrymore, G. was kind enough to sit down with MAXIMUM INK and answer a few questions.

Maximum Ink: According to Muddy Waters the blues had a child and called it rock and roll. Where does funk and hip-hop come in?
G. Love: I think funk was basically blues on the one. John Lee Hooker would do his blues on the one and then James Brown and that generation flipped the backbeat and it was a whole new sound. Hip Hop is basically musically simplified funk with the voice of the youth on top. Hip Hop became the voice of the next generation (for the past 3 generations).

MI: You put out an album last year in Australia. Will it be released in the U.S.?
G. Love: We released an independent record called “Long Way Down” in Oz. I don’t think it will come out here. I’m currently working on another Australian project with an Aussie DJ - Plutronics. He sends me beats I send back lyrics, harp and guitar I record on garage band and then he freaks it out and we are making some dope shit all during a time when there have been a lot of changes both in musical styles and the way the industry operates.

MI: What’s the worst experience you’ve had with the “industry”?
G. Love: I guess the day I got dropped by Sony was bad after eight years- then I got dropped by Universal after I released what I thought was one of my best records “The Hustle”. I really couldn’t believe it. Then we stayed with Brushfire and released Lemonade which did great and was independent. Times are tough for everybody right now so we all have to just take whatever comes and push on through. Keep our heads up and deal.

MI: Which is more frightening - a half-filled venue or a room full of music executives?
G. Love: Neither.  I will guarantee you however stiff or small the crowd is they will get loose!! I used to play eight hours a day on the street and most of the time no one was watching so I’m happy as long as there’s a bartender and a sound guy.

MI: It’s been a few years anything Wisconsin needs to know?
G. Love:We do our thing, mixing old joints with new joints, free styling, plenty of musical improvisation and generally getting down until we are all sweaty and the crowd is going off.  People are vibing and partying and just when it gets on the edge of complete sloppiness we play our best song and say goodnight.

MI: What can you tell us about your opener Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad? I imagine psychedelic reggae fits nicely with hip-hop blues.
G. Love: Don’t miss these boys! Giant Panda is dope. Tight as that booty. See you soon!

Purchase Long Way Down - live on Amazon.com
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