Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Not So New Release Tuesday: "G. Love and Special Sauce"

Everyone has heard of G. Love in some way or another. If you haven't, then your musical tastes are very bland and you listen to too much corporate radio. Anyone with any sort of exposure to G. Love and Special Sauce, has had a sample of the 1994 eponymous debut release. It is the start of what has come to be known as the Philadelphonic sound: a mash-up of hip-hop, funk and blues. They are a simple blues trio: G. Love on guitar and harmonica, Jimmy Jazz on the stand-up bass, and Houseman on percussion. But this is not your typical slow back water blues. The sound is completed by G. Love's vocals, almost rapping the lyrics, but still maintaining the musical quality.

Instrumentally, it is sloppy, but the funk and blues styles are not about perfection. Lyrically, the album ranges from the socially conscious to the absolute party anthem and just about everywhere in between. The album starts out strong with the blues standard The Things That I Used To Do, with the G. Love lyrical twist. It is definately recorded live as you can hear G. clear his throat in the second verse. The old time blues homage continues with the second cut Blues Music. While difficult to understand some of the words at times, the simple guitar pick and strum and brushed drums complement the tribute to the music that is the band's inspiration.

The strength of the album is in the more lively tracks, like the down and dirty Garbage Man and the amuzing, riff-heavy Fatman. The lyrics just flow and meld with the underlying bass groove and simple strums and drums. Tributes to chilling out on the porch in the neighborhood, as in Rhyme For The Summertime and the days on the blacktop in Shooting Hoops add to the laid back style, yet still make this a great summer chill-out album. Even the socially minded lyrical switch off with friend from Boston, Jasper This Ain't Living has the vibe that permeates every song on the album. And listen for the plaintive wail of Houseman in the background.

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the songs that made the album what it is. What can be labeled as one of the stranger love songs, Baby's Got Sauce is a straight out funk-blues groove telling the story of a man in a relationship and his trials and troubles. Getting slapped with a frying pan, that's gotta hurt. And the ultimate party song, the drinking song to rival all drinking songs, Cold Beverage. It is on every fraternity and sorority party music list, it started the weekend in Philly as one of the stations would play it at 5 on Friday. Stick it in the fridge!

The total album is a complete blues groove with hip-hop flavoring, ready for the day at the beach or just chilling in the yard.

The Things That I Used to Do
Garbage Man
Cold Beverage
Shooting Hoops

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Blogger Pix said...

g love is a quirky one isnt he!

lol i believe my all time fav would have to be "cold beverage". you'd think its ridiculous subject matter but who couldnt do with a cold bev. anywayz lovin the blog *thumbs up* good post

Wednesday, October 11, 2006  

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