G. Love (Garrett Dutton) made his name over 20 years ago when he and his band, Special Sauce, released their first album. With the band, and as a solo artist, he’s been blending musical genres adventurously, though the blues has always been a thread that runs true through his music. On his new album, produced by Keb’ Mo’, G. Love weaves soul, hip-hop, folk, and jazz around blues lines in songs that mostly celebrate life.
The acoustic slide blues of “Shine On Moon,” featuring Keb’ Mo’, shimmers brightly as the guitar, harmonica, and Love’s vocals wend around one another as the singer praises rolling in his sweet woman’s arms by the light and warmth of the moon. “Birmingham” opens with a screaming B3 before rocketing off with phrases that jump along to a riff from the Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown.” The song urges getting up and carrying on again after being beaten down. Robert Randolph’s slide lays down a frenetic pace on the bridge, and Keb’ Mo’ layers his gravelly vocals beneath Love’s higher range vocals to add a galloping urgency to the song.
The harp-driven, folk patter “Diggin’ Roots” creates a laid-back atmosphere that mimics the process of digging into home and family and settling down, while in the shuffling, driving rootsy “She’s the Rock,” with a chorus reminiscent of Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock,” the singer praises his lover.
“Soul-B-Que,” featuring Roosevelt Collier, delivers a loose, soulful vibe that celebrates community and blends Hill Country blues, Stax soul, and hip-hop.
The Juice delivers joyful music that gets us moving and singing along with it.