Concert Sutra Hangin’ With G Love and Special Sauce
Written by terri sapp
Photographed by Leah Yetter
© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved
Since the day I started writing these things each month, I have patiently awaited focusing all of my attention on G Love and Special Sauce. November 18, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia, opening act Blackalicious joined G Love and Special Sauce at the Roxy for one of the highpoints of our time with the Concert Sutra. G Love is Garrett Dutton (harmonica, vocals, and guitar), and the Special Sauce is comprised of Jimi Jazz (string bass) and Houseman (drums). Most of the times I have seen these guys play, they seem to invite additional “special sauce” to add to the flava, and the Roxy show was no different. G Love and Special Sauce have been touring through the Fall, and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
The first notes of the night that come out of G Love are from his harmonica, which is why G Love has my heart! When he plays the harmonica, I feel my world is complete. “Get Ur Shit Together” is just G Love with his harmonica and guitar. G is the funkiest, flyest, and freshest! He makes my heart aflutter… Houseman and Jimi Jazz join in on “Friday Night (Hundred Dollar Bill)” from Philadelphonic, making for the perfect opportunity for an Atlanta (or Hotlanta, as G likes to call it) freestyle. These boys really know how to make ya shake it! What a relief to get one of your favorite songs so early in the show, “Give It To You” from G’s album The Hustle hit the spot. This is the best beat ever! Houseman really rounds this song out with his backup vocals behind the drums. Songs like “Give It To You” display the magnitude of which G Love and Special Sauce have been steadily consistent through the years with songs that you wanna hear over and over. The heavy reggae beat is a sure fire way to my playlist! Along the same lines, from The Hustle, “Booty Call” offers the crowd a fun sing along with a catchy tune. And who wouldn’t want a “Booty Call” from G Love??? “Ain’t nothing wrong with a booty call…I can tell that we gon be friends.” In cases like tonight, the booty call sometimes ends with a bit of the old “Hand Jive…” Flashbacks rule!
I, too, get the blues from my “Garbage Man.” This old school crowd favorite oozes with sex appeal and nasty grooves. Jimi Jazz thumps my core with his bass line. Another from the G Love and Special Sauce 1994 album, “Eyes Have Miles” stirs things up with its head bobbing beats and guitar, bass, and drum solos. Houseman radiates from behind his kit on “Eyes Have Miles.” Truly a skilled and smooth drummer. Like butta! G Love was on fire all night with his unrehearsed flows. He busted a few minutes worth of a herbalicious Hotlanta G Love jam…freestyle! I have such high regard for anyone who can write a great song, much less spit it on the spot! Our brief time with G at the “after party” even entailed a group freestyle between G, Z, and some of the other boys from Augusta (that you’ll hear more about later). Amazing abilities! The Hustle’s “Don’t Drop It” keeps the show going in the right direction. Straight to the “Back of the Bus.” “All the cool kids in the back of the bus…she got the salad, but I got the dressin”…good times.
“Dreamin” of G Love sounds just like this Philadelphonic gem. NOTHING beats the dance that this song inspires in G Love. I could watch him play his instruments all day, I believe. All this “Dreamin” evokes in me the desire for a “Cold Beverage!” The first time I ever heard G Love play live, was the first time I ever heard G Love. “Cold Beverage” was the melody that permeated my thoughts until I could get myself to my first G Love album. “Stick it in the fridge. Stick it in the fridge. Stick it in the fridge. Stick it in the fridge!” To top off our “Cold Beverage” was a taste of G’s version of Kanye West’s “Gold Digger!” “Get down girl, go on get down. Get down girl, go on get down. Boogey, boogey, boogey to the funky sound.” Houseman delivers just that on his drum solo. Add Jimi Jazz and G on guitar and harmonica, and it is Funky Jam City, my most beloved town. What better to go with a “Cold Beverage” than some “Hot Cookin’” with G Love and Special Sauce? The perfect recipe ends with a mean harmonica any day. “This Ain’t Livin” has been nicely polished over the years. This laid back ditty about life always welcomes the audience to join in. Jimi Jazz and Houseman are quite a pair, chiefly when assisting each other on their respective solos.
“Honor and Harmony” from Philadelphonic is a dance provoking refrain with an immensely fetching tune. And there goes the G dance again. I adore the guitar riff throughout “Honor and Harmony.” “Drop Bombs” is no doubt one of the most politically driven songs that G Love has played all night. “I don’t wanna drop bombs on you…1, 2, 3, this is a song about unity…There’s enough money in the vault to buy World Peace, but instead of making peace, we bombing…” All that protest, and still shaking it and keeping it funky fly fresh! What a way to go out for a set break! Although I feel confident that G Love will come back for a second set, I still feel myself suffering from a taste of separation anxiety! I yearn for his Philadelphonic funk! My body reacts with uncontrollable dancing anytime these fellas are in the room playing a song!
The second set was somewhat shorter than the first, but what it lacked in quantity, it made up in quality. First off, G Love comes out alone again to share a couple of sweet love songs with the faithful Hotlanta crowd. “I Love You” says it all…we love you, too, G Love! The sentiment is mutual! “I Love You” sounds like the type of blues song that would bring a lady to tears with stories of lost love. On the contrary, love doesn’t leave G Love. Instead, he has EVERY Georgia peach in the house screaming “Gimme Some Lovin’.” Apparently, “Gimme Some Lovin’” woke G Love right up outta his bed, and forced him to spend the morning in the bathroom writing it. “Give me some lovin early in the morning. I just woke up with this appetite. Come on give me lovin in the morning light…” G Love strumming his guitar and softly singing this euphonic ballad feelingly touches my heart. “Gimme Some Lovin’” is the type of song that makes the ladies close their eyes and sway with joy.
Still solo, G Love is joined by his handy harmonica for “Fixin’ To Die,” which revives memories of the Old West. “Fixin’ To Die” is G Love style “Country” music. Anytime during this number, you might expect to see one challenge another to a dual. For sure the most weighty harmonica in the whole set! “Superhero Brotha” is apparently a blues song about being in the South. I really love it when G Love plays solo, sweet and slow. However, I can’t get over all of the ASSHOLES in the building who can’t SHUT UP for twenty minutes to let the folks who are actually there to listen to the music be able to HEAR IT! NOBODY PAYS (we paid parking, at least) TO GO TO A CONCERT TO HEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU PLAN TO DO AFTER THE SHOW, OR WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU AT WORK THAT DAY, OR HOW MUCH YOU’VE HAD TO DRINK!!! I digress, sorry, I had to vent. Nothing bugs me more than having to struggle to hear G Love over all of the chatty bitches around me (including, and especially you, muscle head)! I think it was when I heard G Love and Special Sauce open up for 311 that G Love broke out “The Pussy Song” seemingly just so all the loud asshole guys would shut up and listen!!! (Pet peeves are a bitch)
The Special Sauce joins G Love on a song usually played with Jack Johnson, “Rodeo Clowns.” Unfortunately, no Jack. On the other hand, we did get some hot rappers from Augusta, GA to help the Special Sauce entertain us. The “First Born Jam” was another of the freestyle fests that broke out this evening. The guys from the First Born Crew broke it down on the real. My most cherished moments with G Love over the years always seem to occur when he pulls out the Chocolate Sauce! “Street rappers” plus G Love and Special Sauce equals pure bliss! Particularly when the rappers start belting out David Bowie’s “Fame!” The First Born Crew guys were cool, and right on time. “I-76” from Yeah, It’s That Easy has almost an Allman Brothers vibe. Kind of like G Love’s version of Southern Rock.
What a relief when Jimi Jazz hits the bass line to rock the box in “Baby’s Got Sauce.” This qualifies as HOT SAUCE! “Baby’s Got Sauce” is certifiably love making music, equipped with the swerve. “And my baby’s got sauce…your baby ain’t sweet like mine…she does what she wants to, cause, ah, she’s my boss. Please don’t tell my friends about the situation, cause, like, they think I’m on some extended vacation, cause I don’t get out and see my boys anymore. Only time I leave my house is to go to the store for some more of what she wants…what she want me for…what could she want this time? Yo, I’m all hers…” Lucky bitch! An extended “Sauce” jam stirs the crowd with G Love’s guitar and eventually ends with a blues inspired finale.
On the way out, G Love and Special Sauce take a moment to introduce the band and say goodbye to the fans the G Love way! Jimi Jazz first gave a bit of bass, and then Houseman kicked it on the drums. Subsequently, G Love takes the stage with ONLY his harmonica, which is just the formula to get the fire going! G also finishes with a heartfelt salutation, “Yours truly, G Love and Special Sauce, since 1993, no additives, no preservatives…peace out to everybody up here in Atlanta…we love YOU…we’ll see you next time!” For me, the climax of the night came when G Love broke loose with his harmonica, dancing and shaking his shoulders, running in place, and battling the drums and bass with his harmonica talents. I KNOW I wasn’t the only one in the house completely drooling.
Thanks to G Love’s peeps, Leah and I were excitingly privy to the after show festivities, which began with me bugging G to take some fun shots of our totally fresh Adidas hanging out together, and eventually ended with G Love, members of the First Born Crew, including Z (who was totally cool), and some other fellas impromptu free styling in a circle for the party people. It was quite fitting, from the festivities, that G Love’s brown high top Adidas with orange stripes would read, “We are the superlative conspiracy.” I LOVE IT!! I have always been a big fan of G Love AND all of his Special Sauce, but after this most wonderful night on their latest tour, I’m a G-junkie for life! The guys suddenly got an itch to start a song (this is probably what these guys do when they get together), so someone got the beat box going, and the wave began. G Love even rapped about his son, and his son discovering his balls! Hilarious! Maybe one day, this off the cuff “hit” session will see the light of day…in the end, the guys were wishing they had captured their fun on tape, but no one had been recording…so we thought! They agreed that the moment would live, because we all took it in. We’ll see…
For more information on G Love and Special Sauce, visit their website at http://www.philadelphonic.com/. For your chance to see what the hype is all about, go ahead and book your reservations to Aspen, Colorado on New Year’s Eve, or catch one of the following of their already booked shows in 2006: January 12, 2006 at Newby’s in Memphis, Tennessee; January 13, 2006 at House of Blues in New Orleans, Louisiana; January 14, 2006 at Gypsy Ballroom in Dallas, Texas; February 3, 2006 at Sovereign of the Sea in Miami, Florida; and March 11, 2006 (311 Day) at Bicentennial Park in Miami, Florida.
Most importantly, make sure to catch the photo gallery from our fabulous night with G Love and Special Sauce courtesy of Leah Yetter, Photographer at: http://www.concertsutra.com/glove111805/index.htm.