Sometimes we go to Goodwill. Anything can happen at Goodwill. Anything. Sometimes the things that happen at Goodwill are awesome, like this weekend. I found a cassette that looked like the soundtrack to the 1990 film Cry Baby, Johnny Depp’s 1950’s take on Romeo and Juliet. But it wasn’t. I stumbled across a cassette that could only have happened in the early 90’s and sounds unlike anything else I’ve heard. G. Love & Special Sauce’s debut self-titled album could best be described as R&B hip-hop meets sloppy steel string blues. And it’s fucking great. Think Guitar Slim meets Beastie Boys.
So this is what I’ve been nodding my head to lately.
And I’ve been thinking to myself, “Damn, what a shame I’ve never heard of this before. Who are these guys?” So I found out. Remember this old chestnut, Milk & Cereal? Yeah, that Milk & Cereal. It’s G. Love and Special Sauce. But there’s more. Coca-Cola Company caught wind of G. Love’s passion for cold beverages and invited him on board their add campaign for the launch of Coke Zero.
Which is neat and all, but corporate advertising isn’t quite “in” these days. Luckily G. Love has made some great friends in the music industry in his 20 year career. If you’ve seen Jack Johnson live lately, it’s likely you saw G. Love opening for him. G. Love has released three solo albums on Jack Johnson’s label, Brushfire Records. The most recent of these albums, 2011’s Fixin’ To Die, just so happened to be produced by and performed with the Avett Brothers (lolwut?). It turns out, this whole R&B/folk/blues blend of pop music is kind of “in” these days, and G. Love & Special Sauce have been doing it since before some of us were born. Neat, huh?
Anyway, check this out. Here’s the title track from Fixin’ To Die. Yes, those are the Avett Brothers.
(Fixin’ To Die has been around for some years. Here are some other takes on the blues standard.)
Bukka White (who wrote it)
Bob Dylan (who recorded it on his debut album in 1962)
Robert Plant (you know, from Led Zeppelin)
(Okay, Robert Plant has done better. You don’t have to watch that. Seriously. Don’t. I’m sorry for him. This is why we can’t have Led Zeppelin reunions. RIP Bonzo.)
As it stands, G. Love & Special Sauce are still going strong. They just played SXSW last weekend, debuting new material from their upcoming album, Sugar. Here’s the first single from it, Nothing Quite Like Home
So. That’s why you buy music you’ve never heard before. Because anything can happen at Goodwill.