Get to the Gig: G. Love & Special Sauce

In January of 1993, drummer Jeffrey Clemons discovered one Garrett Dutton – later known as G. Love – playing guitar in a Boston pub. The two teamed up, were soon joined by bassist Jimi Prescott, and within a year had produced their self-titled debut album under the moniker G. Love & Special Sauce. That album’s lead singles, “Cold Beverage” and “Baby’s Got Sauce,” netted them national attention thanks to a late-night debut performance on Conan O’Brien and music videos in rotation on MTV. From there, momentum gained quickly, and G. Love & Special Sauce has grown their global reputation for bombastic live shows ever since.

While G. Love & Special Sauce’s unique mixture of dirt-road blues, alternative rock, and boom-bap was startling in the early 90s, their willingness to blur and break genre distinctions hinted at a mighty sea change to come for pop music, one that would birth fusion genres from trip-hop to nu-metal. They weren’t alone in their foresight: the same instinct reverberates throughout Beck’s major label debut Mellow Gold, released two months before G. Love & Special Sauce.


The maturation of the Special Sauce recipe is on full display on their latest release, 2015’s Love Saves the Day. The album nods to the playful pastiche that brought the band fame twenty years earlier, but its foundation is unmistakably built on straightforward rock n’ roll. G. Love continues to fill the role of savvy collaborator, a talent that has previously landed names like Dr. John, Jack Johnson, John Medeski, Blackalicious, and Marc Broussard in the liner notes of his discography; on Love Saves the Day, Americana icon Lucinda Williams provides a star turn on a hard-driving duet cover of Leadbelly’s “New York City” and brassy LA-based contemporaries Ozomatli add heft to “Let’s Have a Good Time.”

G. Love & Special Sauce return to Madison on Thursday, January 11th, for their fourth concert at Majestic. Their outstanding live performances stand as testament to over two decades of relentless touring, and we’re lucky to have them back.


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This post was written by guest writer, and Majestic’s graphic design intern, Sam Faulkner. Sam writes, but rarely for public consumption. He also takes photos, sells books, and tries not to worry.

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