365 Days of Album Recommendations – Oct 25

G. Love & Special Sauce – G. Love & Special Sauce


The early to mid 90s were a great time for what came to be called AltBlues. Chris Whitley had come out with his debut in the early part of the decade. Kelly Joe Phelps debuted in ’94. Corey Harris debuted around the same time, and Alvin Youngblood Hart followed shortly thereafter.

Yours truly was in the mix back then too; Preacher Boy and The Natural Blues came out in ’95.

That release came not long after G. Love debuted with this album, and I remember getting lumped into a lot of the same conversations. We played together on a bill once at Slim’s, and while I think we were up to pretty different things, I could also feel the connection.

I loved this album then, and I still love it now. The rhythm section is just obscene. I take this album with me every time I go to mix someone else’s record, cuz this and Teatro are the gold standard for drum and bass sounds of a certain type …

G. Love is a cool cat, man. He’s lost me a few times over the years with turns he’s taken, but then he comes back with something new, and I love him all over again. Has he ever bettered this debut? Maybe not, I’m not sure. But that doesn’t really matter. He made a great album. That’s a great thing. And more than that, he made a record that REALLY showed that country blues could be alive, could be well, could synthesize new things and morph and pivot, and could write songs. No bullshit 12-bar shuffles and lame-ass guitar solos, and sounds about house rent and evil women. This was fresh. It’s still fresh.

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