Emma and I had the pleasure of interview Garrett Dutton AKA G Love just after their Australian tour.
G Love and Special Sauce are 3 piece Blues Hip Hop band that played at the Blues Festival this year as well as shows in Melbourne and Sydney. They are fantastic live, the energy and talent are incredible. Read on for our interview at 7 am in the morning….. Much coffee was needed!
Hi it is Jen from Music Injection here, how are you? great How are you doing? I have my intern here called Emma if it is ok with you she will listen in. Sure!
We were at your recent Melbourne show in the front row and you guys amazing!
Well I had had a tough night that night honestly, that was a really tough show as we did two huge shows at the blues fest and we were all tired and it was the day the jetlag caught up to us and we had had a late night at the blues fest and then I was still spun out.
Well it did not show, you had so much energy!
Thats good! Jimi Jazz was especially good that night.
Yeah he certainly was, we were right in front of him and the sweat was flying! Emma was the youngest in the crowd that night by far, most of the crowd were in their 40’s and 50’s I say. You did give us lots of looks and smiles and it was a great connection.
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You are from Philadelphia that is the birth place of Hip Hop and Folk Music, has this influenced you unique sound?
Yeah I think so Philadelphia like you said is the birth place of Hip Hop and one of my influences there and the Folk became quite popular like Peter, Paul and Mary. Which lead to me to play the Harmonica which lead to me playing the Blues, and because they had a Folk Society actually quite a few blues people would come through there so it was quite a strong live music scene there. It really helped me to become who I am. Apart from that there was a big street busking team and there was a lot of artists out there, jugglers to magicians, a guy playing Mozart on wine glasses, ( all laughing) people playing in drum circles, there was everything and the I lived there from an early age and I was living right in the city where it was all going on so I thrived on the creativity around, I mean the stage could be where ever you want it to be you know? I really enjoyed the experience of being a busker for many years like it gave me the foundations to be a really hip performer and you can sit on the street and play for nobody or play for people making fun of you and you do to for the love and just playing.
So that is what made you decide to join so many genres together or did it just turn out that way?
Well that was never like a conscious decision like the style just kinda really flowed like a direct result of who I am and the kind of music. Because I have played Folk Music and I’ve played Blues so that the kind of music I was playing but due to the kind of generation I was playing to, I was like one of the teenage generations to be involved in Hip Hop, I am a couple of years younger than the bestie boys and when they released their hits and stuff I was 14 or 15 so all this great hip hop was coming out and I was just in a place in my life, like when you are 13 or 15 you are like making up your own ideas and what type of music that you like you know what I mean? So I was just like one of the first generation to listen to hip hop. Even though we were city kids and I had a lot of friends who were black kids that we friends from playing basketball so to be a rapper at that point you had to be black to be a rapper that is just what it was so when I first heard The Beastie Boys it was like come over here and check this out, put these headphones on and The Beastie Boys were on and they said they are white like you! I said ‘No they are not white” and they kept saying no they are white like you and I was like Really? I still never thought that I could be a rapper but we did grow up in a Hip Hop way but later on I was started taking my music seriously and getting quite heavily into it and one day i was just sitting on the street and I finished playing my rift and I said oh Shit I got it now and I just came up with my own style like that. That is the long answer to your question that you asked! it just kinda happened it was not contrived or anything. I never said that I want to be a little bit of Hip Hop and Blues, or mix those two things together. It was not like that it just happened.
Emma: What song do you remember most from your childhood?
Let’s see maybe that song Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan had an impact on me as I thought that was like a modern day rap. I was like This is fricken cool!
I don’t think Bob Dylan in particular influenced my style but he was like rapping the blues in that song and that is what I ended up being a Blues rapper (all laughing)
Jen :You inspired Emma to start playing the Harmonica.
Oh Emma does now? Oh cool!
Now you have so many songs how do you do decide on your set lists?
Well that is a good question! We kinda freestyle all our sets, and let them slide but there are certain runs that we get into that where we get a group of songs that flow in together and then we get into some material when we are on tour, now we are promoting our new record sugar so a lot of songs we draw heavily from that record and also our first record had a lot of our hits on it and are fans long time favorites so we do kinda play a lot from that record then the cream of the other records just rises to the top and we play those ones and from that we try to mix in some that we had not played in a while and people were requesting on line or any blues cover that we were playing at that time, we want to put in there. So we keep it pretty loose and in a way we talk about it every night I ask the boys ‘Do you want to play anything particular?’ Sometimes they say, Lets play this song we have not played it for a while.
Have you ever forgotten the lyrics during a show? If so what did you do?
Like everyone I mess up.
Well you have so many more lyrics than other singers!
I forget the lyrics a fair bit but I figure it is ok if you recover. If you forget your lyrics it is not the end of the world but you have to freestyle so that you make it through tho the rest of the song.
You decided to release an album for Australia (and NZ) only, called “Long Way Down” your 10th album and your first independent release. That is pretty special to us, can you explain why Australia is so important to you?
Well it is just like Australia is kind of um, we feel like it is amazing. I love the country, I love the beaches, the surf, the wine, the food and the people and I love going down there. On the business side, Australia has been really accepting of Grass Roots correct? Yes. So like a lot of our peers have made it down there like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, and I always feel like Ben Harper who is a peer of mine has had such a big influence on music in Australia as Xavier Rudd and John Butler who has become huge Rock Stars down there and are playing this sort of music. I mean they are popular in the US but a whole different level in Australia. That is because like check it out,no one in the US plays lap guitar but because Ben Harper came over and played Weissenborn guitar all these younger players like Xavier and John Butler are like well I wanna play lap guitar. So you know for us we always thought that man, our music should be huge in Australia and has always been a challenge for us. We have always had huge crowds at the Festivals but we have always kinda wondered why can’t we get a break in Australia so we have done some things over the years because we care a lot about the music down there and wanting to crack through it. Like I did that Long Way Down record down there and I did a collaboration record with Plutonic and Moonshine Laminate and that is a record that I am super proud of and that was only released in Australia. You know we have a lot of love for Australia and just trying to get a little back! (Laughing)
Emma: When you sing that “your baby got Sauce” what does that actual mean? Oh I don’t even know I mean, but it means, if you are saucy, it means you are sassy, a strong attitude and personality, just a strong woman with an attitude and that is the kinda woman that I like and that song was just kind of about thinking about the girl I wanted to get, I did not have a girlfriend when I wrote that one, but I was trying to get one! (Laughing)
Emma: What were you actually doing when you wrote Cold Beverages?
I was sitting in a store waiting to get my brakes repaired and I wrote down that song. I was in the car shop and I saw the word Cold Beverage and I thought that is a funny word, I like Cold Beverages, and that is a weird word and I wrote the rap and then went home and wrote the music for it. When I played it for the band they said what the hell are you talking about but they love it. Someone said to me, I hope you like playing that song Cold Beverages and you will be playing everyday for the rest of your life and I have! (Laughing)
Emma: Tell us about your new album Sweet n Blues Sugar Outtakes that you announced on Monday.
That is like an EP of some of the outtakes that did not make the record. We are going to do that. It is just a 6 song EP and will be on vinyl and digital only.
Emma: You love playing the Byron Bay Blues festival was this year as good as you thought?
Yeah we were so happy to be back there.
Emma: Are there any funny stories you can share?
It was fun playing with Jack. Jack Johnston happened to be down their on Vacation and he has been off the road for a bit and he has not been playing shows in a while. He was super excited to get on stage although it was not planned, I just asked him if he wanted to sit in and he said yes. So we decided to do a couple of songs the first night and that was great then people found out that Jack was going to sit in the second night and all the press photographers were trying to get shots. I could not tell the press when he was coming on as I did not know. When he did come on stage they ran up into the pit to try and get the shot, then he would not come on so they went away and someone else would sit in and they would come running back like Christy Lee.It was just funny watching the photographers and what they wheels do from the stage. Jack was great, i think he had a good time on the stage and think he realized that he missed being on the road a little bit.
Well thanks for talking to us we better let you go now, we appreciated your time.
I appreciated yours! thanks a lot Emma! Me and my boy are going to go and watch the Washington Red Socks play in Washington Nationals right now.
Wow! That sounds great, have a great time.
I will see you guys later!
Yes for sure, Cya