The first time I heard the leader of the band Garrett Dutton’s music (and saw how damn cute this guy is) was on my TV back when he filled in at Woodstock ’99 for the band Sugar Ray, who couldn’t make it for their scheduled slot on the bill. I was amazed at what I was hearing and seeing. He was seated on stage in a 1970s baby blue suit with his notorious fedora (prior to their new rise in fashion), his electric guitar, and his harmonica. What flowed out from him and his bandmates was astonishing, more astonishing was that I had no clue who they were, never heard of them. . . . why had such a great artist been hidden underground so long?
I found my answer years later when I YouTube’d his name and found the videos he had made at his home, showing Dutton completely inebriated. They were hard to watch – they were that bad – I figured this was an ongoing issue (as the dates of his uploads would tell) worst, I felt like he just let such a wonderful gift slip: himself.
He clearly struggles with alcohol dependency and sometimes his “sauce” gets the better of him.
I’m extremely happy to say he’s back, sober and blooming, or shall I say booming? Both fit.
They hit the stage at 9:00 p.m. with their blues-infused rhythms and rhymes at the always-filthy but packed-to-the-gunwales-with-fun, Opera House in downtown Toronto, and I am one happy concert goer! The lights shine down and on stage you can see the band with mammoth smiles and jumps in their steps that are always to be an instant crowd rouser.
The on-again, off-again solo artist to leading band member, The Special Sauce will be playing as a trio for this tour with “The Houseman” Jeffrey Clemens on drums and Timo Shanko on upright bass. Dutton, now sporting an amazing custom-made electric guitar, properly designated as the “G Love Black and Blue Airline ’59 3P”.
The set list was more than I could ask for; it was full of his old-school classics like ‘Recipe’, and ‘Cold Beverage’, 2004’s popular ‘Booty Call’, and mixed up with the new hits he’s had recently, like ‘Peace, Love and Happiness’, ‘Hot Cookin’, as well as ‘Beautiful’.
They finished the night with some real kick-ass covers of Biz Marki’s ‘Just A Friend’ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Gin and Juice’.
Everything was perfect and the songs couldn’t have sounded tighter. I’m happy to say that the man known as G Love has got his feet back on the ground, guitar in his hand, harmonica in mouth, and he’s a sobering delight to see live. . . or in the car, or making dinner. . . his music is pure heartening!
For more information on G Love and the Special Sauce, check out: www.myspace.com/glovespecialsauce
And enter for your chance to win a G Love signature guitar: www.eastwoodguitars.com/eastwood-contest