Garrett Dutton, better known as "G. Love", has been wailing on his harmonica and stringing out guitar melodies behind his prototype blues voice for the better part of two decades. Best known as being a close buddy of mellow acoustic groover Jack Johnson, G. Love has paved a solid career of his own by mixing alternative hip-hop grooves with melodic soothers that have the ladies clamoring for the stage in his high intensity live performances.
While G. Love has found moderate success with this formula, after years of the same old, same old he figures to switch up the pace and get "back to his roots" with his most recent release, entitled "Fixin' to Die". The producers, Scott and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers fame, leave their mark on G. Love's new work which is evident only seconds in to the lead off title track. The second track, "The Road", is a classic alt-country/bluegrass influenced rocker that features a banjo and bass back beat that allows G. Love to flourish when he takes lead vocals and lets his harmonica rip in between verses. One of the funnest moments comes in the fourth track, "Milk and Sugar". G. Love always has to use some sort of drink metaphor to talk about his ladies, and this time he talks about how every morning he needs his milk and sugar when "that road is long and the times are hard". A music video of the song being recorded in a church turned recording studio in Asheville, North Carolina shows G. Love and the Avetts smiling and foot-tapping to no end as they croon- "Make that coffee strong and sweet and fill my cup".
While the album flattens and nearly falters in a few ways- an attempt at Paul Simon's classic "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", and "Just Fine", a song that would seem to fit on one of G. Love's albums from years past, it hits its mark the best when the Avett's influence comes through the most. Back to back tracks "You've Got to Die" and "Walk On" resonate the most because G. Love drops everything unneccessary for stripped-down jams that are made for keeping you company on a late night drive.
Standout Tracks: "The Road", "Milk and Sugar"
Weak Links: "Pale Blue Eyes", "Get Goin'"