by John Tarpley
This year's classes of incoming college freshmen were in utero when G. Love and Special Sauce's signature songs, "Cold Beverage" and "Baby's Got Sauce" were released and, no doubt, made popular by college kids of the mid-'90s. The mean music writer in me wants to scoff off the hippy-dippy, folk-hop act that's mutated into a Beck knockoff with a freakish will to survive as an irrelevant holdover from the golden age of frat rock. But then I remember that this writer was the first to remind guys in his old frat house that their "baby ain't sweet like mine." Also, the fact that G. Love and Special Sauce has released 10 albums since, including the latest, "Fixin' to Die," produced and co-performed by The Avett Brothers. It's the "Philadelphonic" mad blues scientist's newest shot at reviving his well-worn sound into a more rustic groove, complete with swampy Pentecostal percussion and a Booker "Bukka" White cover serving as the title track. (The album's attempts to redress Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" don't fare as well: You'll remember them for being audacious, not good.) So: irrelevant? Not as much as ambitious. And tenacious. And consistently popular. As always, expect him to pack a house with ease.
Check it out: "Fixin' to Die" (live with Avett Brothers)