Philadelphia hipsters G. Love & Special Sauce will peddle their laid-back, sloppy blues style to the Springs on April 23. Although it doesn't seem that long ago that the band released their ode to chic alcoholism, Cold Beverage, or the swooning doggerel, Baby's Got Sauce, the band feels it has enough hits to release a greatest hits album. Greatest hits albums are often a sign of artistic stagnation or redirection. Does this mean the beginning of the end, or the beginning of a new beginning for the band? Who cares, get me a cold beverage.
G. Love, born Garrett Dutton, began his music career singing in the streets of his hometown, Philadelphia, where he picked up strong elements of hip-hop along with his signature "sloppy-mouth" blues and R & B. He departed the city of brotherly love in 1994 and teamed up with the Special Sauce band in Boston. Originally composed of Jeffrey "Thunderhouse" Clemens on drums and Jimmy Prescott on bass, the band released a debut album the same year. Sales were modest and the airplay was limited, yet the trio soon became a favorite on the college circuit. An MTV video for Cold Beverage became something of party anthem, like the Beastie Boys' Fight for Your Right, and a place on the H.O.R.D.E. tour furthered the band's success among the young and the hip.
Their second album, Coast to Coast Motel, released in 1995, didn't sell as well as their first but maintained the band's momentum with eclectic sounds and rhythms. After dropping Prescott in 1996 and replacing him with the new bassist "King Kane," the band released their next album, Yeah, It's That Easy, a more soulful effort reminiscent to their first album, in 1997. Two more followed: Philadelphonic in 1999 and Electric Mile in 2001. G-Love and crew have undoubtedly retained the eclectic influences in their most recent albums that were so important to their earlier success, but they have failed to attain the popularity of earlier hits, raising suspicious eyebrows of profiteering in light of the greatest hits release. Ah, who cares, get me another cold beverage.
Singer and songwriter Tristan Prettyman will infuse the night with a bit of surfer hipness, opening for G. Love & Special Sauce. A Southern California native, Prettyman's first love is surfing, but singing and songwriting is something she stumbled onto early in life. She is tired of comparisons to fellow singer/songwriters Ani DiFranco and Jewel, but similarities to the heavily surf-themed singer Jack Johnson stand firm. Mellow acoustic rhythms and a breathy voice helped land her song Anything at All on the surf video Shelter. Bottoms and surf's up.
-- Aaron Menza
G. Love & Special Sauce with Tristan Prettyman
32 Bleu, 32 South Tejon St.
Wednesday, April 21 at 9 p.m.
For tickets or information, call 599-5664 or visit www.32bleu.com