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Coast To Coast Motel
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Modern-day bluesman G. Love, known to more skeptical ears as 23-year-old blue-eyed devil Garrett Dutton, shone briefly as hip-hop's great white hope when he released a debut record that paired blues-based playing with vocals that approximated rap. Though he was initially grouped with acts like Beck and Soul Coughing--pale faces who flirted with hip-hop but stuck to rock esthetics--we know now that young Master Dutton has far less in common with those inventive postmodernists than he does with, say, Jamie Walters, the pretty-boy pop dullard of Beverly Hills 90210 fame.
Coast to Coast Motel, the singer/guitarist's second shot with his bass and drums ensemble Special Sauce, does not even grant us the minor pleasures of his debut's "blues rap" novelty. This time, Mr. G focuses primarily on the R&B sounds of New Orleans, where the band recorded the album. That G. Love counts John Hammond Jr. an inspiration is telling: What Coast to Coast Motel offers is bratty suburban recreations of Hammond's competent but uninspired blueblood appropriations of classic blues music. New Special Sauce tunes like "Kiss & Tell" and "Bye Bye Baby" are absolutely fine but inauthentic and unnecessary given the breadth of great blues already available to motivated listeners. And any college-educated kid, like Garrett, who insists on singing with the slurred drawl of elderly sharecroppers needs to be slapped silly. --Roni Sarig
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is what this album has to offer: it's got its own unique, creative sound - as every G. Love album - and it will grow on you like pleasure. I've had this album for several years, and I still get so down into it every time I hear it.
If you like artists from all walks of music because they create their own vein of music without fitting in an easy box ( e.g. B. Harper, Morcheeba, Sublime, M. Ndegeacelo, J. Buckley, GURU, Albert King, the Beatles and M. Davis), this will undoubtedly satisfy you. It took a few listening to grow on me, as I had other G. Love albums which sound a bit rawer.
Discovering G. Love is one of those rare times when you think: damn, I found an incredible artist with a new sound. A sound that's not just new, but simply feels so good you can't quite believe it. Perhaps playing everyday since childhood and growing up in a musical environment helped, but this is someone with immense raw talent.
The sound bites help, but are not sufficent to get a real feel for this sound. Hey G. Love, may you keep putting out this quality and variety for many years!
Unlike overly reverent preservationists like John Hammond Jr. and Eric Claption, G. Love's take on the blues is similar to the tongne-in-cheek mimicry of urban hipsters the John Spencer Blues Explosion. However, unlike the Blues Explosion' hybrid blaxploitation/trailer trash sound of discs like ACME and ORANGE, G. Love produces a sound that is softer, yet more beat driven, a sort of cocktail blues for the po-mo set.
I think that one of the charms of non-Southerners G. Love and John Spencer is that they are making the kinds of blues-influenced pop that Southern men used to make and seem unable to produce anymore.