Helping a friend get settled in the area - and went flipping through the CD collection that came along. I did a double take when I saw the good ol' "G. Love and Special Sauce" first album, self-titled. What memories that brought back - in high school - of finding this new sound... when I was kind of tired of the same old stuff at the time (read: grunge rock...) G Love with Special Sauce was true feelgood music, true to some jazzy, bluesy, hip-hop roots with a taste of other influences. I didn't need political lyrics or any statements more than the background message in the melody - simmer down or shake your body. G Love catered with something unique and better yet, just fun. (exception in a few songs - how can an artist not have a message? Listen to "This Ain't Livin'" and a few other songs on their other albums. Typically the songs are simple - you'll get the feel that G Love's not out to save the world - he's out to enjoy it).
In between G Love & Special Sauce found greater success with each album released. Not quite in order - Yeah It's that Easy and Philadelphonic were even better - Coast to Coast and Electric Mile both strayed from their sound for me, but I appreciate the experimentation and listen to them equally. The lineup of all their albums is a must have. Their Greatest Hits album is only a handful - picking the low-lying fruit of their sounds.
The Hustle came out in '04 under Jack Johnson's label. The first without Special Sauce and it showed. I liked it, but I missed the groove that Prescott and Clemens brought (the Special Sauce of the band).
Lemonade stands out as a return of Special Sauce to the mix - full circle. Not only that, but accompanied by a really great lineup of guests (check the song list). G Love helped carry the momentum of the genre that I like the most... I'm not going to even label it. But you can visit Brushfire Records, or search for his guest artists, or similiar artists - to get a feel. For a band that formed in '92, this is quite a run - and Lemonade is the perfect sound and feel for any time of day. Front porch lounging... driving... beachfires...
I had the chance of seeing them twice on the Lemonade tour in central coast CA - I'll catch them whenever I can. Bonus album of G Love (Garrett Dutton) is now available with the raw, first recordings before Special Sauce was even in the picture. Listen to that, then listen to this, and buy yourself the spectrum in the middle. These guys are just too damned fun not to have in your collection.