From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia Mississippi: G. Love & Special Sauce release their ninth album as a band. I became curious about their very special sound when I had the opportunity to listen to the songs already before release. The album has been released on 24th June 2022.
G. Love & Special Sauce – About The Artists
G. Love are a US band from Philadelphia (the one in Pennsylvania). The band, which is active since 1992, is doing a very characteristic blend of trip hop, blues and alternative rock. The band is currently acting as a trio. The band lead is singer, guitarist and harmonica player Garrett Dutton, who is also known as G. Love. The other two band members are Jeffrey Houseman Clemens (drums, vocalist) and Jim Jimi Jazz Prescott (string bass). Dutton and Clemens are founding members of the project. Thereby, G. Love has also released three solo albums. The previous release has been The Juice in January 2020.
G. Love & Special Sauce – Philadelphia Mississippi – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 48 minutes.
1. Love From Philly (feat. Schoolly D & Chuck Treece)
The opener comes with a nice laid back style. Great groove. Like in most of the album, guest musicians lead to a certain additional flavor and style. This one feels very promising.
2. Mississippi (feat. Speech, Alvin YoungBlood Hart & RL Boyce)
The background melody of the second song cannot deny quite an influence of blues. The vocals, however, are mostly rap-alike. The song feels a bit of mixed up here and there, but it is straight and follows a clear concept. And: you just have to move to the groove. Thumbs up.
3. My Ball (feat. Freddie Fox and Jontavious Willis )
My Ball is one of my favorites. The song is simply cool and comes with a nice groove. Okay, the lyrics She’s my ball, my real ball is not the fanciest write ever, but these guys just give their songs a nice touch.
4. Guitar Man (feat. Christone & KingFish Ingram)
I am a bit confused about this song. Christone and KingFish Ingram are in fact the same person to me, a Mississippi-origin blues guitarist. Regardless of this casting issue, this song has a really nice blues touch. A love of groove, a bit of repetitive, but simply nice. G. Love and his musicians dare to go for a differnt musical route – and I enjoy exploring it with them.
Some bass groove, some guitar strums and some more volume here and there – that’s the song Kickin’. I would really not rate it as a good one if these guys wouldn’t go for this insanely unique groove. Some signature songwriting magic.
6. HipHopHarpin’ (feat. Alvin YoungBlood Hart)
For HipHopHarpin’, the trio is adding some support from the Memphis blues scene: Alvin YoungBlood Hart is another blues guitarist, which is part of Philadelphia Mississippi. The just two minute song feels like a virtuos experience, almost has a touch of jazz.
7. Laughing in the Sunshine
This is one of the album, which is so hard to foresee. The following song may be that different to the predecessor. In this case, the easy, melodic song Laughing in the Sunshine almost comes with pop music qualities. Nice work on the electric guitar side as well.
8. I Ain’t Living (feat. Tikyra Jackson)
The bio of Tikyra Jackson even lists one Grammy Award nomination for her contemporary blues album Keep On. This collaboration with G. Love & Special is again a jazz track with a trip hop touch and some jazzy structure. Her vocal collaboration with G. Love is definitely the main driver of this one.
9. Lemonades (feat. Cam Kimbrough, Luther Dickinson & Chuck Treece)
The ninth track has a nice soul and R&B-alike song. The three guest musicians definitely turn the song into a nice listen – there even feels to be a small choir on the vocal side.
10. If My Mind Don’t Change (feat. Sharde Thomas)
If it needs one song to proof that these three guys simply do their thing, it is If My Mind Don’t Change. For this song, they work with Sharde Thomas, who is a fife and drum blues artist. An absolutely cool and unique on the album, the flute is adding a lot of character.
11. Sauce Up! (feat. Trenton Ayers)
After the flute, another really unique one: quite a majority of the song, G. Love and Trenton Ayers are doing some sort of chit-chatting. Sauce Up! is shouted from the background. There is just a rather short really melodic part in here.
12. The Philly Sound
The second last song is a praise to the Philadelphia music song. The melody in the background comes with a nice blend between country and blues, while the lyrics are rather like spoken-word storytelling.
13. Shouts Out
The last songs of the album rather feel like freestyle jamming – and the Shouts Out are rather like a praise to people who accompanied the project. This album simply deserves this one.
G. Love & Special Sauce – Philadelphia Mississippi – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
G. Love & Special Sauce – Philadelphia Mississippi – My View
Wow, that’s a difficult one to judge on. Yeah, sometimes Philadelphia Mississippi almost feels a bit of annoying, the band is just feeling to do what they like in this special moment. Nonetheless, the album is entertaing and the guest musicians add so many different styles to the album. Finally, you cannot argue against the musical quality of the album. Finally, you either love it – or hate it – anyway.
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