Friday, February 13, 2015

G. Love & Special Sauce's Garrett Dutton Is Living his Dream

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 5:01 AM

G. Love & Special Sauce will perform at the Pageant this Saturday, February 14. - PRESS PHOTO VIA PARADIGM AGENCY
  • Press photo via Paradigm Agency
  • G. Love & Special Sauce will perform at the Pageant this Saturday, February 14.

The life of Garrett Dutton -- better known as G. Love -- has been one long musical journey. It began when he was eight years old, when his mom first placed a guitar in his hands.

"I found myself through songwriting at a young age," he says. "I found this form of expression that was really pure and true."

After years spent plugging away and writing songs, Dutton became a street musician in his hometown of Philadelphia and found the element that would really allow his brand of blues to stand out: hip-hop.

"It was the best night of my whole street-music career. I made like sixty bucks, two beers and a joint, and I was feeling no pain," he says. "It was toward the end of the night and I was riffing on the end of one of my blues-based tunes, and I started rapping the lyrics for Eric B. & Rakim's 'Paid in Full' over this groove I was laying down.... It was one of those big epiphanies of my life. I knew at that moment that I was like the only kid rapping and playing a Dobro out on the street."

In 1992, G. Love traded Boston for Philly. His hometown wasn't too kind to street musicians. In Philadelphia, you could get ejected by the cops at any time, especially if it was a busy night on the street -- precisely when you'd want to be out there -- but in Boston, you could get a permit to play. Boston seemed like the better option; Dutton moved, got a part-time gig and continued to hone his craft. He met his drummer Jeff Clemens by chance after a show at a bar. Jeff later brought Jim Prescott into the mix, and the three became G. Love & Special Sauce.

After experiencing a pretty rapid snowball effect -- the trio quickly became one of the biggest bands in Boston -- the group landed a deal with Epic Records in 1993.

"We got the call from this guy who was managing us and he was like, 'We got the deal from Epic Records,'" Dutton recalls. "I started crying -- it was just unbelievable; it was such a mix of emotions. We had been having this amazing run going from street musicians to one of the top bands on the local Boston scene, which was huge. Just this groundswell of energy.

"I was crying because I had achieved my dream of my life, my life's goal," he adds. "I was twenty years old, and I was also crying because I knew that I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew that nothing was ever going to be the same. It scared the shit out of me and excited me at the same time."

Twenty years later and Dutton's career -- both solo and with the band -- is still going strong. Over the years, his group has taken some breaks and gotten back together; last January, the original three members announced that they were reuniting, just months before they were slated to release their most recent project, Sugar.

Continue to page two for more.

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