On December 28, 2023

Rockin the Region with G Love

Rockin’ The Region

By Dave Hofffenberg


 The Pickle Barrel in Killington is kicking off New Year’s Eve weekend with a bang. Friday, Dec. 29 will be a jam-filled evening with Mihali and his friends, with special guests G. Love and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer.

I got a chance to speak with G Love (his real name is Garrett Dutton) about this show, fatherhood and what 2024 has in store for him. With three children ages 2, 3 and 7 and his wife Kelsey, it’s sure to be a busy year. He also has a 22-year-old son. 

This weekend will be his return to the Pickle Barrel after a 17-year hiatus. G Love and Special Sauce played the Pickle in 2006. (I was at that show and it was incredible!) Dutton said of that night, “I was having so much fun but I was sick. I played however many hours until my voice could not produce a noise. I went back to Boston and was sick for a week. This is my triumphant return with a good voice.”

He and Mihali are good friends. Until recently, Dutton thought he was done gigging for 2023, “I thought I was going to be laying low but Mihali hit me up, he’s a dear friend and I love to make music with him, and I owed him one because he played on my festival Outermost Roots & Blues Fest in Orleans a few years ago,” he said, adding: “When Mihali invites me to come play, the answer is going to be, ‘yes’.” 

Dutton, who is from Philadelphia, now calls Orleans, Massachusetts home. G Love and Mihali have a song together, “Strongest Of Our Kind,” which is on Mihali’s “Breathe and Let Go” album. After the Pickle Barrel, G Love is playing in Stowe at Apres Only on the 30th and then home for New Year’s Eve.

Dutton is also excited to be playing with Taz again. He said, “I’ve been watching and jamming on shows with him since he was a little guy, and now he’s a young man and a wonderful musician. It should be a lot of fun. I like to play guitar but Mihali and him are some of the best players out there so I’ll have to see if I can keep them on their toes. You have to remember it’s not how many notes you play, I just have this one note I can play and cut them both off stage. I don’t know if I’m going to pull it out at this show or not but we’ll see.”



G. Love


On Jan. 11, G Love and Special Sauce kick-off their 30th Anniversary Tour in St Louis. They already played Europe and Australia, but this kicks off the celebration of 30 years since they released their self-titled debut album. It’s a coast-to-coast tour with the closest shows to Vermont being Jan. 24 and 25 at City Winery in Boston.They’re re-releasing that album on a double vinyl, a digital re-release, with old outtakes. 

Dutton said, “This is a celebration of the epic record we made on Epic Records in 1993 that came out in the Spring of 1994. That has been the catalyst for my whole career.”

(That album is amazing. I’ve been playing tracks off that since it’s existence.) 

Dutton said, “This all comes back to the support we’ve got from the people who’ve checked our records out and come to the live shows and come year after year after year. That’s propelled everything.”

G Love and Special Sauce have the support of so many artists. “A lot of artists from Jack Johnson to Jack White, Kid Rock to the Avett Brothers, Dave Matthews to a million people who’ve told me that album was a big inspiration for them. I think that record in a lot of ways changed music,” Dutton said. “I graduated high school in 1991, the same year all The Roots did like Questlove and Black Thought, they graduated from high school in Philadelphia in 1991, too. Both of us did something very unique with hip-hop and the reason that happened was because of our generation and growing up in Philadelphia. It’s very interesting to me. We’re kids who grew up being the first generation of hip-hop with the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, LL Cool J. We’re the people who took hip-hop and brought it into rock ‘n’ roll, which in turn brought it into every other type of music where it currently sits. That goes from country music to pop music, classical music and every other people that used hip-hop style productions to make records and do live shows.”

He is right. There’s so much great music from the 90s. Dutton said, “When we came out with that record, things were a lot different. At that point, hip-hop was an African-American art form. It was coming out of the black neighborhoods and the East Coast cities and then it was coming all over America and internationally. At that point, it wasn’t a live instrumentation thing and that’s why what we were doing was unique and what The Roots were doing was unique and there was a lot of push back on it from the hip-hop audience, not the artist side but the audience. It was challenging. We did a lot of tours with our huge hip-hop influences like Tribe Called Quest and Guru’s Jazzmatazz in Boston. There were some shows that were really tough. To be up there in front of a crowd that was not feeling what we were doing. After that I leaned back on the blues a bit. Listen, I’m a hip-hop kid. I grew up in Philly. I was a graffiti writer, skateboarder, city kid listening to hip-hop but the blues and folk  music was something I always did on my own. The music I was making converged with the lifestyle I was living and that’s how my style came to evolve. We did something original and that propelled my whole career.”



G. Love


Dutton’s advice for young musicians is: “Be original and have great work ethic. I’m not a great singer. I’m not the greatest guitar player or harmonica player but I love music. My passion for music has propelled me to get good at all those things. We’re honored. I’ve seen a lot of people, much better than us, fall off and never get to exploit their gifts. I’m thankful we’ve been able to stay in touch.”

Music is the thing that has kept him going all these years. He said, “Sometimes I’m in a bad mood but as soon as I step on that stage and see people. It blows me away, all the people who come out. I never take that for granted. It’s so cool and exciting. I have the opportunity to make people happy, inspire them and do the same thing for myself. It’s so healing in your body, soul and mind. That’s why I love it and we appreciate everybody. I’m thankful for the people showing up, showing love and dancing. I like it when they dance.” 

For more information, visit: philadelphonic.com.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts