Arts, Dining & Entertainment, Column, Rockin' The Region

Rockin’ the Region with G Love

By DJ Dave Hoffenberg

This Friday, June 18, G Love and legendary drummer Chuck Treece will be playing the Country Girl Diner in Chester at 7 p.m. 

Yes, you read that right. 

I was shocked myself, but this will be a great opportunity to see him up close and personal.

The show came about because the owner is a huge fan. Last summer, G was doing some private backyard type shows and she booked him for one of the first ones. 

G said he remembers the show well because he had just started a sponsorship with Bose but didn’t have all the parts for his system. He said, “I had a panic attack. There was a crowd there, I was sweating and losing it. Bose helped me do a work around and the show went off fine. These shows have been my lifeline. We never had one case of Covid at any of our shows.” 

By DJ Dave
Chuck Treece and G Love

G is looking forward to this show. He added, “We’re psyched to get back up there and eat one of their delicious pies.”

G’s real name is Garrett Dutton. But people always called him “G.” When he put his first record together, he called it “G Love Oh Yeah.” He said, “That’s when I started calling myself G Love. Everyone I listened to had a stage name like Q-Tip, KRS-One, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, even Bob Dylan (because that’s not his real name). It just seemed like I should have a stage name. When we put the band together, Jeff [Clemens] asked what to call it and I always wanted a band called Special Sauce. He said it has to be G Love and something, so I said ‘OK, G Love and Special Sauce.’ He said why is everyone always looking at you and I said, ‘you’re the one who wanted to call it ‘G Love,’” G said, laughing at the memory. “It really tells the story of hip hop blues in the name, G Love and Special Sauce. It’s pretty unique,” he added.

Current drummer Chuck Treece is from the Philadelphia area where G grew up. He was a member of The Roots, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Urge Overkill and has played with G Love and Special Sauce.

G said, “A lot of people who’ve come out of Philly, including me, he’s helped them along the way.” The pandemic brought Chuck and G back together. G said, “Chuck hollered at me saying he wanted to come jam out and I was like hell yeah. It’s been so much fun. It’s amazing how talented he is.”

This past spring they took their hip hop blues down to Luther Dickinson’s studio in Coldwater, Mississippi, to record the new G Love record, “Philadelphia Mississippi,” which will be out next year. I’m really looking forward to this one. Dickinson is the lead guitarist for the Black Crowes and North Mississippi Allstars and appears on this record.

G said, “We invited both the new generation and elder generation of the Delta Blues to the studio and then we took it back to Philly and put in some more hip hop flavor.” 

They also got legendary rappers Schoolly D and Freddie Foxxx. G said, “This is really going to be the greatest hip hop blues record of all-time.” There’s too many greats to list so make sure you grab a copy when it comes out.

G’s wife Kelsey took over his day-to-day management and bookings. He said, “We go to shows in our Suburban with the Bose in the back. We show up to people’s houses or little places we never would be, set the PA up and let her rip. Chuck pulls up with his drums and his 19-year-old son Kieran, who helps us sell merchandise and load in and out. It really has been a family affair.”

G started playing guitar at 8, writing songs and playing harmonica at 15 and performing on the street at 17 in Philly. He then got serious about pursuing a music career and moved to Boston in 1992 and started performing at the “T” in Harvard Square. He met his band (Special Sauce) there, Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens and Jim “Jimi Jazz” Prescott. In 1993 they put the band together and released their first record in 1994 on Epic Records. G said, “It ended up being a hit and that propelled everything.” 

Here they are almost 30 years later. 

They have a show July 1 at Red Rocks in Colorado and that will be the first time they’ve been together since March 2020.

After being on friend Jack Johnson’s label, Brushfire Records, for 16 years, G founded his own label, Philadelphonic Records. The first release was his album “The Juice,” produced by Keb Mo. He received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. 

“That was a first which is pretty exciting and to get it on our own label is pretty epic,” G said.

G loves (no pun intended) his career path. He said, “Being on stage is such a special experience whether you’re playing for 150,000 people at Woodstock 99 or the Country Girl Diner. I always approach it the same way with the same intent. My job is to make people happy and inspire people. To connect with them and to bring them love. Like it says on my Instagram and Twitter, ‘Saving the world one show at a time’.”

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