This is the official story: “Like a classic novel it all starts at a chance meeting one rainy, fall night in Boston, when fellow torchbearers of new roots Americana, Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers invite Garret Dutton aka G. Love onto their tour bus after a gig to share their love of back road blues.” Now, I’ve heard a story or two about G. Love’s tour bus and none of those proceeded like a classic novel. But, having listened to both G. Love and the Avetts, I don’t doubt for a second that the two parties would bond over a blues jam (and whatever else goes along with such an encounter).
G. Love (born Garrett Dutton, in Philadelphia), was writing songs, strumming guitar and playing harmonica by ninth grade. He blended folk and blues influences with hip-hop to create his own style, which is a kind of urbanized folk blues often studded with G.‘s signature languid freestyle.
The Avett Brothers, from Concord, N.C., cut their teeth in punk band Nemo before developing their current sound — a kind of bombastic country/pop/folk rock with acoustic instruments and radio-ready melodies.
So these two semi-similar, semi-different entities met and bonded and did what musical types do: Recorded an album. The result is G. Love’s Fixin’ To Die, “a collection of rearranged traditionals, a classic cover, and a slew of G. Love originals, many simmering for over a decade, all sharing a common goal: to strip away all pretense and capture the original spirit and sound G. Love has cultivated over his entire career but never fully embraced until now. …On his fourth Brushfire release, G. Love has left the hip-hop blues, a genre he has helped define, if for only a moment to make arguably his most sincere and candid record to date.”
It was cut in about a week at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio. There’s this from the press release: “the sessions underlying pulse is unabashedly, 100% pure and genuine country blues. From the ragged jangle of its opener ‘Milk & Sugar’ and floorboard stomp of Bukka White’s ‘Fixin’ To Die,’ over the loping lilt of ‘Home’ and longing for ‘Katie Miss,’ through the greasy fried ‘Get Goin’’ and moonshine reverb of ‘Heaven,’ to the hip shake hootenanny in Paul Simon’s infamous kiss off ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,’ G. Love and The Avetts deliver a life lesson in how to find a song’s sweet spot.”
Watch a trailer for the album here:
And here’s The Avett Brothers playing “The Fall” with G. Love on harmonica.
So far, G. Love doesn’t have an Asheville stop planned on his tour (He’ll be in Greenville, S.C. on March 2 and Charlotte on March 9) but his publicist says, “He’ll be touring all year, so I imagine he’ll get there on the second or third leg.” Fixin’ To Die will be released on Tuesday, Feb. 22.