CD REVIEW: G. Love "Fixin' To Die"

Fixin' To Die [+digital booklet]When a musician has been making music during a career that spans two decades, it's a challenge to keep the music new, exciting, inventive, and cutting edge. For G. Love, whether with or without his band Special Sauce, he has managed to do it incredibly well, with each subsequent release. He has mastered the art of his own hip hop soul and freestyle blues, dabbling in everything from funk to reggae to folk to blues to jazz to rock. He is truly a jack of all trades when it comes to making music. On his latest, and one of his most complete ideas to date, G. Love goes back to his roots with some dirty, funky acoustic blues. Enlisting the help of new friends, and folk music extraordinaries, the Avett Brothers, G. Love set out to make an album of music that showcased where his love for music comes from, where his musical roots lie, and the fun that can be had with stripped down music and instrumentation. The album's title track is among the album's best, and being that it is a cover of an obscure blues classic, it's only fitting that G. makes it great. He also take the Paul Simon classic "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" and smothers it with some funky blues as well, breathing new life into an already awesome song. His originals, both old and new, are some of his lyrical best at their simplest and most complex. "Just Fine" is a G. Love classic and "Milk & Sugar" is sure to become a funky live staple for G. Love & Special Sauce on the road. He resurrects his own "Ma Mere," a song about his grandmother, giving it the treatment and audience it deserves. G. lets the Avett boys have a little lead vocal time as well on the track "You've Got To Die" which not only shows off how fun this album is, but also how much fun was had while G. Love and the Avett Brothers made the album. To have two powerhouse performers, both in the studio and live on stage, collaborate on an album together is always one for the ages, and while this is very much a G. Love album, the sound, the energy, and the performance is accentuated by the Avett Brothers. Now all that's left is for the two bands to share the stage as a supergroup and together, bring this album (which sure to be one of the year's best) as well as their own previous recordings to the masses.