G. Love on His Special Hot Sauce: "It's Going to Be Pretty Exciting and Pretty Spicy"

Categories: Interviews

On your website, I heard an example of that. On the live version of "Blues Music," you went into Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." Then on your new album, you have a cover of "Pale Blue Eyes." So I take it Lou Reed is a big influence for you?

Oh yeah. It's funny 'cause I'm in Pittsburgh tonight, and I just went to the Andy Warhol Museum who had that connection with the Velvet Underground. But yeah, it's great to throw in some covers of our inspirations.

Who are some of your other inspirations?

I especially like Delta blues like Bukka White and Robert Johnson. John Hammond and Bob Dylan. Then, of course, a lot of hip-hop like I mentioned earlier: Guru and KRS-One and De La Soul. And I'm still into a lot of rock 'n' roll like Cream and the Beatles. Timo Shanko, our bassist, is heavy into bebop. Jeff [Clemens], the drummer, played a lot of funky James Brown and the Meters songs. So there's a lot of different influences, and they all find their way into it.

You sell your own hot sauce?

Yeah. We've had it since 2008, but we have really turned it into its own thing. We're in the process of doing a deal with a mother company to produce and distribute the sauce. It's going to have new artwork, a new flavor, so it's going to be pretty exciting and pretty spicy.

Did you come up with the recipe for the sauce?

Yeah, actually we did. There's three sauces. The legacy sauce, our take on Louisiana hot sauce. We're going to have a green sriracha sauce and also a yellow Caribbean hot sauce. Later, we'll add a chili relish. It's been real fun to mess around and get the flavors just the way we want them.

Back to the music -- what can people expect when they go to a G. Love & Special Sauce concert?

It's a trio. Myself on harmonica and guitar, Clemens on drums, and Timo Shanko on upright and electric bass. We have a set list. I feel like we're at our best when we have a map to follow, as we do get kind of lost up there. So we've got some songs to get us started, but I like to have the music lead and for the band to follow. That way, you play the room. The major accomplishment of a show is to connect with the crowd and really feel truly inspired onstage.

I think what people like the most is when they get to see something unexpected, whether that's improvisational solos or freestyle lyrics or different arrangements of some songs they know or covers they're not expecting. We try to keep challenging ourselves and really put the work in.

On the flipside, as a performer, what do you hope audiences get from your music?

We hope they feel they're somewhere between a crazy keg party amongst friends and a church revival. Have fun, be inspired by the music, and get shaken down a bit. Ultimately, I just want to show people a good time. If I can do that and everybody's smiling out there, hooting and hollering, then we're on the right track.

G. Love & Special Sauce, with Swear and Shake. 8 p.m. Saturday, January 26, and Sunday, January 27, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 plus fees. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.

Location Info


Culture Room

3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

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