G. Love – Fixin’ to Die
1.) Fixin’ to Die
2.) The Road
3.) Katie Miss
4.) Milk and Sugar
5.) 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
6.) You’ve Got to Die
7.) Walk On
8.) Just Fine
9.) Ma Mere
10.) Get Goin’
13.) Pale Blue eyes
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: Feb 22nd, 2011
Record Label: Brushfire Records
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. This mutual affinity leads to G. Love sharing the stage with The Avett Brothers at a summer music festival both are playing. The collaboration, sounding so natural and right, deepens, so much so, eventually G. Love asks Scott and Seth Avett to not only play on his new record, he asks them to produce it as well.
By melding musical flavors with The Avett Brothers, the aural recipe for G. Love’s twelfth release, Fixin’ to Die, contains a dash of Johnny Cash-twang that is deliciously blended with the rootsy, Dylanesque-blues and funky-soul G. Love’s concoctions are known for.
Recorded over nine days in an old-school church-turned-studio, the harmonica skills of Garrett Dutton (aka G. Love) mixed with the banjo-popping and piano-jamming of Scott and Seth Avett, create a jug-chuggin’, front-yard-collection of ditties that are as timeless as vintage jewelry in a thrift shop display case.
The lyrics of the Brushfire Records release are subtle and have a down-home tendency with an overall theme of death and dying flowing throughout; however, at no point is it morbid or overly melancholy. Instead, there are a lot of moments peppered throughout Fixin’ to Die where the lyricism reflects in appreciation about some of life’s simple pleasures, like companionship, home, blue eyes and coffee.
Milk and Sugar, which is an ode to the aforementioned nectar of the coffee bean, is bursting with trademark G. Lovealiciousness and has all the sauciness of his signature Cold Beverage, but it is a more ragged and raw track, with Dutton bantering and singing in a cheeky tone, Some like cream and honey, And some like it as dark as night, But I like it, how I like it, And she always do it right/ When I’m headin’ in a direction that’s wrong, She never lets me forget where I belong/ So give me that milk and sugar, baby.
Another standout, Just Fine, is a serenade that conjures the image of two lovers lounging on a porch-swing at dusk. G. Love’s lip-smacking vocal melodies wrap around sliding guitar licks that twirl around the hook, Cuz’ women come and women go, But for something real you got to take it slow, I ain’t to smart, but one thing I know is, Nobody wants to live alone/ Say you love me one more time, Say you need me to get by, Say you love me and I’ll be just fine, I’ll be just fine.
G. Love also busts out a cover of Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, which builds on a foot-stopping, hand-clapping back rhythm and transitions into a harmonica-jamming, string-strumming, drum-banging rockin’ jamboree of a track. Other highlights are a cover of Delta Blues musician Bukka White’s Fixin to Die, as well as the bayou-flavored tunes, You’ve Got To Die, and Heaven.
The new album from the Philadelphia native is perfect for lazy, sunny days spent coolin’ out on the porch drinking spiked lemonade with people you love. So, even though it’s a little more string-pickin’ than we’re used to from Dutton, it still has the tangy freshness of a G. Love album. What I’ve always liked best about Dutton is how he seems to simmer with musical energy as well as how his music communicates authenticity in an unpretentious and timeless way and Fixin’ to Die is an entire testament to that quality.
Written & Reviewed by: Amber McDonald
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