Interview and Photos by Scott Preston
G. Love and Special Sauce’s Superhero Brother is their third album for Jack Johnson’s Brushfire label, and 10th overall (counting their 2002 best-of and last year’s live CD/DVD) in a career that now spans 15 years.
It’s been a long, successful run for the Philadelphia native and self-described “hip-hop blues artist,” whose self-titled 1994 Okeh/Epic Records debut was certified Gold on the strength of the MTV hit, “Cold Beverage,” and a non-stop performing ethic that still has them playing more than 150 shows a year. In fact, the group just recently returned from a headline tour in Australia and Europe that was highlighted by some shows with Jack Johnson. Upon their return to the U.S., the band will be headlining their own outdoor amphitheatre tour with John Butler Trio later this summer.
Superhero Brother, recorded in Philadelphia at The Studio and the band’s own Philadelphonic Studios, as well as Longview Farms Barn in Sturbridge, MA, combines both political and party songs. The album is a reflection of the band’s eclectic recipe for its Special Sauce, from tasty, post-hip-hop Beatles-influenced blues-rock (“Communication”), spicy tropical island rhythms over an Archie Bell and the Drells “Tighten Up” groove (“City Livin’”) and well-seasoned Chambers Brothers-style funk-rock crossed with Cream’s “I Feel Free” (“What We Need”) to sweet, blue-eyed Philly soul (“Crumble”), a red-hot Stones-y “Sympathy for the Devil” vibe (“Peace Love and Happiness”) and homemade, rappin’ blues layered on top of a John Lee Hooker Delta stomp (“Superhero Brother”). (source - brushfirerecords.com)
Cincy Groove: How did you recent European tour go?
G Love: It was a lot of fun, I went over there with Jack (Johnson) and we had great crowds every night and good jams on stage. We really got into playing a lot of the new record live, its hitting pretty hard right now which is great.
Cincy Groove: What were you inspired by to write about on the new record "Superhero Brother"?
G Love: I just wanted to make a well rounded record and definitely how I feel about whats going on in the world today, like the war in Iraq and the general state of the union. Thats why you have songs like Superhero Brother and Peace, Love and Happiness.
Cincy Groove: Do you still have a sense of anonymity? Are you able to go out and do things without getting mobbed by fans?
G Love: I'm pretty much in the perfect place right now. I get recognized just enough so my girlfriend thinks I'm cool (laughing), but not enough that it interferes with my family moments with my kid.
Read the full interview here