G. Love to play a bunch of Long Island gigs, talks about the Long Beach boardwalk, his first L.I. gig & more
The rare singer/songwriter that is influenced by blues, hip-hop and folk, G. Love first turned heads with the G. Love and Special Sauce album. Released by Epic Records in 1994, the trio's self-titled full-length sold over 500,000 copies on the strength of the single "Cold Beverage," and was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Beyond the commercial success -- his latest studio recording is 2015's Love Saves The Day -- G. Love remains a favorite of his peers, having recorded alongside Jack Johnson, Zap Mama, The Avett Brothers, Slightly Stoopid and Tristan Prettyman.
2017 is yet another busy year for the Philadelphia native, who has five Long Island gigs coming up within the next week. On July 5th and 6th, G. Love plays solo at the Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport. One night later on the 7th, he makes a stop at The Inn at Long Beach. Following his trip to Long Beach, G. Love headlines at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett on the 8th and at Montauk's Surf Lodge on the 9th. As if that were not enough time spent on Long Island, G. Love returns to the area with a full band to play the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue on July 15th.
No Place Like Long Island had the pleasure of conducting Q&A with G. Love via e-mail. More on the influential artist can be found at www.philadelphonic.com.
Where was your first-ever gig on Long Island? Anything you remember about it?
G. Love: I'm thinking my first gig on Long Island was playing with either 311 or Widespread Panic or it was some huge radio show back in the day, but it was definitely at Jones Beach. I remember we had a killer show but it was a long time ago. (laughs)
Have you ever been to Long Beach, where The Inn is, before?
G. Love: This is my fifth or seventh year in a row playing The Inn in Long Beach, so it's always a pleasure to be back. I'm hoping there's a little bump out there that day so I can catch a surf before the show. I love the big old boardwalk in Long Beach.
Have you ever come to Long Island for anything other than a gig?
G. Love: I've come through chasing a hurricane swell a bunch of years back with my friend Scott Soens, who coincidentally introduced Jack Johnson and I years ago.
You played at Carnegie Hall for an Aretha Franklin tribute a few months back. Was that experience as magical for you as it would seem?
G. Love: Playing Carnegie Hall was a dream come true and a real milestone in my career. To be invited to play and sing an Aretha tune with such amazing talent in such a place was just such a blessing. I will never forget that night. I performed Aretha's hit "Think" with Antibalas backing me up. I played my Gretsch White Falcon 12-string tuned to open G with a slide. It was unbelievable.
What do the next 12 months look like for you? A lot of touring? Recording?
G. Love: I'm running and gunning as always this year. I have three touring outfits: my solo acoustic Streetside Blues (which brings me to Long Beach), touring with G. Love and Special Sauce (we will come close and be in New York City), and my new project JamTown (with Cisco Adler and Donavon Frankenreiter) will be playing dates and recording our debut record this fall.
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
G. Love: I'm a family man, so when I'm off the road we are home with Aiden, 15, and Lewis, 1, and really enjoy the simple pleasures like cooking, eating, sleeping and being together. The road and recording projects keep us away from home close to 250 days a year, so we do relish the simple times at home and take it slow. Looking forward to being back in Long Beach and we gonna crank it up.