It's a year of looking back and moving forward for G. Love & Special Sauce.
The original lineup of singer-guitarist Garrett "G. Love" Dutton, bassist Jim "Jimi Jazz" Prescott and drummer Jeffrey "Houseman" Clemens has reunited for the first time in eight years to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the group's self-titled national debut album. But the trio also went ahead and made a new album, the funky "Sugar," which is due out in April.
"Over the years we've had some personnel changes for different reasons," notes the Philadelphia-born Dutton, 41, says. "Sometimes the road kind of wears on people and people need to step off. Sometimes tensions run high and you need to kind of take a little break from each other. There's all kinds of things.
"But with the three of us...there's just a chemistry you have with certain people. Jim, Jeff and I, we don't really have too much in common as people, but when we get behind our instruments and get together, whether it's in a room by ourselves or in a room full of people. There's some magic that's happening there. S it's really good to be feeling that again."
Dutton and company will be playing the debut album in its entirety during their upcoming tour. And while they're certainly excited about releasing "Sugar" -- which includes guest appearances by Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, Merry Clayton of "Gimme Shelter" fame and others -- Dutton says they're also enjoying this year's anniversary commemoration.
""Y'know, I think it's an accomplishment and something we're all proud of," he says. "I was talking to my road manager, yesterday, and we were like, 'Can you believe we've been...doing this (stuff) for so long?'
"Really, it just goes by in the blink of an eye. It's been a crazy trip and a great trip. It still feels as fresh as ever, and we just keep moving forward and hoping that somebody's gonna be there every night we get on stage. That part never changes."
G. Love & Special Sauce and Kristy Lee perform Thursday, Feb. 6, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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