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The Review Is In: G.Love Falls Short of 'Back Road Blues' Expectations

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G. Love & Special Sauce and Scott H. Biram played Seattle’s Showbox last night. This is a look at that show though my eyes.

G. Love of G. Love & Special Sauce
G. Love of G. Love & Special Sauce

G. Love & Special SauceI’ll say this for G. Love, he certainly has some fans in Seattle. Last night’s sold out show was proof of that. Love, and his faithful backing band the Special Sauce, have an ability to take their well known (and well loved) songs and infuse them with a jam-like quality, a feeling that this nights rendition is the best one ever. The band seems to be at their very best on the slower, smooth flowing, unhurried hip-hop songs. Songs like ‘Baby’s got sauce’ , ‘This Ain’t Living’ or the fun loving anthem ‘Who’s got the Weed?’ showed off the best that G. Love & Special Sauce had to offer.  With an undeniably, infectious groove these songs evoked a communal response of positivity and a serious amount of dancing.

There is no doubt that this white boy from Philly has got some real soul. But I wanted to see if he could live up to his new, blues steeped album Fixin’ To Die. The answer, sadly, was no. Without the backing of The Avett Brothers, Love’s renditions of the new material lost its blues inspired punch. Playing it live, Love and his band fell back into a more familiar sound. Even worse, the new material was essentially ignored until the encore. This was a serious let down for me. I’d really enjoyed the new direction of the new album. But in the end, it sounded much like his other work when performed live. G. Love may be a great musician, but last night he showed he’s not a blues musician.

Scott H. Biram “The Dirty Old One Man Band”
Scott H. Biram “The Dirty Old One Man Band”

Scott H. BiramI was looking forward to “The Dirty Old One Man Band.” And thankfully, he lived up to my expectations. He was every bit as eccentric and interesting as advertised.

Biram is pure redneck, rockin’ blues fun! He smartly used old, foot stomping, blues classics to get the crowd involved then began sprinkled in his own originals. I marveled at was his ability to show such a wide musical range while being constricted to only what he could play or use himself. His set showed the flexibility of the blues. Whether he drifted to country, rockabilly, rock & roll, or something else entirely (like yodeling!), the blues roots were still firmly attached to everything he did.

Part musician, part madman, and all entertainer Scott H. Biram may just make “redneck” a sexy word if continues this type of success.

For a list of all the great upcoming shows at the Showbox click here!