G. Love & Special Sauce

Harlow's and Abstract Entertainment Present

G. Love & Special Sauce

Ron Artis II & the Truth, plus a special comedy set by Johnny Taylor. Jr

Wed, March 28, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Harlow's Restaurant and Nightclub

Sacramento, CA

$30 pre sale - $35 day of show

Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

G. Love & Special Sauce
G. Love & Special Sauce
"When you get the spark, you got to ride that energy," says G. Love, and that spark certainly ignites on his 10th studio full-length Love Saves The Day. He calls the new release "the fullest realization of the hip-hop blues" that he first pioneered with Special Sauce in the early '90s. The album, due out October 30 on Brushfire Records, not only features G. Love's long-term Special Sauce rhythm section -- upright bassist James "Jimi Jazz" Prescott, and drummer Jeffrey "The Houseman" Clemens -- but also prominent guest performers including Los Lobos guitarist David Hidalgo, Lucinda Williams, Citizen Cope, Ozomatli, DJ Logic, Money Mark, Zach Gill and Adam Topol.

To create their down and dirty "trashcan blues" sound, G. Love and Special Sauce returned to Brushfire Records' Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles. The band was excited to reteam with Sugar engineer and producer Robert Carranza (Jack Johnson, Beastie Boys, Mars Volta). They recorded live with few edits to capture the immediacy of the music: G. Love making his guitar snarl and his harmonica moan, bassist Prescott bringing nimble funk to the bottom end and Clemens' drum work crackling with power. "The music," G. Love enthuses, "jumped off the tape."

The new album completes the trilogy for G. Love that started with 2011's Fixin To Die. That disc stripped his music down to its roots and saw him record with The Avett Brothers, while Sugar, in G. Love's words, "reconnected the blues with the electric side" and reunited the original trio to create the band's signature style of blending John Lee Hooker blues with "Golden Era" hip-hop beats. On Love Saves The Day the group dives even deeper, making the grooves heavier, the music rawer and the performances more authentic.

Love also feels Love Saves The Day is his most rock 'n' roll record yet. Just listen to the title track that opens the album and you'll hear why. This blast of furious blues, powered by David Hidalgo's wicked guitar work, stands toe-to-toe with the classic work of Cream and the other blues-inspired bands of the '60s and early '70s. Hidalgo, a returnee from the Sugar sessions, plays on two other songs, "Dis Song" and "That Girl." Besides being the first tracks recorded, G. Love sees these three tunes as forming the core of the album. They also lead off the release and set the record's rugged, raucous tone.

This wonderfully unruly spirit flows through the revved-up rendition of the old Leadbelly tune "New York City," where G. Love does a delightfully ragged duet with celebrated singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams. On the mesmerizing "Muse," which arose from an all-night writing session he had with his old pal Citizen Cope, G. Love's sinewy slide guitar drives the tune's southern rock/hip-hop hybrid groove. "Baby Why You Do Me Like That" kicks off with scratching from another old friend, D.J. Logic, and features the album's heaviest hip-hop beats. Adding to the groove on "Muse" and "Baby..." is the energetic horn work supplied by L.A. band Ozomatli; however, their contributions really shine on "Let's Have A Good Time," a super funky jam that could have easily been a lost James Brown gem.

Although "Let's Have A Good Time," along with the catchy, power-of-love ode "Peanut Butter Lips," rank as the lighter tunes on the album, the overall lyrical mood, as G. Love easily admits, tends to favor the darker side. Even the seemingly optimistic title track turns heavy towards the end. Standout cut "Back To Boston," which examines a troubled relationship, was written on a drive from New York City to Boston. Longtime fans will recognize the tune from the acoustic EP Bloodshot & Blue, but G. Love wanted to give it the full-band treatment, with the new version showcasing frequent collaborator Mark Boyce's jazzy organ work. The rough-hewn performances on tracks like "That Girl," "Pick Up The Phone" and "R U Kidding Me...!" further reflect the lyrics' raw emotions, with the sharp-tongued "Dis Song" representing the peak of, as G. Love calls it, "pissed- off-ness."

Whether angrily railing about a girl with a "shotgun tongue" in "Dis Song," joyfully leading a party celebration in "Let's Have A Good Time," or solemnly addressing love woes on the solo acoustic tune "Lil' Run Around," G. Love's vocals vividly express his torn-from-the-heart emotions. He has been putting more emphasis on his singing in the past few years, and feels his vocals on the new album are his strongest ever. G. Love admits that singing with Citizen Cope and Lucinda Williams on this album, and the great session singer Merry Clayton on Sugar, made him raise his game.

He certainly has come a long way in the 20 years since drummer Clemens discovered him performing in a Boston pub. The two started playing together and, after Clemens brought in upright bassist Prescott, G. Love & Special Sauce was born. Their self-titled debut, featuring the hit "Cold Beverage," wound up going gold. The band became known for their live shows and performed around the world. G. Love has played with and without Special Sauce over the years, but now the trio is back together and it feels right.

Love believes the current manifestation of the band is stronger than ever and is riding a creative high, adding "and we didn't want to kill each other."

Love Saves The Day marks G. Love's sixth with Brushfire Records and he's thrilled with their relationship. He lauds label chief Emmett Malloy as someone driven by creativity first and whose aesthetic tastes he trusts. G. Love views today's music world as the Wild West, with "all the lines washed away;" however, his genre-blurring music now is more relevant than when he started. "It's a good time to be doing what we are doing," he asserts, noting Gary Clark Jr., Jack White, Robert Randolph and Galactic as some fellow keepers of the blues flame who "maintain the roots but push music forward."

Love proudly describes himself as a road dog who "will be touring until I fall off the earth" and plans to keep on pushing with Special Sauce from stage to stage. Whether Love Saves The Day makes one dollar or a million isn't a big concern to him. It stands as a huge success because he made the gritty, honest album that he intended by "keeping it raw, keeping it immediate, keeping it real." It's an approach that he has honed over the years: "be original and be true to what you do."
Ron Artis II & the Truth
Ron Artis II & the Truth
To say that Ron Artis II plays music from his heart and soul would be a bit of understatement. With his family upbringing and incredible early success, you may even say it has been pre-ordained. So how does one of the great musical talents of his generation come seemingly out of nowhere? Well, that part of the mystery is easy to solve. He’s been paradise’s best kept secret for years and now he’s finally making big waves on the mainland and beyond.

Ron moved to Oahu, Hawaii with his family when he was only four years old. And what a prodigious family it is! He is one of eleven total children, all of whom grew up immersed in a creative and religious household led by his musically gifted parents. Ron explains “My mother is a beautiful singer and my biggest influence on my approach to singing. My father was always the performer, the writer and arranger.”

While developing his multi-instrumental prowess playing in the Artis Family Band, Ron quickly took to piano and guitar as his main modes of expression. His mastery of both—in addition to numerous other instruments—quickly made evident that he was special. As he got older and played more around Oahu, others quickly recognized his gifts as well. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro and many others recognized the incredible talent that was taking root on their isolated island paradise. Ron has gone on to play with all of them and more across Hawaii’s most prestigious venues with his own band that he put together (featuring brother Stevon on drums) aptly called, "The Truth."

Those opportunities led to more exposure to artists from the mainland who, while they were touring the islands, all immediately recognized the unique talent they were witnessing. Booker T Jones, Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) and G Love all invited (and in some cases demanded) Ron to collaborate and encouraged him to share his music with the broader world. This support aligned perfectly with Ron's vision for his music: "To me, music is about giving. When I'm performing, I let go of everything. I look out into an audience and feel: 'What do they need right now?' We as artists have been given a gift and gifts are meant to be shared."

Which catches us back up to today. Ron has now embarked on 3 full US Tours, playing sell out shows from coast to coast with his long list of collaborators and more. His debut full length album “Soul Street” just dropped in early April, 2018 and has already garnered wide critical praise. The album crystallizes the full range of Ron’s influences—deep Delta Blues and Gospel, plus Northern Soul and R&B, alongside in-depth and personal lyrics—into a tight collection of fresh yet familiar songs that are at once urgent and timeless.

With a full schedule of festivals booked across North America in Summer 2018 and a Fall itinerary that is quickly filling it, it is becoming readily apparent that the rest of the world will be finding out soon enough about this incredible talent from the remote island in the middle of the Pacific. So get ready for the tidal wave of heart and soul music that is Ron Artis II & The Truth as they come to a city near you!
Venue Information:
Harlow's Restaurant and Nightclub
2708 "J" Street
Sacramento, CA, 95816
http://harlows.com/