4 Good Reasons--Besides the Meth --to Drive to Spokane to See G. Love on Friday

G. Love.jpg
Don't you, forget about me.
Spokane, Washington. Ah, yes. There are so many reasons not to go there--the considerable excess of Walmarts, the tweaked-out, drug-addled zombie people, and for every Smartcar modestly obeying traffic in Seattle, there are two oversized, gas-guzzling pick-ups in Spokane running over flowers and babies.

Yet here I am, making up a list of reasons why you should drive there on Friday. Well, it's all about the love--G. Love, that is. Here are four (mostly) rational reasons why you should make the journey to the other side for his show Friday at the Knitting Factory.

G. Love looked like this during my phase.
4. You know that you--or your partner/spouse/roommate/boyfriend/girlfriend--own one of his CDs. There's probably one no less that 50 feet away. It's kind of like six degrees of separation. We all had a G. Love phase. The particular G. Love album you own reveals a lot about you. If you're like me, Coast to Coast Motel is where it's at--and you're stuck in the 90's. After a scenic drive over the pass, take another trip (down memory lane) and relive your own G. Love phase on Friday.

3. You're a smoker. A toker. Whatever the kids are calling it these days, you like to blaze and G. Love is is practically synonymous with weed. He just performed his 4/20 tour date in Eureka, California; were Seattle just a smidge closer to that hippie mecca, you could have smelled the stank in Seattle. And for better or worse, there's no lack of drugs in Spokane. You see what I'm saying. Bring it with you or score it at the show, it doesn't matter. G. Love would approve.

2. Are you going to Sasquatch this year? Well, if you're driving from Seattle, you'll be taking I-90. What better way to get acquainted with the illustrious highway that drops you off at the festival than with a little preliminary trip to Eastern Washington. Map out your favorite rest stops! Practice driving--without veering off the road--while gawking at the towering forest of wind machines! Test out your GPS! Time yourself to the Gorge and try to beat your time come Sasquatch! The 90. Yeah, it's kind of a good time.

1. G. Love and Special Sauce are playing the Knitting Factory in Spokane. OK, now, before you guffaw at the notion of driving clear across the state to see the man who first introduced us to Jack Johnson, keep in mind he's skipping Seattle and Portland, even though once he sold out the Showbox at the Market--on a Tuesday night. He's played with his style over the course of his 18-year career, incorporating hip-hop, jazz, funk, and soul elements on his many albums, but he's never strayed far from the blues.

Once he was a capable, charming channel of those influences (Bob Dylan and John Hammond among them), pumping out laid-back party soundtracks that were all-around decent but never defining. Now, the man has the chops--as evidenced by his Avett Brothers'-produced down-home, back-road blues album Fixin' to Die--behind him (chops going on 20 years, folks) to really play it. His easygoing approach to music and willingness to experiment with the blues while keeping it at the center of his playing has only seasoned his repertoire.

G. Love is arguably one of the most soulful harmonica players living today, and his signature, wailing harmonica solo is consistent throughout his catalog. And, in this hypercritical music landscape, G. Love probably doesn't give a shit if you think he's authentic or not; just dig this photo of dude in his Nikes and baseball cap jamming alongside vintage-chic appareled Seth and Scott Avett. In fact, the whole self-righteous urban-hipster movement might be the reason why G. Love's skipping Seattle altogether. All that being said: Get yourself to Spokane!

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