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Fixin To Die

21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 22, 2011
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Fixin To Die + Sugar + G.Love & Special Sauce
Price for all three: $27.47

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2011 release from the Philly-based singer/songwriter, who is assisted on this album by Seth and Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers). Inspired by this shared musical heritage, the result is Fixin' To Die, a collection of rearranged traditionals, a classic cover, and a slew of G. Love originals, many simmering for over a decade, all sharing a common goal: to strip away all pretense and capture the original spirit and sound G. Love has cultivated over his entire career but never fully embraced until now.

About the Artist

Like a classic novel it all starts at a chance meeting one rainy, fall night in Boston, when fellow torchbearers of new roots Americana, Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers invite Garret Dutton aka G. Love onto their tour bus after a gig to share their love of back road blues. This mutual affinity leads to G. Love sharing the stage with The Avett Brothers at a summer music festival both are playing. The collaboration, sounding so natural and right, deepens, so much so, eventually G. Love asks Scott and Seth Avett to not only play on his new record, he asks them to produce it as well.

Inspired by this shared musical heritage, the result is Fixin' To Die, a collection of rearranged traditionals, a classic cover, and a slew of G. Love originals, many simmering for over a decade, all sharing a common goal: to strip away all pretense and capture the original spirit and sound G. Love has cultivated over his entire career but never fully embraced until now.

It takes a lot of hard work to speak the truth. And, in an age where most music has been regulated to countless ones and zeros it's even harder to make honest music without all the usual trappings. On his fourth Brushfire release, G. Love has left the hip-hop blues, a genre he has helped define, if for only a moment to make arguably his most sincere and candid record to date.

As Scott Avett says, "There's a little bit of this record on all the previous G. Love records, you just had to look for it. This is the record we all knew he should make and he could make, but again, he had to open himself to the core to make it. That's the difference. Ultimately the songs tell us what needs to happen; it's just our job to be prepared and identify that. Let's just get in there and see what the room evokes, and it was just go, go, go, which is the way we like it. I mean the whole session was cut in just over a week."

As G. Love confesses,

"It was an emotional recording session and I was truly blown away by the level of focus, care and passion Scott & Seth brought to it. We felt connected the entire time - it was instantaneous. It always feels like crunch time in the studio but it never felt like that with these guys. It was a team thing, no drama, no agenda. It was a tremendously positive and encouraging experience. This is the most inspired I've ever felt making a record - let's just put it that way. I'm still buzzing about it."

It's easy to hear why. Produced and engineered in the inspiring sanctuary of Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, the sessions underlying pulse is unabashedly, 100% pure and genuine country blues. From the ragged jangle of its opener "Milk & Sugar" and floorboard stomp of Bukka White's "Fixin' To Die," over the loping lilt of "Home" and longing for "Katie Miss," through the greasy fried "Get Goin'" and moonshine reverb of "Heaven," to the hip shake hootenanny in Paul Simon's infamous kiss off "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," G. Love and The Averts deliver a life lesson in how to find a song's sweet spot.

Best of all Fixin' to Die is a true divergence from G. Love's previous records and the function and preparedness of a dogged work ethic by some of music's hardest working artists who earned their stripes the old-fashion way, veracious songs, road weary odometers, and sweat stained live shows. Yet, with G. Love and The Avetts, it's more than just stamina and gumption to sound authentic and profound. It's the ability to distill the sepia toned essence of the time honored past and use it to take the risks needed to forge the future.

Scott Avett remarks, "For me, at a time when I was really into heavy music and leaning that way further and further, G. Love really opened a door that let me see another side of music that was really clever, good vibe, great melodically, great lyrically, and not always about the fight of typical hard core stuff. It baffles Seth and I that the roots world has not just taken G. Love and catapulted him into the sky; he's a king of that world and they don't even know it. If John Hammond is, he is; if Bob Dylan is, he is too."

As an insatiable musical omnivore, G. Love somehow manages to synthesize his iconic influences by shedding their layers to find that harmonic convergence where song and listener bare their souls to each other speaking nothing the raw boned truth. On Fixin' to Die G. Love has done just that; he has mined the sonic ore of his heroes only to emerge with a fresh lode of precious stones. Yet remarkably, what makes this session such a rarity in today's music world is the lack of polish that makes these songs truly shine. By allowing the infectious simplicity of these songs to stand in all their ragged glory, G. Love has paid the greatest respect to his muses and the collaborative spirit.

"It's a nod back and a step forward. It's a return to the roots of what made me G. Love in the first place. The music I fell in love with and learned as a teenager, which is such a developmental time in one's life, but especially pivotal in your music life. That when you decide you wanna play guitar right? I was 16 when I discovered folk music, the blues, and Bob Dylan and that was simply the backbone for everything that followed for me musically. I mean this is my second decade as a recording and touring musician. I'm looking into the next phase of my career, and although at heart I've always been a roots musician I want to emphasis it more now. I want to carry on the tradition not in a nostalgic way, but by keeping it fresh, real and unexpected, and we did it with this session."


1. Fixin' To Die
2. The Road
3. Katie Miss
4. Milk and Sugar
5. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
6. You've Got To Die
7. Walk On
8. Just Fine
9. Ma Mere
10. Get Goin'
11. Heaven
12. Home
13. Pale Blue Eyes

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Brushfire Records
  • ASIN: B004I9AR66
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Tolen on February 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Some things taste so good they don't need sauce. This is G. Love, served up raw, no sauce, just the bare ingredients and a few fixin's courtesy of the Avett Brothers. If you're a longtime fan and always wished G. Love did more of his rootsy stripped down acoustic blues numbers, then this is the album you've been waiting for. On the other hand, if you prefer the rappin' grooves with lots of sauce, you're gonna have to sit this one out. The full focus here is roots music - blues and americana. The Avett Brothers produced the album, also providing backing vocals and instrumentation (that means a good dose of banjo) on nearly every track. They complement each other perfectly and the mutual respect and love of making and playing roots music together really shines through. Despite the clear presence of the Avett Brothers, this is still very much a G.Love album with roots and blues filtered through his unique vision and style.
The title track and "You've got to Die" are blues covers from 1940 but could easily pass as G.Love originals. He also covers Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" adding that typical G.Love backbeat groove and a banjo jam that brilliantly makes it sound contemporary, classic and old timey all at once. The Lou Reed/Velvet Underground classic "Pale Blue Eyes" at the end similarly ties the whole album and genres together in a soulful way. That still leaves a full album's worth of G.Love originals. "Katie Miss" is a very sweet tune and "Milk and Sugar" is a fun rootsy stomper about coffee. To me, the album really hits its stride in the latter half. There's great slide guitar (You've got to Die), "Just Fine" a medtempo number most akin to G.Love's hip-hop vocal stylings, "Walk On" and "Get Goin'" are both great driving songs, energetic and raucous.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregory William Locke on March 7, 2011
Format: Audio CD
First, a little history. Personal history. Back in 1995, when I was at my idiot best, Garrett "G. Love" Dutton was my guy. Between his hit singles "Cold Beverages" and "Baby's Got Sauce," I thought the lanky singer/songwriter was the hippest dude on the planet, singing college-friendly songs about women and hanging out with the bros that leaned on elements of hip-hop, blues and folk. Then, in 1997, still an idiot, I flipped when his Yeah, It's That Easy was released. Flipped. By the time his 1999 album, Philadelphonic, hit the shelves I was a college dummy at Indiana University - the then-capitol to all jam-friendly music (which G strangely fit into at the time). I went to the guy's shows, tried to get him to hang out with me, knew all the songs by heart, etc. Ugh. Listening back to those records now, I kinda/sorta see why a few people made fun of me back in those salad days. That said, those records have some seriously fun songs on them.

When I spotted G's latest record, Fixin' To Die, at the record store a few days ago, I just had to check it out. The artwork was very cool and, from what I'd read, G was starting up something of a second stage of his career, recording here with The Avett Brothers. Those Bros, who are all the rage these days, are supposedly huge G fans, so much so that they've compared him to Bob Dylan (ha! dummies!). Well, they're putting their money where their mouths are, not only playing as G's backup band on the record, but producing the album, appearing in his videos and touring with him.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Pisano on February 26, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Have been listening to this album for the past week as of now and i think it's absolutely awesome. I love the collaboration between G. Love and the Avett Brothers, it really brings out G.Love true talent. Don't get me wrong I love the Special Sauce but i think G.Love is much better solo, especially when he plays Folk Blues which is featured in this album. If you have never listened to G.Love before, this or Lemonade would be a great choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill on January 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I own most of GLove's albums, and this is one of his best. In working with the Avett Brothers, he is branching out into more acoustic music including bluegrass and country influences. If you're into GLove's rap stuff, don't fear. This album contain much of that feel of his earlier albums and shows that he's still growing musically. I absolutely recommend this one.
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By SirStraw on July 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I ordered this CD and received tracks via autorip as well, which is a great feature to take advantage of with the amazon music app. Anyways, I have listened to G. Love for a while and didn't even realize it. I remember singing and humming along to the popular internet meme "milk and cereal" in the early 2000's and had no idea who sang it. Well, it was G. Love. I had one track from this album for a long time on my iPhone via iTunes free track of the week. While listening to it I could not help but think "this band sounds like my fav. band The Avett Brothers"...anyways, 4 yrs later I realize the Avett Bros. produced and played backup band on this album. Hence the familiar sound. I decided to jump on the chance to buy this album and boy am I glad I did. It is a fantastic blend of blues/ bluegrass that is sure to appeal to any Avett or G. Love and Special Sauce fan.
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