REVIEW: G. Love and Guests Lay Down the Groove on ‘The Juice’


When you see a new album from G. Love, you have some idea what to expect. Namely, you’re going to hear some soulful and groovy melodies that make it impossible to remain still. With a little help from some guest musicians, G. Love will get you grooving on the new album The Juice (produced by Keb’ Mo’ and G. Love).

“Soul-B-Que” is one of the irresistibly groovy tunes on this album. The rhythm section (Marcus Finnie on drums and Brian Allen on bass) and the organ played by Michael B. Hicks lay down heavy doses of soul and funk. Meanwhile the backing vocals provided by Hollie Hammell, Sydney Rudder, and Hicks) sound like a church choir. The song closes with some magical work by Roosevelt Collier on the pedal steel. Even if you’re not religious, you can’t help but enjoy being taken to church with this song.

Keb’ Mo’ is one of the guest artists on the album, appearing on four different songs. “Shine on Moon” is one of the songs featuring Keb’ Mo’ This is an easygoing song featuring some resonator guitar that makes your ears perk up. This is a song made for the last rays of daylight on a front porch with a jug of moonshine at your feet.

“Birmingham” is another song featuring Keb’ Mo’ as well as Robert Randolph. This one moves along with a beat that will get your toes tapping. On top of that is a guitar riff that sounds similar to “The Last Time” by The Rolling Stones. About midway through the song is an instrumental break that features the unmistakable sound of Randolph on the steel guitar. This is a great song because it is a convergence of blues, soul, rock and roll, and just enough gospel to make you shout “Amen!”

If drinking songs are your jam, you’ll be happy to know this album includes one called “Drinkin’ Wine”. G. Love takes a turn on the resonator in this one and lays down some good bluesy sounds to go with Brian Allen’s walking bass line on the upright bass. Of course, you don’t need a glass of wine to accompany this song, but it’s not a bad idea.

This album is everything that makes G. Love so appealing. His songs are infused with an infectious blend of soul, blues, and rock and roll that just makes you feel good all over. Like you’ve come to expect from G. Love albums, this one is a mood boost that doesn’t require any prescription. The Juice (Philadelphonic/Thirty Tigers) will be available everywhere on January 17. Order your copy here.

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