G. Love – Fixin’ to Die

January 01, 1970

(Brushfire Records)




G. Love has chosen wisely to put hip-hop freestyling on the
backburner and wander down the dusty back roads of the blues. Helping him along
the journey are Americana dominators the Avett
Brothers, who brought Love down to the North Carolina Mountains
to record this roots orgy that mixes reverence to the past with
forward-thinking urban swagger.


The title track starts off with a roar, as the Bukka White
Delta traditional gets turned into an energetic hipster tent revival with
soaring ragged harmonies and a pulsing stomp-clap backdrop. Love also sweetly
delivers his own Appalachian folk-style ballad in perfect harmony with Scott
Avett’s lullaby banjo roll on “Katie Miss,” and there’s a killer
harmonica-driven hoedown outro to the stripped take on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to
Leave Your Lover.”


On the down side, weary traveler lament “The Road” is only
made believable by the Avetts’ genuine Southern accents, and the hill country
pluck of “Milk and Sugar” deserved better subject matter than coffee
condiments. Love hasn’t quite hit the crossroads, but he’s headed in the right


to Die,” “Katie Miss” JEDD FERRIS

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