G. Love: ‘There’s no other white kid on the street playing Dobro and rapping’

G. Love & Special Sauce play on Wednesday night at Irving Plaza in New York City, Thursday night at The Paradise in Boston and Friday at the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia.

Twenty years ago, after moving from Philadelphia to Boston, G. Love’s musical career quickly rose from the streets and subway stations to regular club gigs that eventually landed him a record deal that brought him back to Philly.

“I moved to Boston because I knew it was one of the only places you could get a permit to be a street performer,” says G. Love (born Garrett Dutton). “I got a ride up there and went to Inman Square to get a permit to play in Harvard Square. I found a room in Jamaica Plain and I used to get on the 39 bus to Copley Square and hop on the Green Line to the Red Line with all my f—ing s—. I looked like a homeless person. I had this cart with a folding chair, my amp, a mic stand and all my gear and my guitar. I would wear a seersucker suit and Pumas with the fat laces. It was pretty competitive out in Harvard Square and I wouldn’t make too much money, but I got my s— together and that led to some solo shows.”

After Mark Sandman of Morphine got G. Love a weekly gig at the Plough and Star in Cambridge, interest from record companies soon followed. The headstrong 20 year-old who started merging hip-hop with his Delta blues and Dobro guitar had created a signature blend of musical stylings very unique for the time.

Hip-hop/blues may seem like an strange classification, but ask G. Love if he finds it odd and he’ll tell you, “Well, no, because I made it up! I really believe that,” he says. “I remember the exact moment that I stumbled upon it and I was playing on the street in Philly and I finished playing this sort of driving blues groove of mine, and it was just a two-chord jam — nothing fancy. I just started rapping these lyrics from Eric B. and Rakim’s ‘Paid in Full,’ and it worked. I was like, ‘Damn that’s some s— right there’. That was kind of an epiphany for me. I thought ‘There’s no other white kid on the street playing Dobro and rapping, I bet.’”

Two decades later, G. Love is back living back in Boston. Nine LPs and several EPs deep, he is promoting his 2011 album, “Fixin’ to Die” out on Brushfire Records, Jack Johnson’s label, an artist who he frequently collaborates with, and even had as a special guest on his record when Johnson was still relatively unknown. But Dutton sounds like he’s doing anything but fixin’ to die.

“It’s funny,” he says. “It’s our 20th year right now. We’ve messed around with a bunch of styles. Right now in the studio, I just want to make really honest and raw music without getting caught up in producing and stuff like that. We make our living on the road and we can write songs and be in the studio and it can all be about the music and the purity of the expression. For me, there are no rules right now. It’s just about making amazing records.”


Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…


Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…


Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…


U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.


TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…


See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…


Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.


Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.


John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…


Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid


Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…


We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…


Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.


Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.