G. Love talks about milestone birthday ahead of playing 9:30 Club

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

G. Love is getting reflective in his old age.

OK, "old" may be a gross overstatement. But the musician, born Garrett Dutton -- better known by his stage name G. Love -- turned 40 last month.

"It's funny how it just makes you be a little bit more reflective and looking back on your life and what you've achieved and the mistakes you've made, but also the success you've made," said G. Love during a phone interview from a tour stop with his band, Special Sauce, in Urbana, Ill. "It's kind of a milestone birthday. I feel very young. I think it's going to be a great year."

G. Love & Special Sauce performs Friday at the 9:30 Club.

Onstage
G. Love
Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Info: With Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad; $30; 877-435-9849; 930.com

For those keeping track, it's been 18 years since G. Love & Special Sauce released its self-titled debut.

"I was just a kid," G. Love said. "For years, I was always the kid on the scene, like at festivals, just on the circuit. You keep doing it, and all of a sudden you're not the kid anymore. Other people come along and they're the kid."

The Avett Brothers produced G. Love's most recent album, 2011's solo effort "Fixin' to Die." The result was heavier on blues than G. Love's typical hip-hop-meets-blues mix.

"That's the record I was really trying to make for 20 years, I would have made if I got to make a record before I mixed up the hip-hop with the blues," G. Love said.

Without a new record to promote, G. Love is playing plenty of deeper cuts on this tour, in addition to the hits.

"We're kind of pushing the back catalog a little bit," G. Love said, adding that he plans to head into the studio this spring. "Sometimes on the road you get into a comfort zone playing the same group of songs. On this tour, we kind of wanted to see if we could push it a little bit and just dig a little deeper and play songs we haven't played in years."

With about 150 dates on the road each year, G. Love said performing live is what keeps him going.

"At the end of the day, it's not about records so much," G. Love said. "It's about your live show and connecting with people. That's what we strive to do night in and night out, put on a great show. Just have fun. It's our job to make people happy. You really couldn't have a better job."

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