Over his nearly two-decade career, Philly singer-songwriter G. Love (real name Garrett Dutton) has traversed the musical roads of hip-hop, blues, folk and rock. On Fixin’ to Die (Brushfire Records, $13) G., 38, revisits the country path he originally wandered down on 1998’s G. Love Has Gone Country, and the result is a breath of fresh rural air. We asked G. to give us the scoop on each song off the new disc, which was produced by the Avett Brothers’ Seth and Scott Avett.
Now playing on AA flights
Track 1: “Fixin’ to Die”
This is an old Bukka White tune that I learned off of Bob Dylan’s record. The Avett Brothers had a sick idea of producing it with a huge, live, kick-and-clap beat.
(For a free download of “Fixin’ to Die,” visit www.philadelphonic.com/fixintodie)
Track 2: “The Road”
This was an old bus jam I’d had for years that finally got a chance to shine.
Track 3: “Katie Miss”
I wrote this tune for my best friend — my old dog Katie — when she passed away at a ripe age of 14. It’s really a heartfelt number.
Track 4: “Milk and Sugar”
This was the newest tune I wrote for the record. It’s based on a dobro riff, and I’m singing about love and coffee.
Track 5: “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
My manager had been trying to get me to cover this one for years. We flipped the beat and used the chorus changes for a double-time hoedown feel at the end.
Track 6: “You’ve Got to Die”
Seth Avett brought this old Blind Willie McTell song to the table. We learned it and cut five takes, using the last instrumental take. We then traded verses, making it the sole vocal collaboration on the album.
Track 7: “Walk On”
I wrote this song when I was in high school. I was writing about leaving the city and getting out to explore our country. Scott Avett really blazes a sick banjo solo in the middle.
Track 8: “Just Fine”
I wrote this tune with my friend Cisco Adler, son of the legendary Lou Adler. The guitar solo was performed by my old friend Luther Dickinson, son of Jim Dickinson, who produced my second record in 1995. We based the production off the Rolling Stones song “Angie.”
Track 9: “Ma Mere”
I wrote this for my grandmother Mere after she passed. Its about learning, growing up and figuring out the world.
Track 10: “Get Goin”
I wrote this tune in high school and have recorded it previously for the G. Love Has Gone Country bootleg in 1996. This time we gave it a real John Hammond/ “Subterranean Homesick Blues” feel.
Track 11: “Heaven”
This tune was based on a line from an old Big Bill Broonzy tune. This is another tune I wrote last summer. This time for my fiancée, Sarah.
Track 12: “Home”
I originally wrote this tune for a commercial pitch about the feeling of being home. I wrote this tune one morning on my parents’ front porch in New Jersey. It rolls along behind Jeff’s shuffle train drum beat.
Track 13: “Pale Blue Eyes”
My favorite Velvet Underground tune. This was the third take and the last live cut. Joseph Kwon from the Avetts later overdubbed cello.