Lots to G. Love about Cape Cod Roots & Blues Fest – Boston Herald

Last year, G. Love aspired to sell 1,000 tickets to his first Cape Cod Roots & Blues Festival. Set in September, G. Love — aka Garrett Dutton — didn’t know how the fest would be received in the small, seaside town of Orleans.

“Then we sold a thousand tickets and the town said, ‘Keep selling them,’ ” Dutton said. “The town was so supportive and we ended up selling all 2,900 tickets.”

This Saturday, the Roots & Blues Festival returns to repeat the success. G. Love & Special Sauce and Dutton’s buddy Citizen Cope will once again headline with Chadwick Stokes and the Pintos, Mihali and Clearcola filling out the undercard. For Dutton, who moved to the Cape full time this summer, the fest grew out of a desire to bring together friends he’s made over 25 years of touring.

“You meet all these people out on the road and you want to see them more and put on something special,” he said. “I’ve been friends with Citizen Cope for years and couldn’t have done this without him. Then there’s Mihali of Vermont jam band Twiddle, who are just crushing it, and who I recently met and think is amazing.”

SEPT. 11, 2019: G. Love & Special Sauce return to the Cape Cod Roots & Blues Festival in Orleans. Photo Ann-Marie Rolo

Dutton grew up in Philly and sings about his old hometown a lot — see references to Rocky Balboa and Mo Cheeks and his 1999 LP “Philadelphonic.” But he came up in Cambridge busking until Morphine’s Mark Sandman helped him land a now-legendary residency at the Plough & Stars with Special Sauce upright bassist Jim Prescott and drummer Jeff Clements.

However, over the past few years he’s spent more and more time on the Cape. He even, in anticipation of his move, wrote a tune about wintering on the tiny strip of land between the ocean and bay.

“I was thinking about leaving Boston and came up with ‘Cape Cod Winter Blues’ for my [2017] Christmas album,” he said. “I have only lived in Philly and Boston, so I guess it was a way to prepare for being in a small town full time for the first time in the middle of winter.”

Not that he has ever had much time at home. This year, with solo shows and gigs with Special Sauce, he toured coast to coast headlining and opening for Blues Traveler, Moe and Hall & Oates. He’ll spend a chunk of October traveling Europe on his own. Then it’s back to the States, a new album in January and a few weeks of winter tour dates.

“Keb Mo produced my new album and he’s super meticulous and I’m, well, I’m not,” he said with a laugh. “He’d ask what a song was about and I’d tell him it was about a girl. He’d say, ‘No, no, I need to know who is this girl, what happened, what’s the backstory?’ It was a really cool process and I learned a lot about the blues and ended up with a great group of songs.”

“But yes, a new record will mean I’ll be just as busy next year,” he added. “I feel like the ’90s went by in a blur, we were cranking so much. I also feel like we are as busy as ever. But right now I have 10 days off, I’m at the Cape, just focused on the festival so it all feels pretty great.”

Cape Cod Roots & Blues Festival, Nauset Beach, Orleans, Saturday. Tickets: $60; capecodrootsandblues.com.