An SM58® is Something G. Love Can Really Sink His Teeth Into
NILES, IL, October 14, 2008 — Born in the tony Philadelphia neighborhood of Society Hill, Garrett Dutton III (better known as G. Love) began playing guitar at age eight. By the time he was in the ninth grade he had written his first song and began playing the harmonica in a wire rack. Citing Bob Dylan, John Hammond Jr., Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, and Schooly D as musical influences, he formed G. Love & Special Sauce in 1993, along with drummer Jeffrey Clemens and bassist Jim Prescott. Today, with a string of albums to its credit including 2006's Lemonade and this year's Superhero Brother, the band still tours relentlessly, bringing its laid-back blues to loyal fans across the country.
The first microphone G. Love ever bought was a Shure SM57. That was back in 1990 at Eighth Street Music in Philly. "I preferred the 57," he says, "because the mic head was flat…perfect for playing harmonica."
Plugged into a boom box, that same SM57 was used to make his first demos. An SM58 was added to the G. Love microphone inventory not long after, assigned to regular guitar duty. Hitting the road with a record deal in hand, the band traveled with a soundman who casually suggested that G. Love try singing into the SM58.
"After I did that I never looked back," G. Love, now a self-confessed Shure fanatic, relates today. "I use it for vocals even in the studio, and I also use it on slide guitar. We're road dogs, and I'm pretty tough on gear, especially microphones. These Shure mics can really take a beating."
That's more than can be said for certain aspects of G. Love himself, who admits that in his hands, using an SM58 can lead to a trip to the dentist. "See this cap right here," he says, pointing to one of his front teeth. "I've busted this tooth on my mic a number of times. I'll be rapping, or stomping my foot while playing guitar, and accidentally stomp on the base of the mic stand. The mic, of course, comes straight back at me and hits me square in the mouth."
As of this writing, there is no known Shure dental plan to cover such accidents, nor any other special insurance policy for musicians who just can't keep their foot still onstage and suffer dental injuries as a result. In spite of his occasional tooth troubles, G. Love maintains a healthy (albeit reconditioned) smile, which can be seen among the videos he's posted on his YouTube channel, Philly G-Love.
"If I'm off the road for a week or so and I get bored, I'll shed-out at my own house," G. Love further relates, offering insight into his private world. "If I get into something good, I'll record it and put it up on YouTube. I've put about 102 videos up on my channel over the last year-and-a-half. It's a lot of fun — it pays to be an independent band right now."