Fixin' to Die isn't the first G. Love album billed without Special Sauce, but this one really stands apart from the rest of his discography. The title itself (a Bukka White tune) is a tip-off. A sense of loss pervades much of the album, whether permanent (he also covers Son House's "You've Got to Die") or the temporary losses of life on the road. Complementing the subject matter is the sympathetic production of Scott and Seth Avett, and the playing of the Avett Brothers band. With lots of high lonesome backing vocals and prominent banjo, this actually feels like a country album most of the time. It's almost entirely acoustic, too. We don't even hear an electric guitar until track eight, where Luther Dickenson offers up some tasty George Harrison-esque slide. It's this track and "Walk On" that most resemble Special Sauce, and they almost feel out of place here. Most of the album is far more intimate and introspective, and it's easy to see that most of these tunes wouldn't fit into the standard party/feel-good ethos of most Special Sauce tunes, but the production and playing of the Avett Brothers really make it work. After 15 years or so, it's pretty interesting to hear G. Love in such a different context.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard