"I wanted to write a welcoming song, something I could play right when people were coming into my show, an invitation that starts with, 'Come on into my house!'" he explains. "Then we took it into, 'You're coming into my house. Who's coming in for a party? Have a seat. Tell me what you want to eat.' Then we got to this chorus and said, 'What is this party called?' and I came up with 'Soul-B-Que.' That was something I liked about Dr. John, how he made up words, like edumacation.' I wanted to do that. This is a barbeque for your soul.
"I've got to tell you, the song is so fun. It's really been great live. I start a lot of my shows with it and it's a lot of fun, very interactive with the crowd."
The Juice, due out Jan. 17, has been a long time coming. Love and Mo' became friendly as part of the revised Okeh during the '90s, even playing a few shows together. They reconnected about six years ago by Love's estimation, and while the idea of doing an album together was undercut by Mo's then-current collaboration with Taj Mahal, Mo' offered to produce an album for Love, adding Nashville songwriter Gary Nicholson to the mix as they got started.
"Keb's a super meticulous guy -- every note, every lyric, the way every instrument lands on every beat has to just be the right way," Love explains. "We were doing this song called 'Fix Your Face,' and I'd sing something and he'd go, 'No, sing it like this,' 'Ok, alright...' and it would just go on and on and on. It was, like, comical. We went to about three in the morning in there with these two mid-60-year-old guys. I'm going, 'What the fuck are these guys doing, man? They're gonna go all night long!' The next day Keb' said, 'You really hung in there last night -- you know I was just fucking with you, right?' (laughs). The record for me was a lesson in kind of the fundamentals of music. I really learned a lot. His approach is so thoughtful and meticulous. It was really cool."
Fans will find a similar spirit throughout The Juice -- as well as, in the title track, a protest song. But Love wants to be clear that he's not trying to spread division or hate here.
"My ultimate mission with my music and my life is to make people happy, to inspire them and bring love," he says. It's a really interesting time to be alive and to be American and to be engaging in all these social network platforms because people are obviously so divided and there's a lot of anger and hate towards people who don't see the world the way you see it. Those activists and people who are trying to fight for things like the environment and women's rights and immigrants' rights.... I want to energize those people with my music and be positive.
"And, y'know, we're just lucky to be Americans. Whether you're Republican, Democrat, you're not getting bombed, you're most likely being well fed and looked after on all fronts and have a pretty good shot at bettering your situation. You can't ever forget that, and I think a lot of people have."