Saturday, April 07, 2012

Matthews Stubbs Soul Bending Guitar

Another young guitarist, Matthew Stubbs makes his debut on the VizzTone release, Soul Bender. Stubbs, only 25, has certainly quite some experience, having competed in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, and toured as a sideman with Janiva Magness, John Nemeth and Linwood Slim. Currently he is in Charlie Musselwhite’s Band. Pretty impressive resume receiving strong endorsements from Bob Margolin and Junior Watson.

Soul Bender was produced by Stubbs and includes Sax Gordon Beadle leading a tight horn section along with a tight rhythm section on an all instrumental program. Listening to this, one can agree with Bob Margolin who suggests this is what Freddie King might have sounded like if he had recorded in Memphis with the Bar-Kays. There is a mix of hot blues riffs infused with some surf instrumental twang set against a funk groove and riffing horns syled after the Memphis horns.

Taken a few tracks at time, or put in an ipod or other mp3 player put in a shuffle mode, Stubbs fiery, yet tasty guitar is best appreciated along with some blasts of Beadle’s gutbucket tenor (20 Gallons of Beadle Juice or Sticky Bunz). Rivelli’s Mood, is a nice slow gospel-tinged instrumental with the horns setting the mood with Stubbs stating the theme before blasting out a call and response with Beadle. The rocking Stompin’ On Thru, opens with Stubbs setting out with a blistering tempo and mixing is single note runs with some chords that Beadle gets works off of.

While there are moments that might evoke King Curtis’ Memphis Soul Stew, the songs are based on funky grooves and riffs that start to sound the same listened to in one sitting. Bear in mind that some of us also find albums of Freddie King instrumentals best taken in small morsels.

I likely received this release from a publicist or VizzTone and it originally appeared in the May 2009 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 316). Matthew has a subsequent release that I have not heard. Here is Matt and Mr. Beadle on sax.

No comments: