Matthew Stubbs

Medford & Main

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A rarity in that there are few instrumental contemporary blues albums (the Debbie Davies CD Holdin' Court comes to mind), Matthew Stubbs has pulled it off nicely with a set of originals that sound pure and true to the electric urban tradition. Armed with a variety of vintage Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Gibson Les Paul models, Stubbs and his band, with a three-piece horn complement featuring tenor saxophonist/arranger Sax Gordon, ease through a variety of old-school styles, with a modicum of twang and plenty of soul. Simple rock-based beats and guitar lines drive the title track, while Stubbs works his vibrato bar and reverb on "Double N" and recalls Eddie Floyd's "Groove Me" during "Waffles." Stubbs uses a baritone guitar on the slow, serene, Latin-flavored "Mangos," and dips into the slowed-down, deep Otis Redding soulful sound during "Sleepy Eyes" without any need for a lyric. It's the guitar of Stubbs that does all the talking here, and that should be good enough for any staunch blues fan.

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