Matthew Stubbs Spotlight

"Medford & Main" from his CD Medford & Main
TGS Spotlight Player from February 18, 2010

Matthew Stubbs is a poet. But this 2009 Blues Audience magazine Award Winner for “Outstanding Guitarist” and 2009 Boston Music Award Nominee for “Best Blues Act” uses a guitar instead of a pen. So notes Dennis Brennan in his reflections on the new Blue Bella release, Medford & Main. “Matt’s thing on this recording is soul and blues-based guitar music. Like all the greats — Booker T. & the MGs, Freddie King and Stuff — the music connects with this listener in a primal way. I want to dance. I want to sing, and I want to make up my own words.”

Currently, Matthew Stubbs is performing with the legendary Charlie Musselwhite, as well as with his own outfit, The Matthew Stubbs Band. Before joining Musselwhite on the road, Stubbs did time with R&B sensation John Nemeth, and also spent a year and a half touring North America with blues diva Janiva Magness. Matthew Stubbs can also be found doing select tours/shows with Lynwood Slim, Junior Watson, Sax Gordon, Brian Templeton and many other top acts.

As a bandleader and composer, Stubbs has earned himself a reputation for his ability to write tremendously catchy instrumentals. The songs that he composes are a cocktail of Memphis Soul, Blues, R&B, Surf, Rock n’ Roll and Groove, all perfectly mixed together. His real knack is being able to blend all of these styles seamlessly, without overwhelming the listener. Frank-John Hadley of Downbeat magazine notes, “Stubbs finds the right combination of tone and phrasing to make his tunes sound fresh.”

Blues guitarist Rick Holmstrom perhaps sums it up best: “The thing I like best about Matt Stubbs’ playing is that he leaves space. There are plenty of young blues guitarists who can play a whole lot of guitar, and Matt can hang with ’em all, but there are very few who understand that it’s important to let it breathe. I dig the economy and simplicity of Matt’s playing. He’s got an old soul.” Six-string virtuoso Junior Watson also puts it into these simple terms: “Now here’s a guy who understands taste. Check him out!” That’s an impressive endorsement coming from one of the tastiest guitarists out there!

Visit Matthew Stubbs' website at

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