Soul Bender is a tasty collection of original instrumentals featuring Matthew Stubbs' expressive electric guitar. Matthew plays to serve his songs, rather
than using them as a vehicle to show hot licks. His emotional phrasing leaves space for the band to respond most guitar players can say the words "less is more," but few deliver. Matthews' guitar sings Blues stories over his
band's tight, snappy Memphis R&B featuring "Sax" Gordon. Rare and refreshing, Soul Bender sets Matthew Stubbs apart from most of his peers.
Blues guitarist and VizzTone partner Bob Margolin Offers "Now I know what it might have sounded like if Freddie King had recorded his classic instrumentals
in Memphis with the Bar-Kays or at Hi Records. This is the CD I'd choose to keep me rockin' instead of noddin' on a long drive to my next gig. And Matthew's guitar would inspire me -- he plays stories, not riffs. His tone and touch don't copy any other specifc guitar player and his guitar rings and sings clearly. He sets the bar high."
Soul Bender is a sensual soundtrack to carefree good times, delivering clever melodies, improvised solos, creative arrangements, and non-stop hip grooves.Recognize echoes of Blues,R&B, and Surf Music, all blended perfectly into the mix. Matthew's wordless songs evoke your own memories and feelings. 25-year-old Matthew Stubbs had great success leading his own band in New England, winning the Boston Blues Society's Blues Challenge in 2003 and placing third in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.Splitting his time since between the Northeast and California, he worked, played,and grew with Racky Thomas, Brian Templeton, Michelle Wilson, Janiva Magness,John Nemeth, and Lynwood Slim.
Matthew Stubbs is currently on tour with Legendary Charlie Musselwhite, showing off his music to Charlie's worldwide audiences. When he's not working with Charlie he tours with his own band, featuring the songs from Soul Bender. Matthew's responsive playing has uplifted the performances of many well-known musicians,and here his own unique talent for writing and delivering driving, hip instrumentals makes Soul Bender a particularly sweet ride.
Here's What People Are Saying about Matt Stubbs
DOWNBEAT "SOUL BENDER" REVIEW
FEBUARY 2009 ISSUE
Reviewed by Frank-John Hadley
With his blues credentials secured from his road work with Janiva Magness and Charlie Musselwhite, Stubbs debuts with an all instrumental record that has this 25-year-old guitarist's creative motor running on the high-test gas of 1960's blues,soul.r&b and surf music,(He's listened hard to lots of old records-among them, probably, Freddie King's and Memphis soul-dance ace Wille Mitchell's.) With the tenor saxophone of Gordon Beadle shouting with characteristic fervor, Stubbs finds the right combination of tone and phrasing to make his tunes sound fresh. "Sticky Bunz" dishes out the Bo Beat fun and "Jacksonville Jerk" enters fast with hallucinatory guitar flourishes that don't quit.
BLUES REVUE "SOUL BENDER" REVIEW
FEBUARY/MARCH 2009 ISSUE
Reviewed by Tom Hyslop
Matthew Stubbs, a youthful veteran of the bands of Janiva Magness and John Nemeth who currently tours with Charlie Musselwhite,brings a raft of ideas to "Soul Bender"(VizzTone Label Group). On his first solo effort, Stubbs lets his guitar do the talking, impressive results. Evoking classic sides by Booker t & the MG's and Freddie King, each of these 11 songs has a memorable hook on which Stubbs elaborates with restraint and taste. Soulful, funky tracks "Stubbzilla," "Charlotte Ann," and "Rivelli's Mood" balance rockers with blues and surf overtones("the Meat Sweats," "Stubbs Sauce," and "Soul Bender"). BRAVO!
"Now here is a guy who understands taste. Nice, compact, to the point instrumentals. At only 25, he has a maturity beyond his years… It’s not the notes, it’s the space between them… Way to go Matt Stubbs! Check him out!"
"Once upon a time,blues greats like, Collins,Freddie King, Gatemouth Brown, Earl Hooker, and Magic Sam cranked out hooky instrumentals, but now with w few exceptions(notably, Rick Holmstrom, and Ronnie Earl) it's become an almost extinct species. It's nice to see it back in such capable hands."
-Dan Forte -Vintage Guitar magazine August 2008
"Matt Stubbs doesn’t come up short on this collection of rockin instrumentals! Matt has a firm grasp of blues and roots guitar and his ability to handle a wide vein of original material.
Let's hope there's more coming soon!"
"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."
- Rick Holmstrom
"Matt can really play anything from traditional blues to far-out space rock music!"
-Diana Shonk The Blues Audience Magazine