Medford & Main
(Blue Bella)


Chicago area based Blue Bella Records is a first class operation. Primarily a blues and rock label, Blue Bella have been known to pull out all the stops on their fantastic releases and one new one in 2010 that’s raising eyebrows is Medford & Main by guitarist Matthew Stubbs. On first listen, this album just blows you away with some hard-hitting bluesy rock grooves and it’s all instrumental so you can really focus on Matthew’s emotional guitar tracks. For inspiration listen no further than the lead off “Medford & Main” title track. What a powerhouse song. It’s so great you have a hard time getting to track 2! Who said there’s nothing new under the sun regarding instro guitar sounds from America? So who can you compare the Stubbs effect to? Well my first comparison is America’s greatest soul-rock guitarist Steve Cropper, whose guitar sound graced so many classic Stax R&B chestnuts—from Otis Redding to Booker T & The MGs—during the ‘60s. Cropper will flip for Stubbs’ new one. Others have compared Matthew to greats like Lonnie Mack and some also cite Matthew’s work with the classic bluesy vibe of the Charlie Musselwhite band but clearly, there’s a smokin’ new guitar vibe here indeed. Recorded during 2009 up around Matthew’s Boston area, Medford & Main features some great players backing up the Stubbs guitar sound including Chris Rivelli (drums), Marc Hickox (bass) and more including a rockin’ horn section too. If you miss the classic Cropper guitar sound from the Booker T. days, pick up on Matthew’s Medford & Main. You won’t be disappointed.


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Musical Background

I have been playing guitar for 14 years. My father, Dale Stubbs is also a guitarist so I grew up around live music. I currently tour with The Charlie Musselwhite Band ( as well as my own band The Matthew Stubbs Band. Before joining Musselwhite’s band I toured with a number of blues and roots acts such as John Nemeth, Janiva Magness, Junior Watson, Lynwood Slim & Sax Gordon.

New CD

My new CD is Medford & Main on the Blue Bella Label, it comes out March 16, 2010. It was recorded at Middleville Studio in North Reading, MA. during 2009. It’s an all original instrumental record. I wrote all the tunes and Sax Gordon did the horn arrangements. It’s a mix of ‘60s rockin’ Memphis soul/blues & roots. The band lineup is Matthew Stubbs - electric guitar & baritone guitar, Sax Gordon - tenor sax, Tino Barker - baritone sax, Scott Aruda - trumpet, Chris Rivelli - drums, Marc Hickox & Wolf Ginandes - electric bass. For the most part the CD was recorded live with minimal overdubs.

Favorite Guitars

I used many different guitars & vintage amps on this record. In the CD liner notes for the new CD Medford & Main I listed each combination of guitar, amp & effects for each track. I am a total vintage amp junky! Here is a list of everything that was used on Medford & Main.

Guitars - ’67 Fender Tele, ‘62 RI Tele custom, Parts Stratocaster, ‘56 RI Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, Gibson ES-295 RI, Gibson SG Standard, Danelectro Baritone.

Amplifiers - 60’s Ampeg Reverbrocket 2 (my favorite amp of all time), 60’s Blackface Fender Super Reverb, 60’s Deluxe Reverb, 60’s Brown Fender Princeton, 60’s Vox AC-30, 50’s Gibson GA-20, Silvertone 1482.

Effect Pedals - 60’s Premier Reverb Tank, Line 6 MM4, Boss Blues Driver.

For live shows I mostly use my ‘62 RI Telecaster, ‘56 RI Les Paul & ‘61 RI Gibson SG with two 60’s Ampeg Reverbrocket 2. On my pedal board I have the Line6 MM4 (for trem & vibrato), V-Stack Tweedy (for a nice tweed overdrive), Boss tuner, Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster (for a clean boost).

I setup all my guitars with with D’Addario .011-.049 round wound strings with the action on the high side. My Telecaster and Les Paul has Don Mare pickups and the SG has the stock humbuckers.

Musical Influences

I would have to say my biggest musical influences are in blues and soul. I grew up playing almost all blues and have gotten into other styles through the years. Some of my favorite blues/soul guitarists are Earl Hooker, Lonnie Mack, Steve Cropper, Ike Turner, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Teenie Hodges. I am also a huge fan of short melodic style songs so I really dig lots of ‘60s soul and rock’n roll / pop such as The Kinks, The Beatles, Booker T & MG’s etc. Some of my all time favorite albums are Lonnie Mack - Memphis Wham,
The Beatles - Revolver, Junior Wells w/Buddy Guy - Hoodoo Man Blues, Billy Preston - Wildest Organ In Town, Earl Hooker - There’s A Fungus Among Us, Beck - Odelay along with many many others.

Upcoming Plans

I have already started writing tunes for another instrumental record but not sure when I will get into the studio. I have a lot of tours coming up this summer with Charlie Musselwhite starting with a 4 week european tour in March/April and many USA dates to follow that. It’s looking to be a very busy year.

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