Live Concert Photography: Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas and Julie Rhodes at Berlin Under A, 2/15/18
Matthew Stubbs is a Boston, MA-based guitarist and songwriter/composer, who has been Charlie Musselwhite‘s touring guitarist since 2007, and as a solo artist has released two solo instrumental record, drawing from the Memphis, TN soul/blues tradition, 2008’s Soulbender released through Vizztone Records and 2010’s Medford and Main released through Chicago, IL-based Blue Bella Records. In 2016, Stubbs, along with backing band the Antiguas, featuring Just Lopes (organ), Chris Rivelli (drums) and Marc Hickox (bass) decided to focus on instrumental, rock and psych rock-based project inspired by Stubbs’ own desire to bring back popular instrumental work along the lines of Duane Eddy, Link Wray, Booker T and others, mixed with elements of garage rock, the blues, movie soundtracks and Afrobeat, — all while focusing on the vibe and energy of the live performance.
The band’s self-titled debut was released earlier and this year, and as you may recall album singles “Death Grip” and ” Unwinder,” possessed a decidedly retro feel, bringing to mind late 60s and early 70s B movie soumdtracks, complete with a tight groove — and interestingly enough Stubbs explained in press notes that ‘Death Grip” was inspired by the wild, chase scenes in the cult, car racing movies of the 70s while “Unwinder,” found Stubbs and his Antiguas drawing from 60s psych rock and surfer rock and blues, complete with an organ sequence that brings to mind The Castaways’ “Liar Liar.”
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Stubbs and the Antiguas went on a Northeast tour to support their debut album with Somerville, MA-based singer/songwriter Julie Rhodes, and her backing band that included a stop at Berlin Under A earlier this month. Of course Stubbs and the Antiguas set included the aforementioned “Death Grip” and “Unwinder” and while primarily focusing on their Quentin Tarantino soundtrack-like debut album featured an appropriate and blistering cover of Booker T. and the MGs. Check out photos from the show below.
Opening the night was the Somerville, MA-based Julie Rhodes, a soulful and powerhouse singer/songwriter, who’s sound and aesthetic bridges 50s blues, 60s and 70s soul (particularly, the Muscle Shoals sound), and contemporary pop with a concern for current sociopolitical issues — with most of her songs being in some fashion feminist anthems, as they focus on vulnerable yet resilient narrators maneuver heartache, betrayal and the like.