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Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas with Julie Rhodes

ArtBeat Flip theme; art work by Kari Percival

Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas with Julie Rhodes

Saturday, July 14 1:00 PM

Seven Hills Park, Somerville

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Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas


The self-titled debut from Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas is a decidedly diverse and propulsive affair, combining psych rock with garage rock, acid blues, Afrobeat and funk (amongst several other styles). It’s also cinematic — at times, it feels like you’ve been invited to hear the world’s coolest soundtrack (note, there is a song called “Tarantino”).

Oh, and it’s also an instrumental album. People ask Stubbs, "Why don’t you have a singer?" And he replies, "Well, back in the day, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, you had guys like Booker T, Link Wray, 
Dick Dale and Duane Eddy. They had bona fide hits as instrumentalists! I’d like to bring back that spirit to popular music.”
While this is his first record as part of the Antiguas, Stubbs had previously made his name as a solo performer, releasing two albums in the Memphis soul/blues tradition, Soulbender (2008) and Medford and Main (2010). As well, the Boston musician (and a guitarist since the age of 13) has served as the guitarist for Charlie Musselwhite since 2007 -- that’s him on the legendary bluesman’s 2014 Grammy-winning album Get Up!.
For the Antiguas record, however, Stubbs tapped into previously unexplored influences. You’ll hear a seemingly perfect 60s spy movie homage (“Fistful”) mixed with British Invasion/garage rock nods (“Unwinder”), organ-fueled jazz/funk (“Dub Stubbs”) and psych-fueled epics (“Bastille Day”). And then there’s the groovy finale “Tarantino,” which even Stubbs sees as an album outlier. “The title came afterwards, but it doesseem like a song you’d hear at the end of a Tarantino film, where people are getting murdered but there’s happy music,” Stubbs explains. Overall, the Antiguas are a timeless musical statement that nods to the past but lives in the here and now. Stubbs started performing with the Antiguas in 2016. In the band’s brief time together, they’ve been nominated for three Boston Music Awards and developed quite the live show reputation, where any given night could see double organ throwdowns or trippy visual projections (along with stellar musicianship, natch). The live group consists of Stubbs, Chris Rivelli (drums), Marc Hickox (bass) and Justin Lopes (organ).