“This is the best kind of blues,” Matt Stubbs of GA-20 tells American Songwriter about the band’s latest single “She’s Gone.” “It’s raw, and it grabs at you on an emotional level. This song is age-old loss and longing, but in that place where sadness and anger and perhaps some alcohol and recklessness intersect.”
GA-20 is a dynamic blues trio composed of guitarist Matt Stubbs, guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty and drummer Tim Carman. The band recently looked to legendary six-fingered bluesmen Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor to inspire their work. “She’s Gone,” a track originally written by Taylor, was recorded by the band as a part of their upcoming tribute album—GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor: Try It…You Might Like It! —for the Chicago artist.
“We recorded [‘She’s Gone’] in our studio, Elmhurst Sound Studio, over the past pandemic winter. All of our recording, including this one, is done live with the three of us in one room together. We try to come in prepared with the arrangements, and the goal is to capture a live sound and performance, even for a studio track. For this particular song, we used only 7 microphones and a couple of small ’50s/’60s tube amps,” Stubbs explained.
GA-20s’ version of “She’s Gone” wails and whines with a richness of emotion that captures the blues spirit of Hound Dog Taylor. The band, however, does add their own sound to the track 50 years after the original was released. GA-20, named after the respected Gibson GA-20 amplifier, skillfully matches technique and sensation.
“On the surface of course I want people to simply hear it, and then to like it, but more so I want people to listen with an open mind, to be open to the idea of ‘blues’ that may be different from what they may have preconceived,” Stubbs said. “Blues sometimes has an image problem. GA-20 has a motto that ‘If you don’t like blues you’re listening to the wrong s**t,’ and I really do believe that.”
Check out “She’s Gone” by GA-20 below and pre-order their upcoming album here. The band’s new tour dates are also listed below.
Photo credit: Whitney Pelfrey