Chop Shop, Chicago IL
September 9, 2023
Photos and words by Roman Sobus
When my friend Amy asked if I wanted to go check out a new Blues band she is working with, I told her “Yes, absolutely!” I’m all about checking out new talent coming to the scene and this time was no exception. Blues is also a fave of mine.
GA-20 was formed in 2018 by guitarists Matthew Stubbs and Pat Faherty. Things apparently have been going well since despite a heavy tour schedule, They have four albums, the latest “Live in Loveland” released in March of this year and five singles and EPs. Stubbs’ history includes 14 years with Blues great Charlie Musselwhite. He has also performed with James Cotton.
If you were looking to hear some old school Blues music a la BB King or Muddy Waters, this aint it! First of all, they are loud and in your face. This is Blues reborn with some bite. Stubbs and Faherty on stage with drummer Tim Carman are tight, engaging and sound great!. My initial reaction was “Where’s the bass player? However, both guitarists took turns playing the low scale, seamlessly switching between themselves throughout the set. Chicago Blues favorite Gerry Hundt joined the band playing Blues harp for a few songs!
These guys are definitely on the forefront of where the “new” Blues is headed. They have a sound that will appeal to a wide range of fans and will continue to expand their base. Some would say that the Blues is dead or dying but there is a whole new generation of musicians that are redefining the genre.
They are on tour through the end of the year. Catch them when they are in your area! You will certainly become a fan!