Matt Hubbard

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

Matt Hubbard

If you've seen Jane Bond or Kimmie Rhodes perform in the past couple of years, they were probably sharing the stage with Matt Hubbard. He's also worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Emmylou Harris, and Ray Benson in the studio as producer, engineer, and/or backing musician. Now the keyboard, harp, and trombone player steps out front with his own band with a platter that's an interesting mix of original tunes and covers from the songbooks of Bob Dylan, the Doors, and bluesman Jimmy Oden. Taken as a whole, Hubbard's debut is a loose-limbed affair at times recalling the melodic side of Tom Waits, while also shining light on his blues roots. Unfortunately, while his musical ability is top-notch, his songwriting and vocal talents lag behind. Only a couple of his originals, like the jazzy "Used to Be" and the near psychedelic "Scapegoat," rise above standard blues fair. He turns Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe" into a barrelhouse blues, which while not entirely successful, is certainly a different approach and shows he's thinking. "I Will Never Be Untrue," an obscure Doors tune that never appeared on their albums, is performed in the style of Mississippi John Hurt and fares a bit better. Hubbard finishes off with "Lift Me Up," a country-gospel original that features Willie on lead guitar and backing vocals, a distinctive touch to an overall promising if flawed debut.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle