• John Van de Mergel

Sounds | GA-20, Easy on the Eyes


Eentje voor fans van electric blues die een retro underground sfeertje oproept. Traditionele instrumenten en melodie staan op de voorgrond, CCR komt om de hoek kijken, riffs en grooves slaan je om de oren. Er wordt over een 'blues revival' gesproken, maar zo ver zou ik niet gaan. Wat deden de vroege Black Keys en doen de huidige Gary Clark Jr., Adia Victoria, Larkin Poe, ... anders? G-20 zijn wel een stuk rauwer, dat is duidelijk.


Crackdown verschijnt op 9 september 2022 via Colemine/Konkurrent.


Luister ook naar: Let's Get Funky


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GA-20 clearly is on to something big. It’s a movement, a new traditional blues revival. The dynamic, throwback blues trio are disciples of the place where traditional blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll intersect. “We make records that we would want to listen to,” says guitarist Matt Stubbs. “It’s our take on the song-based traditional electric blues we love.” Stubbs and guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty, and drummer Tim Carman have been at the forefront of this traditional blues revival since they first formed in 2018. It’s no wonder they skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard Blues Charts.

“Since we started the band we’ve focused on the story, the melody, and on creating a mood. Playing live as much as we do, we’re finding more and more that people are discovering how cool it all is. Traditional country, soul and funk music have all had these massive recent revivals, but traditional blues so far has not.” With their new Colemine album, Crackdown, and an intensive tour schedule, that’s all about to change. Since first forming in 2018, GA-20 has drawn inspiration for their old-school sounds from the music they love by artists such as Otis Rush, J.B. Lenoir, Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells, Hound Dog Taylor, Lloyd Price, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and so many others. Performing with what feels like reckless abandon, GA-20 brings a timeless immediacy to every song they play with a sound that continues to grow and evolve. The Boston Herald calls them, “a magical blues trio.”


Matt Stubbs is a 14-year veteran of legendary blues master Charlie Musselwhite’s touring band, and has performed with James Cotton and John Hammond, among many others. Stubbs met Faherty in Boston, and their mutual love of traditional electric blues, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll led them to write, perform and eventually record their modern vision of this life-altering music. GA-20 quickly drew a large following, and the band soon signed with acclaimed soul/R&B label Colemine Records, releasing their debut, Lonely Soul, in 2019 to widespread critical and popular acclaim. The album – with guests Charlie Musselwhite and Luther Dickinson – premiered in the #2 position on the Billboard Blues Chart. With new drummer Tim Carman on board, their 2020 EP Live Vol. 1, debuted at #1. Medium.com declared, “This is the kind of music that travels through time while taking from the era where it was born and turning it into something fresh. Dirty and raw…timeless and modern.”

With GA-20’s sophomore album, 2021’s Try It…You Might Like It! GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor, the band resurrected and reinvented the raw and dirty blues music of the late six-fingered slide guitar Chicago blues legend, Hound Dog Taylor. Released in partnership between Colemine Records and iconic blues label Alligator Records, the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart as well as #1 radio charting in the UK and Australia, and it was nominated for a 2022 Blues Music Award. Songs from the record received airplay on over 350 radio stations worldwide. Critics from home and abroad heralded the coming of a new wave of blues for the next generation of blues fans.

American Songwriter says the band plays “rough and tumble, relentless blues” with “tough, insistent vocals” and “maximum intensity rocking.” UK tastemaker magazine MOJO says GA-20 makes “a joyful noise.” With the help of their relentless tour schedule, GA-20 reached many fans who had never heard of Hound Dog Taylor, and who were now not just fans, but recruited to this new, growing traditional blues revival as well. “We’re proud to bring this sound to a new audience,” says Stubbs. “When people hear it, they get what we’re doing and they’re into it. It’s very important to us to make a personal connection,” he continues. “Blues is meant to be played live. It’s about telling stories. We love making records but performing live is even more important to us.” Now, with Crackdown and an ever-expanding tour schedule, GA-20 is clearly on to something big. It’s a movement, a traditional blues revival.


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