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Photo by Fred Pollard
Stubblefield, from left, Joe Cox (bass and vocals), Matt Taul (lead vocals), Bob Oettle (lead guitar and vocals), and Matt Van Voorhis (rhythm guitar and vocals). Stubblefield will reunite for a show at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville on March 1.
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Photo courtesy of Stubblefield
The band will perform cover songs, Stubblefield classics, and a couple of new songs, as well.
As hard as I tried to dig up stories of infighting and backstage brawls leading to Stubblefield’s breakup, all I could find was camaraderie and good-natured ribbing common among longtime friends.
“We could be at each other’s throats, but as soon as we played that first note, it was all good,” singer Matt Taul said. “It was always about the music and making each other laugh.”
The original Stubblefield (Matt Taul, lead vocals, Bob Oettle, lead guitar and vocals, Matt Van Voorhis, rhythm guitar and vocals, and Joe Cox, bass and vocals), along with drummer Eric Harnetiaux will perform a reunion show March 1 at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville.
“The last time we played a large show together was at the Wildey a year ago,” Van Voorhis said.
The band says they will be performing cover songs, Stubblefield classics, and a couple of new songs, as well. Longtime fans will have a chance to relive the glory days of Stubblefield … and still get home in time to check on the kids.
“Our gigs are usually eight to midnight now instead of 10 until two in the morning,” Oettle said.
“We wake up at five instead of getting home at five now,” Taul added, laughing.
Although there may be a few more aches and pains that come with middle age, the guys are back to show they can rock the house better than ever.
Stubblefield officially formed in 1990 and spent the next 10 years bringing classic rock to the local area, including the release of two CDs (“Eating Crow” in 1995 and “Less Traveled” in 1998).
“Around ’89 or ’90, we just started jamming together at parties and stuff and we collected people along the way,” Taul said. “We played a lot of classic rock and became known for our Grateful Dead covers.”
The group (with original drummer Damion Gilligan) enjoyed an impressive level of local success with the first release, “Eating Crow” and its single, “5 to 10.”
“We had a good run on ‘Eating Crow,’” Van Voorhis said. “We played a lot of good gigs from that album.”
“We also got some airplay on KSHE 95 from that album, too,” Oettle added. “(Radio host) Favazz really helped us out by promoting us.”
(The CDs are out of print, but Taul says the band’s music will soon be available for download on his website at www.matttaulmusic.com.)
Over the years, the band played locally and abroad, sharing fond memories of gigs at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis and shows in Chicago. Stubblefield also has opened for national acts Little River Band, Georgia Satellites and the Marshall Tucker band.
“We were together three to five nights a week for the better part of 10 years,” Taul said.
When Stubblefield went on hiatus, the guys continued bringing music to the local scene. Taul performs with the Five and Dimers, while Van Voorhis, Oettle, and Cox formed Phatfinger.
“Stubblefield is kind of in between Phatfinger and the Five and Dimers,” Taul said. “They have taken the harder edge of the alt-country scene, and I took the more traditional side. Stubblefield runs right down the middle.”
But for both the members and the fans, Stubblefield always will elicit nostalgia, fond memories, and good old rock and roll.
“There is no one in this room that could leave and still allow us to be the same band,” Taul said. “This is Stubblefield, and it can’t be duplicated or replaced.”
Stubblefield will perform Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. at The Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville. To purchase tickets for the Wildey show, visit the website at http://www.wildeytheatre.com/?nav=eventsDetails&num=928.
The band also will be performing an acoustic set live on WLCA 89.9 on at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.