Preston Hubbard, long time bassist for both Roomful of Blues and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, now includes Nick Curran and The Nitelifes to his heavyweight resume of former bands. With a long period of being missing in action behind him, the story of that part of his checkered past is due for publication sometime next year, BluesWax checked in with "Prez" to see where he is going to re-surface this time.
Preston Hubbard and Chuck Leavell
Beardo for BluesWax: By the looks of your website, you're going to be getting busy.
Preston Hubbard: Yeah, I knew it would take a minute ... being committed to The Nitelifes I was turning things down for about a year and a half. Now that the word is out, things are picking up a little bit. As a matter of fact, I just got back from a rehearsal.
BW: Tony Vega?
PH: Not Tony, but I did a few dates with him some years back and played on his record. He'd been recruiting me but I didn't want to commit because of The Nitelifes and ended up blowing him off or something. I'm going to do Tony's October dates and see where it goes from that. He's been in Europe for a couple months.
BW: As usual, the Europeans "get it' and become a godsend for musicians.
PH: Oh, yeah! If you play Blues, Jazz or Rockabilly, you can go to Europe.
BW: It's been like that since the sixties ...
PH: Yeah, guys that couldn't get arrested over here are playing festivals there. It's a good thing.
BW: What else do you have going on?
PH: I'm going to Switzerland the day after Christmas to do dates with Al Copley [former Roomful bandmate]. He's been an expatriate for years and has developed quite a name for himself. This is a great gig at Marion's Jazzroom 'cause it's one place for two weeks. You don't see engagements like that anymore.
BW: Let's talk about that Mike Barfield video [Prez starts laughing here]. [http://syntheticpictures.com/barfield.html] I saw that thing before I read that you and Damian [Llanes, ex-Nitelifes drummer] were on it. I recognized Damien, but ... [More Prez laughter here] until I saw a close up of your fingers the second time I viewed it I had no clue...
PH: Yeah, nice afro, huh? I played on the whole record and we added Damien at the last minute because the original drummer couldn't make the shoot. I did a West Coast run and some local gigs with Mike before The Nitelifes. It was a great band but he just wasn't working enough. When he called me up much later with a budget for a video I said, "Hell, yeah!" Then when the girls showed up I said, "Yeah!"
From The Upcoming Video
BW: It is an entertaining piece of video to say the least. What's Damien doing?
PH: He's actually working around town [Austin, Texas] with Mike [Barfield] and Beth Garner, a guitarist-singer-songwriter from Dallas ... do you remember Hunt Sales? Tin Machine?
BW: Sure, the drummer and "Soupy"'s kid started out with Todd Rundgren and his brother Tony on bass.
PH: Yeah, very good. We had a band called TXTKO, the loudest band I'd ever worked with; great band that unfortunately had three gigs and just rehearsed all the time 'til I left for The Nitelifes. Well, Hunt called me up last week after hearing the news and told me he wanted to get the band going again. That was the rehearsal I just came from. I don't know what we will call it or how many gigs we'll do or if we will record but I just thought I'd go make my ears bleed again. It was great! [Laughter] We'll see what happens there.
Let's see ... Chuck Leavell has been in touch since he's unemployed at the moment, Lou Ann [Barton] is supposed to do an album soon, ,'s been in touch so I'm just doing the networking thing. Talk is cheap, though ... [Laughter] you never know what's going to happen. It took a minute and I knew it would. Things are coming together.
BW: It all sounds exciting to me. Let's keep in touch.
PH: OK! Later, Beardo.
Note: Prez also that mentioned old pal Elwood Blues aired a Nick Curran interview and a whole lotta of Player!, Nick's latest release on Blind Pig, on his House of Blues radio show recently.
Beardo is a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. Beardo may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.