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GA-20 plays the punky-blues

Every band has different methods for how they create and debut new songs. Some bands may have a member write individually, then bring the work in progress to other band members to add their various parts, while others may write collectively in a group project type of setting. Once a new songs is done, it may not make it to live set-list until after its been recorded and released on an album. Blues/garage rock band GA-20 is the type of band that likes to road test songs; a playing out type of band, they are a sturdy three-piece offering a lot of bang for your buck from the stage, giving fans new songs live well before they may make it to an album.

GA-20 – Matt Stubbs on guitar; Pat Faherty on guitar and vocals; and Tim Carman on drums – will return to Durango and the Animas City Theatre on June 27. Opening the show is local psych and surf-rock band The Crags.

If you go

WHAT: Garage-blues with GA-20, The Crags.

WHEN: Doors open at 7 p.m. June 27.

WHERE: Animas City Theatre, 128 E. College Drive.


MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.animascitytheatre.com.

“Typically, Pat will come up with a melody or a lyric idea, or I’ll come up with possible chord changes, a groove or a riff. And we kind of just share it back and forth. Then we start arranging it up, and once it’s a solidified idea and it feels good, we usually start playing it live,” Stubbs said. “A lot of bands will write a song, go in and record it, and then perform it later. But for all of our stuff, we write it, then road test it for a while before we go into the studio. And seeing an audience and how they react to things, it’s good intel before recording.”

GA-20 has been hitting it hard for the last few years. Their last Durango show came in support of their 2021 release “Try It ... You Might Like It!” where the band celebrated the music of Hound Dog Taylor and legendary blues label Alligator Records. “Crackdown” came in 2022, followed by “Live in Loveland” the next year.

Touring is a nonstop venture; they’ve been crisscrossing America on the regular, while also bringing their sound to various parts of Europe. Some tours have them living out of a bag in a tour bus, others find the band flying around the world. To them, mode of transportation isn’t the important thing: What matters is getting their sounds to the fans.

“The cool thing about being on the road is its day in and day out, focusing on the show and being able to play every night. Fly-ins are nice because you get to go home, but then you have to deal with airports. That can get kind of annoying and old after awhile,” Stubbs said. “Right now, I think we’re just concentrating on tour dates and promoting the records. It was a lot of recording on the quick, three records in like two years or something, maybe two and a half years. So right now we’re concentrating on getting out there and bringing the music to the people.”

This is not jam-heavy blues like you’d hear from a band like the Allman Brothers, nor is it the arguably overrated commercial blues you’d hear coming from Eric Clapton. Yes, it’s “blues-based,” but there is a lot of punk-edge to their sound, a sound that’s audibly raw and aggressive.

“A lot of that stuff in the ’60s and early ’70s, especially the Hound Dog Taylor type, they played with a lot of energy, there was almost a punk attitude about it. Our live shows have a lot of energy. I think a lot of people when they think about the blues, they think about slow, down and out music or whatever,” Stubbs said. “We definitely put on a high-energy show that probably feels more like a rock ’n’ roll show.”

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.