Band History

The story continues...
I really liked this part of the old site, so i decided to leave it as is. I would just add that the band still feels the same way about playing and the energy we share with our fans. With the addition of Mark Holden, then Rob Degnan on drums, Stephen Blythe on saxophone, and our old friend Pete on Bass, we will continue to write this story with and share the good times with all of you. Thanks.-Matty

Original Copy - 2005

I'm adding this section to the website to give people an idea of what this band is all about. It basically comes from my personal memories, so I apologize in advance if I got any facts confused. You know, a lot of people ask "Who is Mr. Chubb?" and "What does it mean?". To answer this question you just have to ask yourself "What would be the most inappropriate answer that one could give to that question?" and that's probably it...Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading this section as much as I did writing it.

By the way, which one's Chubb?

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Scampground Days
Hair Hair Everywhere
Mr. Chubb was founded in the mid 90's by EJ and myself (Matty) who, at the time, were playing together in a local band called Scampground. Our goal then was simple. After playing for years in an acoustic rock act, we wanted a big band with a big sound.

We soon recruited Hippie, Peter Lucci on guitar, and Jay white (Jay was the original drummer for Chubb) and started putting together material for our big band sound. Hippie played in bands with me in high school, as well as running a few open mics. We had played everything from metal to reggae. Every now and then, you'll hear him trying to drag me into a "Master of Puppets" jam. Ahhh the old school days of crunch and feedback. Thank god those are over.

Pete had played with EJ in a local band called "Croney Stew". The did a lot of Grateful Dead and some original stuff too. They had a great stage chemistry right out of the gate. All the while we were scouting for horn players. Jay White left the band and was replaced by Martin Baker. Martin turned out to be invaluable in the management end of things. He booked almost all the gigs and produced most of the promotional materials for the band.

In The Beginning

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Early Chubb
Rebels without horns
In the early days we played many gigs with this lineup. Even though we hadn't yet recruited a horn section, it didn't stop us from playing the big band music we loved to play. You can imagine how hard it is to play Tower of Power tunes with no horn section, but we did it.

EJ met Joey at a superbowl party and asked him to sit in with the band on sax. After the first jam, we knew Joey was a perfect fit for our music and our band attitude. After a few gigs with Joey, Pete left the band and was replaced with Johnny Provost. Johnny had played with Martin in previous bands and was a local guy we all knew would fit right in.

Johnny left the band after a while and we decided that, now that we had horns, one guitar player (yours truly) would be good enough, so we didn't replace him. This was the Mr. Chubb lineup for several years. We continued to play all over New England and build on our reputation. Soon we became one of Newport's biggest bands.

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All Horned Up
And Chunky Too (damn)
Horns At Last

Eventually Joey contacted Ronnie, a trumpet player he had worked with. Ronnie came down and in no time we asked him to join us and complete the horn section we had been searching for. Ronnie had played with numerous bands and brought years of experience to the table. We finally had the big band we always wanted. After paying many dues in local clubs, we started to build up a fan base. Before long, we were packing some of these clubs on the off nights and people were starting to notice the chubb sound.

During all our years, we seldom put much effort into advertising. We didn't even start the website until a few years ago. We always felt that a word of mouth endorsement was much better than any commercial tag line or gimmick. Our philosophy has always been the same throughout the years, "It has to be fun" and we will play what we have fun playing, not what is on the radio (well, except our swing phase, but we loved playing it and not many bands could do it as good as us).

Over the years, Chubb has gone through many musical changes. With over a hundred songs in our hat, and that's not including the "shoot from the hip" songs or the ones we were paid generously to butcher (like "here comes the bride","she's got a way", and many more which we all want to forget), we've touched on just about every genre. With our influences including everything from the Grateful Dead to Tower of Power, the band is notorious for the extended jam. I think our record is like 20 minutes. The constant jams really developed our distinct and dynamic sound.

Gone but not forgotten...

Brother Martin
With us forever
In 2001, tragedy struck when we lost our beloved drummer and friend to cancer. We will never forget the great times we had with him and the band often reminisces about all the things that made Marty.... well Marty, a one of a kind. Marty was the kind of guy who would sit you down in front of his stereo (vintage hi-fi record player with knobs the size of skoal cans of course) and play you his latest discovery. It would always be something off the wall too like a Bach concerto performed entirely on ukulele. Or he would drag you into his office so he can show you the vintage 1950s clothes dryer he just bought that played La Cucuracha when the buzzer went off.

Marty was the real deal and we always remember him. Personally, I think he spends his time in the afterlife doing bong hits with buddha and playing pinball with Hendrix. That's just my opinion, but I know he's always looking down on us...and probably saying"hey..uh...don't touch my gear, man."

Back in the Saddle Again

Matty "Noodles"
Chubb eventually hired Matt "Noodles" Niebles (He hates when I call him that) to take over as drummer. Matt was a great fit for the Chubb with a free style which lended itself perfectly to our music. He loved to "break it down" with the percussion and opened up a new door for extended jams (and beer breaks for the rest of us).

Matt played in several local bands before joining us, and was quite an accomplished drummer with roots in jazz and reggae. If you brought a reggae tune to the table when we picked songs, you could always count on Matt's vote. He also sang backup vocals on many tunes and was great at finding the "in-between harmony".

Matt left the band to pursue other musical ambitions. He played a ton of gigs with us and we really enjoyed playing with him and we hope he and his family are doing well. One final thing about Noodles: Being the only vegetarian in the band, he always got screwed on the catered gigs and would end up with a plate full of carrots and cheese squares. I kinda felt bad about that..well not really. We love you Noodles..wherever you are.

The Missing Link - And I Ain't Talkin Bout Bigfoot

At some point Chubb decided we needed an even bigger sound and thought keys would be the next logical step. We had tried out some keyboard players before, but with no luck. One guy we tried could only solo in one key and had to electronically transpose every song. Eeek! This kind of stuff had made us shy away from keys for a long time.

Then one day, along came Mark Grimm. I think Joey had asked him down for a jam because they had worked together before or faced off in some court somewhere. I'm pretty sure that at the time, we had no intention of adding more musicians, but after we had that jam together, our outlook changed completely. It took only one sweeping hammond lick and we were sold.

Mark had worked with a bunch of local bands, including Cold Sweat, who had a similar set to ours. We liked playing with Mark so much, we immediately asked him to join us on an upcoming gig. We may have practiced once, before playing that gig, then we threw him into the fire blind. In return he kicked our collective asses. Marks sound has really honed the Chubb sound you hear today and most of his contributions were born live on stage or in a "it kinda goes like this" session moments before going on stage. He truly is a key part of our sound (no pun intended) and when you hear the band calling out "MG", be prepared to hear him make those keys beg for mercy.

Ja Mocha In the Hiz-ouse

Jay White
Home at last
After Noodles left, we asked Jay White to rejoin the band. Jay and I had played together in more projects than I can count. He and I have always had great stage communication and always know where the other is going. Jay can also get down and dirty in a percussion jam with EJ which gets the whole room bumpin. In addition to that, he loves to sing and can always get the crowd going.

Jay has been playing the local Newport scene for as long as I can remember. You would be hard pressed to find a Newport musician who doesn't know of him, or even played with him at some point. His style is unique is his love of all music is unquestionable.

What's the Chubb? Tell me what's a happenin..

For over ten years, we have been playing the music we love, and our fans have been great. Here's a true story for ya. This guy brings his girlfriend down to one of our shows. They loved our band and always had a great time when we played. On this particular gig, the guy asked us if we would help him out. He wanted to propose to his girl at a Chubb Show. Isn't that crazy? So we gave him the mic, and right there in the middle of our set, we stopped the music and he popped the question. She said yes and the crowd went wild. Later that year we played their wedding (something we do very rarely now). There are a million little stories like that and its those things that make us play on. We love to play and we love the energy our fans give us while were on stage. That's what Chubb has always been and always will be about. You guys, the fans.