ERROL STUBBS 'TURNING IT OUT'
September 15, 2023
180g vinyl edition
Armed with little more than his Peavy T-60 guitar and a Jumbo Fuzz pedal, Errol Stubbs and his bar-band cohorts cranked out a self-released tape of funked-up disco soul in 1986. With no label or distribution to speak of, Errol would simply put on his best suit and sell the cassettes by hand. The tape languished into obscurity…until now!
The story of Errol Stubbs begins in Birmingham, Alabama in 1959. The youngest of five, he was surrounded by music as a child–his aunt taught piano at Daniel Payne College while his older brother, Avery Beavers, was an accomplished jazz trumpeter. Under the guidance of Avery, Errol started playing trumpet at the age of nine, though he gravitated toward songwriting and quickly picked up the guitar. Inspired by blues greats the likes of Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Little Milton, 12-year-old Errol began mimicking the sounds that filled southern airwaves. As a teenager, he played at barbecues, fish fries, and dive bars across the Magic City. After a brief stint at Jefferson State studying music, Errol’s passion for songwriting beckoned him away from the classroom.
Stubbs bounced around bar bands before settling on a live lineup and saving enough dough to take his vision to the recording studio. Over the course of two days, his well-rehearsed band recorded Turning it Out mostly live to tape at the Sound Of Birmingham Studio. Located on Birmingham’s east side, the state-of-the-art studio kept the lights on by recording commercial jingles but was more than happy to open their doors to local talent.
Taking notes from guitar god Ernie Isley and funk legend Rick James, the resulting recordings are drenched in cosmic phaser-fuzz guitar work, slapping bass lines, and sexual disco innuendos. Big brother Avery lends a hand on Clavinet for “Sweat,” while studio owner/engineer Don Mosley adds a tasteful dose of Moog synthesizer across a handful of cuts.
Soon after the Sound Of Birmingham sessions, Errol released the private pressed EP “Dancin’ Fancy,” b/w “Spaced Out On Your Love,” the latter of which was featured on Numero Group’s 2019 compilation Visible and Invisible Persons Distributed In Space.
The seven-song cassette Turning It Out was sold in local record stores and from night club stages, but only a few copies made their way out of Birmingham. Now Tidal Waves Music (in collaboration with the Numero Group) proudly presents the first ever vinyl release of these unearthed and overlooked recordings, professionally restored for fans and collectors of rare funk/soul to discover and enjoy. This album comes as a 180g vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) complete with all new artwork and obi strip.