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Interview:
The Upbeat: Keith "Bubby" Webb
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Born: Pontiac, Mich.

Sounds: Jazz, R&B, funk, hip-hop, electronic

Influences: Billy Cobham, Dennis Chambers, Chick Corea, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Dave Weckl, the Jones brothers (Elvin, Thad, Hank).

Music in the blood: Webb -- who plays drums, keyboards and bass and is learning guitar -- is the son of Orange Lake Drive drummer Johnny Borders, Jr., while his uncle, Larry Webb is a percussionist active in the Detroit music scene. "Those were my two foundations on my mother's and father's side," Webb says. "Everybody in the family plays or sings. My mom used to play viola. I've got an auntie who plays piano, another auntie who plays flute, a couple of cousins who play percussion and bass. It's a musical family."

What's in a nickname?: Webb, 38, says there are two stories about how he became known as Bubby. One is that it honors Detroit pianist Bubby Hatchett, a favorite of Webb's father. The other: "My mom and grandma and aunties went to Sea World when my mom was pregnant with me. They saw this fish with big, puffy eyes called the Bubby fish, so I was the Bubby baby. I don't like that one as much."

Go west, young man: Webb, whose credentials include playing with Slum Village, Dwele, Redman, the Temptations, Kindred the Family Soul and Charles Walker, has resided in Scottsdale, Ariz., since 2009. The move, he explains, is "about getting closer to California. There are a lot of opportunities, musically -- from tours, making tracks for different artists, all that stuff. This puts me closer to the people that can call some shots and some of the artists that I deal with. And I do not miss winter at all!."

Not too cool for school: The Pontiac Northern High School graduate is currently in his second semester at Scottsdale Community College, taking formal music classed. "I'm self taught, and I'm at a point where I want to expand my writing. If you play by ear, that's all you have to go off of. When you can read music and write it, and when you can pick up somebody else's music and read it and play it, that gives you some other ideas as far as your writing ability. So I just got into school to learn more."

Hear him: Webb's most recent album, "The Journey," came out in August 2009 on his own Beat Mob Productions label. He's currently working on another album that he hopes to release this year.

See him: Webb performs at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd. Auburn Hills. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Surf him: www.beatmobproductions.com

Web Site: www.beatmobproductions.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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