Professional guitarist and member of Incendio

Jim Stubblefield’s love of guitar goes back to when he first heard his mom play records by The Beetles. How he eventually ended up making his living playing ethnic flavored fusion is an interesting story.

Over the past eleven years, thousands of fans in search of the exotic and mystical have found the Promised Land in the music of Incendio (the burning ensemble Stubblefield co-founded along with fellow L.A. musicians Jean-Pierre (JP) Durand (guitar) and bassist Liza Carbe). Their eight-disc catalog features titles like Misterioso and Illumination, and includes a DVD entitled Dia Y Noche; reflective of their exciting crossover appeal, many of their recordings have appeared on the Billboard and CMJ charts. Having studied jazz guitar and having played in numerous rock bands, Stubblefield did not venture into more acoustic music until the early nineties. “My sister introduced me to a Kuwaiti grad student by the name of Waleed Hamad. He had been jamming at the time with Ben Harper and when Ben went off to great success, Waleed and I started hanging out and writing music together. I learned a ton hanging out with Waleed and I got to play with musicians from all over the world.”

“Around this same time I discovered old recordings of John McLaughlin’s Shakti and I heard Strunz and Farah’s Primal Magic CD,” remembers Stubblefield. “I just became addicted to this world fusion that was based around the acoustic guitar.”

In 1997 Stubblefield released his second solo CD, entitled Cities of Gold, which ended up being a semi-finalist in a Disc Maker’s Independent Music Competition. “I found myself able to play shows at Borders Books & Music, Barnes and Noble, and various coffee houses. The funny thing was, I was selling 50+ CDs per show and I never had to do the club thing.”

“With Rhythm of the Heart, I secured a P & D deal (pressing and distribution) with PARAS Recordings which was also Incendio’s first record label,” Stubblefield recalls. “Then in the fall of 1999 I hired JP and Liza to produce my next project. What was supposed to be my 4th solo CD ended up becoming Incendio’s first “Misterioso!”

After recording four solo CDs (November, Cities of Gold, Rhythm of the Heart, and Guitarra Exotica) and seven CDs and a DVD with Incendio, Stubblefield decided to get back to basics. “With Inspiracion, I wanted to record something raw and earthy. Nylon-string guitar, fretless bass and percussion – that’s all. No synthesizers, extra instruments or multiple solo takes. Almost all of the guitar performances on Inspiracion are one straight take from beginning to end with no editing.”

Another interesting fact is that all of the writing and guitar recording on Inspiracion was done in only two weeks. “I basically tracked the guitars as I wrote the songs. My previous release, Guitarra Exotica, was roughly a four year on and off project. Inspiracion just happened. I guess I was really inspired and my percussionist, Bryan Brock, suggested the name!”

“I wanted Inspiracion to evoke a more South American, Southwestern and gritty vibe. I thought of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and I tied to stay very focused on an overall feel for the recording,” says Stubblefield. “With songs named El Pistolero (The Gunfighter) and Armadillo I definitely try to evoke those concepts.”

Joining Stubblefield on Inspiracion is Randy Tico (Strunz and Farah) on fretless bass and Bryan Brock on percussion. In closing, Stubblefield says, “The overall result of the three of us working together was just fantastic. I really think I made the recording I had been chasing after all these years. I had a great time working on this CD and I hope people like it!”