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Preston Hubbard (1953 - 2016)

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Preston Hubbard (1953 - 2016)

Preston Hubbard, a former bass player for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, has died, according to American Blues Scene magazine and numerous Facebook posts from his personal friends. He was 63.

Hubbard joined the popular blues rock band in 1984 when he was asked by his friend and Thunderbirds member Jimmie Vaughan. He was a member of the band through their most successful period. He played on the hit songs “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap it Up.” “Tuff Enuff” was the band’s biggest single to this day, reaching No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hubbard was with the band until 1994.


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Hubbard hailed from Providence, Rhode Island. Before he joined the Thunderbirds, he was a member of the popular blues swing band from Rhode Island, Roomful of Blues. Roomful of Blues had Grammy nominations in 1983 and 1984.  The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Roomful of Blues were introduced to each other by mutual friends, and the bands developed a close relationship.

Hubbard also played and/or recorded with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and Big Joe Turner.

Hubbard later was in the Austin, Texas band Nick Curran and the Nitelifes.

Fans and friends of the bassist shared their condolences on social media.

"Just heard that Preston Hubbard has died," wrote Joanne Shaw Taylor, a British guitarist, on Instagram. "A true hero of mine, supporter and friend. I grew up watching him play with the T-Birds. When I was 19 a demo of mine fell into his hands and he made the effort to get in touch with me personally.

"He offered a lot of praise, guidance and support and only because he wanted to, He came out when he could if I was playing in St. Louis to support me. I'm not quite sure what's happened but I know that my world is not the same place moving forward. Thank you prez...This one hurts ..JoJo xx"

"Preston was a high school friend of mine. We started a band as teens called 8th Day. He had an Ampeg amp and the longest bass I ever saw. He was a great kid with a good heart. Became fantastic at upright bass. His Rhode Island friends were really proud of his career." - Steve G

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