Hubbard, along with Wynder K. Frog saxophonist Chris Mercer, moved on to the more blues-oriented rock band Juicy Lucy in 1969, who scored a Top 20 U.K. hit with their version of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love." By the beginning of 1970, that group had begun to splinter as Hubbard took off to join his former Wynder K. Frog bandmates Rowland and Spenner in the reconstituted, re-formed Grease Band, sharing the guitar duties with Henry McCullough; the latter group had previously made their name as the backing band to Joe Cocker, both on his previous studio album and at Woodstock, and so started with a serious reputation among musicians and music writers. The group began their work with one of the odder gigs of the era, as the core group on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's original studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. Not long after, the Grease Band was signed to EMI's Harvest Records and set about recording their self-titled debut album. The latter, now considered a roots rock classic, was greeted with rave reviews by the British rock press. The group's live performances were even more impressive, and they quickly built up an international following -- Hubbard and McCullough made a formidable guitar team, and they were only part of the show. Within less than a year, however, personal differences had caused the lineup to fall apart, and though they endured nominally into the mid-'70s, the Grease Band was never able to recapture the simple, straightforward beauty of those first recordings.
Hubbard (along with Spenner) worked with Joe Cocker on his Something to Say (1972), but soon the credits started piling up much faster, as he began a five-year stretch of session work that encompassed albums by Eddie Harris, Donovan, Pete Wingfield, the Streetwalkers, Alexis Korner, Alvin Lee, and Chris Jagger, and even made a return to the Webber/Rice orbit with MCA's 1974 recording of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (with a cast that included a 16-year-old Donny Osmond). In the middle of the decade, he also became -- in tandem with Spenner -- one of the co-founders of Kokomo, a soul/funk big band that became immensely popular in England. He entered Roxy Music's orbit initially through the sessions for Bryan Ferry's album Let's Stick Together (1976); he later played on In Your Mind (1977), The Bride Stripped Bare (1978), Boys and Girls (1985), and Mamouna (1994), and was part of Roxy Music for the albums Flesh + Blood (1980) and Avalon (1982), as well as the accompanying tours, which made him part of the video release The High Road as well, and he was back with the group for 1990's Heart Still Beating.
Hubbard's recording work slackened somewhat in the '90s as a new generation of artists moved to the fore, though his skills were still in demand with established figures like Buddy Guy (Damn Right, Ive Got the Blues) and venerable figures such as B.B. King (Deuces Wild). By the early 21st century, he was showing up increasingly as a credit in anthologies of a lot of artists' best work, though he still occasionally played on major new albums, such as Jimmy Smith's Dot Com Blues (2005), and in 2010, he was playing on Bryan Ferry's thirteenth solo album, Olympia. Most casual listeners will still know him best for his work with Ferry, Joe Cocker, or the original Jesus Christ Superstar, or when they belatedly discover the Grease Band's classic debut album, but his work is woven through a lot of superb music that was heard on both sides of the Atlantic since those heady early days. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi