Popa Chubby

The Essential Popa Chubby
Blind Pig Records
Popa Chubby

Popa Chubby is usually described as a blues guitarist, but he’s actually a damn good rock and roll guitarist. This set starts with a couple of songs that are autobiographical in nature and describe how Popa (nee Ted Horowitz) became a musician. “Daddy Played the Guitar and Mama Was a Disco Queen” and “How’d a White Boy Get the Blues” are acoustic blues that tell his tale and feature some nasty slide guitar.

His 9-11 tale “Somebody Let the Devil Out” is a swampy blues rocker. “If the Diesel Don’t Get You Then the Jet Fuel Will” is straight-ahead boogie with tasty slide. We get a live version of his hit “Sweet Goddess of Love & Beer” with an arrangement that makes it much funkier. His melodic playing continues on “Back in My Baby’s Arms,” a shuffle with a gospel feel, while a couple of covers show his versatility; “Hey Joe” gets plenty of guitar-hero attitude, and his reading of “Hallelujah” is gorgeous and soulful, both vocally and musically. All told, there are 16 cuts, and they cover a lot of ground.

He wraps things wonderfully with a rock-and-roll version of “Keep On the Sunnyside of Life” that includes a solo with considerable Chuck Berry influence.

While one could quibble about the choices taken to make up an “essential” record, this set gives all sides to a fine artist.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display