POPA CHUBBY – THE ESSENTIAL POPA CHUBBY CD
Review by Michael McKenna
PA Music Scene.com
What do you get when you combine an urban NYC Rapper, Charlie Daniels, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes together? You get Popa Chubby! This guy is an “IN YOUR FACE” singer who cuts no corners and just lets it all hang out with his performances. His guitar work is flawless and is some of the best blues rock I have heard in a dog’s age. His strings just talk on every on of his songs with an authority that adds that extra touch to his creativity. His influences are evident throughout this entire collection.
He has succeeded in adding an urban NYC flavor to his rockin blues sound that is in total defiance of what is out there today. Some of the tracks are totally out of the box in what could be the beginning of a new genre of blues music, rap/blues.
“Daddy Played the Guitar and Mama Was a Disco Queen” is raw in your face rap-blues. Popa Chubby’s solo riffs are southern rocking blues with a twist. “How’d a White Boy Get the Blues” is a traditional blues number with some telling lyrics and vocals that just catch you! “Somebody Let the Devil Out” is an awesome tune that sounds like retro Donovon vocals put into a blues format. “If the Diesel Don’t Get You Then the Jet Fuel Will” is an energetic up-tempo track with an infectious hook that is a killer. Popa Chubby’s guitar walks and talks throughout with authority! Love the lyrics! One of the best offerings on this CD!
“Like the Buddah Do” has catchy rhythms that resonate from start to finish and retro keys that work in harmony with the powerful strings. This is one of those songs that could have the party tag attached to it. “Life is a Beatdown” has a rap/blues sound with that urban NY feel that is so cool to listen to. I could see this as a single release that would invade multiple formats! THE #1 SONG ON THIS CD!
“Sweet Goddess of Love and Beer” is a down home honky-tonk live party tune that reminds me of the 70’s and early 80’s. “Hey Joe” is a song that need no words. Popa Chubby belts out a remixed version of this timeless 60’s classic that just kicks royal ass! His guitar work is flawless and his vocals are spot on. This has to be one of the best renditions of “Hey Joe” I have ever heard! “Hallelujah” takes me back to the days when music was real. This Leonard Cohen classic is performed with a feeling not heard by today’s artists that is so refreshing. “Back in my Baby’s Arms” is a Horowitz tune that is performed to perfection by Popa Chubby with that telltale raspy voice. This up-tempo number is one of those tunes that just catches ones ear.
“Slide Devil Man Slide” would make Charlie Daniels sit back and take notice in the way this song is presented. He just takes this Ted Horowitz tune to another level. “Deliveries after Dark” is a monster! The energy projected takes this right off the scale. “Grown Man Crying the Blues” is one of those numbers that reminds me a lot of the great BB King in the way it is presented and the inner feelings that are exuded. The guitar solo is phenomenal! “The Fight is On” is one of those beer-drinking party tunes that just kick butt. The story told by Popa Chubby keeps one riveted. “Another Ten Years is Gone” tells a cool life story about some of his influences in music. “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life’ is an A.P. Carter tune that has a nice country/blues flavor to it and shows another side of this talented artist.
I have only one word for this CD, AWESOME! This collection of originals, classics and standards are performed flawlessly to perfection. I give this CD better than 2 THUMBS UP, I give it a STANDING OVATION!
Popa Chubby will be performing at Second Story Blues on Bethlehem, PA on Feb. 11, 2011 as part of his US Tour.