Chubby pops some blues-rockers
Reviewed October 2010
The Fight Is On
By Popa Chubby
Blind Pig Records: 2010
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
It's hard not to pull for a guy who started life in the Bronx as Ted Horowitz, a portly white kid who through the power of the blues has transformed himself into Popa Chubby, the big man with a guitar. Chubby has been around, playing and releasing numerous albums since the early '90s, including 1995's "Booty and the Beast" and 2006's "Big Man, Big Guitar." Like a few other American blues shouter/guitar aces, he has had an established following in Europe for years. "The Fight Is On" is his new disc.
The band here has backup musicians with names like The Pig and VD King, and for the most part it is straight-up, hard guitar rock. Chubby isn't an original by any stretch, but his voice has plenty of bluesy bottom and his guitar is good enough to keep the listener's attention, as his ZZ Top-meets-Hendrix riffing is spotlighted throughout on the 11 Chubby originals and one cover.
On the title tune, "Rock and Roll is My Religion" and "Noisemaking Love Machine" the titles convey quite a bit about the songs: tough mid-tempo thumpers recorded loud with Chubby playing sharp, unindulgent guitar solos. "The Company of Thieves" works a boogie beat hard while the lead lines quote Billy Gibbons and Johnny Winter, then captures some original solo threads as well. "It's Over" has the best guitar break, and "Wicked Wanda," about being rolled by an evil hooker, is the most fun. The last track is a muddy, live cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" that should have been saved for a live disc with more of a metal bent.
Popa Chubby (what can you say about the name?) has laid down some gritty, hard-rocking licks on "The Fight Is On." This isn't groundbreaking stuff, but it moves the hips and feet, and Popa can shred.
Review by Frank Kocher, a longtime San Diego resident, musician, music collector and frequent contributor to The San Diego Troubadour.