2016 – Popa Chubby Productions
By Phillip Smith; Dec. 17, 2016
With a music career which has spanned over twenty five years, New York blues artist Ted Horowitz, aka Popa Chubby, continues to keep the sound fresh and the songs innovative on his latest release The Catfish. Popa Chubby shows he can not only dish it out with raw sheer attitude, but he can also approach a song with grace and elegance as well. The Catfish contains ten outstanding new songs, as well as two wonderful covers.
Nothing quite compares to the magnificent instrumental “Blues For Charlie”. There’s a whole lot of heart and soul poured into Popa Chubby’s searing guitar performance. On the subject of instrumentals, I also fell for “Wes is More”, a smooth jazzy number with a lot of pick-me-up and a sweet accompaniment by the prestigious Dave Keys on piano, and drummer Dave Moore. In a barrelhouse style, Keys plays a wonderful backup to Chubby on a delightful cover of Robert Johnson’s “C’mon In My Kitchen”. This is a fine cover indeed. Taking on the Everly Brothers 1957 hit, “Bye Bye Love” while adopting a reggae beat, Popa Chubby catches me off-guard when breaking into an amazing run of hummingbird-like guitar picking. This is one fantastic track.
Popa Chubby’s daughter Tipitina peppers the ominous and hypnotizing rhythm of another favorite, “Slow Down Sugar” with cool blasts of trumpet as Chubby raps through his own vocal harmonies. I tend to crank the volume up a smidge when I hear “Cry Till It’s a Dull Ache”, a vibrant nod to Seventies blues-rock with a John Kay and Steppenwolf feel. Chubby has his mojo running on “Dirty Diesel” too. This rowdy rocker is loaded with smoking guitar licks and rambunctious keys.
Masterfully engineered hooks and grooves sidled up with Popa Chubby’s bold and fearless guitar handling sets the table for an enjoyable and engaging listening experience.