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The Essential Popa Chubby

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Album Review

Featuring all the hits you need from his 2000 to 2010 catalog, The Essential Popa Chubby is a great primer for newcomers and an easily portable hits collection for fans on their way to another blistering show. Speaking of the electric bluesman’s live show, three cuts off his live album Big Man Big Guitar are included here, all of them prime examples of how the stage trumps a sterile studio when it comes to Popa’s gritty sound. Still, The Essential does a fine job picking the prime cuts off the studio efforts, as numbers like “Somebody Let the Devil Out,” “Life Is a Beatdown,” and “Deliveries After Dark” are fan favorites and staples of Chubby’s live set. The collection is generally laid out chronologically, making for an odd start on first listen as two selections from the mellower album How’d a White Boy Get the Blues? are the openers. The compilers wisely break this time line by choosing a smoking 2004 recording of “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life” for the closer, exiting on what is arguably the high point of Chubby’s career thus far.


Born: New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born Ted Horowitz in the Bronx, New York, Popa Chubby was the son of a candy store owner. At 13, Chubby began playing drums; shortly thereafter, he discovered the music of the Rolling Stones and began playing guitar. Although he grew up in the 1970s, Chubby took his cue from artists of the '60s, including Sly & the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, among others. By the time he was in his early twenties, he enjoyed and played blues music, but also worked for a while backing punk poet Richard...
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The Essential Popa Chubby, Popa Chubby
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