'How'd a White Boy Get the Blues?'

Is it too early in the day to star drinking whiskey? ‘Cause dammit that’s what Popa Chubby makes me want to do.

Popa Chubby (more on the name in a bit) plays the kind of raunchy blues / rock-a-billy / old-school country that you want to hear in a bar, not sitting on the couch in your living room at 10 in the morning. Last year he released his 19th album, Vicious Country, a disk that not only showed off his talent on the guitar, but also paid tribute to the legendary music that has influenced him along the way. The album, while not attracting much mainstream attention, continued to build on the legend that is Chubby.

Ted Horowitz came out of the Bronx, raised on Clapton, Hendrix, and the Stones. By the time he was in his early 20’s, he had found his love for the blues, but had also found his way into occasional work with Richard Hell. Ted’s first big break was winning a national blues talent search sponsored by KLON, a public radio station in Long Beach, Calif.

I’ve found two versions as to how Ted Horowitz became Popa Chubby. The first comes from something Chubby himself said. He was jamming one night with Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic, he says, and, “He was singing a song called ‘Popa Chubby’ and he pointed at me.”

“Popa Chubby basically means to get excited. The core of my music is about excitement. I think music should make people feel alive.”

The other version – unsourced, I might add, but on the Popa Chubby Wiki page – claims the name is a variation of the term “pop a chubby.” My guess is that, as usual, the truth is somewhere between the two versions.

Popa Chubby’s 20th album, The Fight Is On, is due out March 22. If you can’t find it your local big box retailer (haha!), you can order it from the Popa Chubby website. In the meantime, here are a couple of things from the Vicious Country LP. The woman on vocals is Galea, Chubby’s sometime bass player and longtime collaborator.

Break Me Down.mp3
Satan is Real / Straight to Hell (Hank III cover).mp3
Harper Valley P.T.A. (Jeannie C. Riley cover).mp3

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