Popa Chubby has been described by some as a comic book character, a charlatan, a shameless self-promoter and by others as an accomplished blues musician, showman and entrepreneur. Having followed Mr. Horowitz’s (aka Popa Chubby) career over the past many years, it is easy to understand the controversy. On the one hand he has proven to be a tireless musician with a rather large body (no pun intended) of work for a man with no major label support until his recent signing with Blind Pig. On the other hand, a lot of that early work, produced on his own label and/or oversees recordings, is often of inconsistent quality. This CD takes the pain out of trying to locate early Chubby material that is actually worth listening to. What you will find here is some pretty good original blues rock material put out by Chubby in his early years. The two lone exceptions seem to be “It’s Chubby Time” which has its origins in an early disco number which will readily come to mind from the opening note and “What’s Your Problem/Pipeline” which is a previously unreleased live version which seems disjointed and out of sync with the other selections. Guitarists will be especially happy with the selections as most feature Popa’s bag full of chops and tasty licks. Overall, it’s a pretty good compilation of Popa’s early material.
Theodore Joseph “Ted” Horowitz (born March 31, 1960, The Bronx, New York City, United States), who plays under the stage name of Popa Chubby (a play on the slang idiom “pop a chubby”, meaning to get an erection), is an American electric blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist.Although he grew up in the 1970s, Horowitz was influenced by artists of the 1960s, including Jimi Hendrix and Cream, among others.Horowitz first came to public attention after winning a national blues talent search sponsored by KLON, a public radio station in Long Beach, California. He won the New Artist of the Year award and as a result was chosen as the opening act at the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1992.
New York City multi-instrumentalist Ted Horowitz flies back in the face of purists with another intriguing collection of mix-and-match street styles, once again boldly embellishing his blues with rap, hip-hop, and rock sensibilities. In his Popa Chubby performing persona, Horowitz has explored 21st century blues stylings on a succession of record labels, polarizing critical opinion while entertaining an expanding fan base. The Good, the Bad & the Chubby continues the process, as Horowitz blurs the blues lines with 13 original songs presented in a variety of original ways. Since his recording studio is near the WTC ground zero site, it’s not surprising that more than a few of the songs are streaked with 9/11 anger and angst. The opening track, a blues fusion with rap and gospel elements, is the best of such tunes, as it proclaims “Somebody Let the Devil Out” with some Dylanesque harp work layered over a churning rhythmic foundation. More traditional–although that’s a word out of place with Popa Chubby–material spans the spectrum, from the full-tilt boogie of “If the Diesel Don’t Get You Then the Jet Fuel Will” to the slow guitar showcase “I Can’t See the Light of Day.”