How'd a White Boy Get the Blues?

How'd a White Boy Get the Blues?

by Popa Chubby
     
 

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Influenced by blues greats Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, and the three Kings (all of whom he name-checks in the aptly titled "Carrying on the Torch of the Blues"), Popa Chubby (aka Ted Horowitz) brazenly ventures into more contemporary waters while remaining true to his rootsy influences and the spirit of the genre. While the hip-hop beats and Chubby's… See more details below

Overview

Influenced by blues greats Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, and the three Kings (all of whom he name-checks in the aptly titled "Carrying on the Torch of the Blues"), Popa Chubby (aka Ted Horowitz) brazenly ventures into more contemporary waters while remaining true to his rootsy influences and the spirit of the genre. While the hip-hop beats and Chubby's rapping are a little awkward on the album's opening "Daddy Played the Guitar and Mama Was a Disco Queen" (a video of the track is also included as the enhanced CD-ROM portion of the disc), especially as he injects them into a song that starts out as an acoustic ballad, his ragged and incisive slide keep it grounded in familiar territory. Chubby's fifth release for his fifth label commendably takes chances to break out of the strict electric blues-rock genre that he's worked so well in the past. That it doesn't always click is forgivable since he's at least aiming to expand his typically limited palette. Not quite a one-man band, Chubby at various times plays bass, drums, harmonica, dobro, and sitar in addition to his six-string duties, often overdubbing himself. The process lends a slightly claustrophobic sound to the disc that becomes particularly wearing on the nine-minute "Since I Lost My Leg" (where Chubby plays everything) with the track getting bogged down in endless repetition of its one greasy riff. With a sufficiently gruff, world-weary voice, the singer/guitarist delivers his down-and-out rockers like "No Comfort" with its blatant Hendrix attack and the slow, wiry funk of "Savin' My Love Up for My Lover" with knowing intensity. While the jaunty tack-piano drive of the clumsily titled "It's a Sad Day in New York City When There Ain't No Room for the Blues" pushes the tune into cheery territory, the self-explanatory downbeat lyrics belie the song's more lighthearted approach. The guitarist even shifts into the fast-tempoed, Southern rock, chicken-pickin' route on "Goin' Down to Willies," one of the album's least bluesy tracks. He also dips into the Memphis mid-tempo R&B swamps with "Time Is Killing Me," the album's most melodic pop track. Although he's not entirely successful, Popa Chubby hits enough stylistic bases to make this a listenable and often invigorating album which gets extra points for attempting to push past the stereotypical blues clichés and into more experimental waters.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2001
Label:
Blind Pig
UPC:
0019148507128
catalogNumber:
5071
Rank:
266027

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Popa Chubby   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Dobro,Harmonica,Percussion,Drums,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Clavinet,Slide Guitar,Electric Sitar,Drum Loop,Guitar (Baritone)
Steve Holley   Percussion,Bongos,Drums,finger cymbals
D. Galea   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Gregg Allman   Composer
Popa Chubby   Producer,drum programming
Bruno Boussard   Artwork
Glen Forrest   Engineer

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