Born Ted Horowitz in the Bronx, NY, 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 1960s, 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 Hell. Chubby’s first big break was winning a national blues talent search sponsored by KLON, a public radio station in Long Beach, CA. He won the New Artist of the Year award and opened at the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1992. Chubby has continued to play more than 200 club dates a year through the 1990s. His Sony/Okeh debut, Booty and the Beast, was produced by longtime Atlantic Records engineer/producer Tom Dowd, whose recordings by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, and others are legendary. In 1994, Chubby released several albums on his own Laughing Bear label, It’s Chubby Time and Gas Money, before landing his deal with Sony Music/Okeh Records for Booty and the Beast, his major-label debut, released in 1995. In 1996, the 1 (800) PrimeCD label released a live recording of Chubby’s, Hit the High Hard One. Two years later, One Million Broken Guitars was released on Lightyear Records; Brooklyn Basement Blues followed in 1999. In 2000, Chubby signed with the Blind Pig label and released How’d a White Boy Get the Blues? in 2001. The disc turned out to be a slight departure, incorporating elements of contemporary pop and hip-hop. 2002’s The Good, the Bad and the Chubby showed great development in the artist’s songwriting and included the 9/11 commentary “Somebody Let the Devil Out.” Blind Pig released a collection of early Chubby recordings, The Hungry Years, in 2003. Troubled by the war in Iraq, Chubby released his most political album, Peace, Love and Respect, a year later. Two albums previously available only in France — Live at FIP and Wild — were compiled by the Blind Pig label and released as Big Man Big Guitar in 2005, followed by a new studio set called Stealing the Devil’s Guitar a year later. Electric Chubbyland, a two-disc set of Chubby covering Jimi Hendrix songs, appeared from Dixie Frog that same year, and then was repackaged and issued as two single discs by Blind Pig in 2007.
~ Richard Skelly & Al Campbell, All Music Guide
The latest Popa Chubby (with Galea) release is “Vicious Country”, out in Europe on November 20, 2008 on Dixiefrog (France) and in 2009 in the States.
The Fight is on
Label: Provogue Records
Release date: February 25, 2010
Popa Chubby has had a prolific career spanning several decades. From the break out early 90’s hit “Sweet Goddess of Love and Beer” from the Tom Dowd produced “Booty And The Beast” to his inspired interpretations of Jimi on “Electric Chubbyland” he continues to output a steady stream of fire and brimstone. February 2010 will see the release of his first release in almost 2 years with “The Fight Is On”.
The artist tells the story: “I set out with some cool riffs and a house full of vintage guitars. I sat down and played and tried to come up with classic sounds. We started recording between tour dates. Then we’d take it out to the people and if they went wild we knew we had it!” This is evident from the first drum hits of the title track. From“The Fight Is On”, a killer detuned Zeplike rocker followed by the anthemic “We Got Some Rockin’ To Do” this record does not let up. Halfway through the recording Popa visited longtime mentor and friend Jerry Williams (Bad Brains Producer) in his Joshua Tree California lair. The encounter was mind blowing to him – he says that it changed his playing forever. The Power Ballad “Locked in a Memory” is the direct result of that encounter – Popa is extremely proud of the searing Les Paul solo in this song. The record ends with Popa’s killer rendition of Motorheads “Ace Of Spades” live from the 2008 tour.
Deliveries After Dark
Label: Dixiefrog - DFGCD8635
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: October 01, 2007
After his international success with Electric Chubbyland, Popa Chubby is coming back with a balls out blues/rock spiced with funk album without apologies, visceral and heavy but also rhythmic and melodic, with a few surprises thrown in. Says Popa: “I found myself on this record mostly thanks to playing the Hendrix stuff. I have gotten back to why I started playing music in the first place: the excitement and the feeling of raw power.” The title track, “Deliveries after Dark”, is reminiscent of AC/DC whereas “Let the Music set you free” takes you to Led Zeppelin, with its drums à la John Bonham and its superimposed guitar lines. The musical heritage of Popa Chubby comes through clearly, and with this new CD, this New York blues rock pioneer has definitely recorded his very best album so far.
- April 25: Bonn, Germany - Harmonie
- April 26: Bochum, Germany -Zeche
- April 29: Bremen, Germany - Meisenfrei Blues Club
- April 30: Losheim, Germany - Eisenbahnhalle
- May 01: Uebach Palenberg, Germany - Outbaix Musicclub
- May 03: Ospel, Netherlands - Moulin Rhythm and Blues Festival
- May 04: Lubeck, Germany - Werkhof
- May 07: Vienna, Austria - Reigen Live
- May 10: Aschaffenburg, Germany - Colos- Saal
- May 11: Hannover, Germany - Blues Garage
- May 15: Minsk, Belarus - DK MAZ
- May 19: Raalte, Netherland -Domineeskamp
- June 05: Mulhouse, France - Le Noumatrouff
- June 06: Bulonge, France - L'Espace Faïencerie
- June 07: Saint Lo, France - Le Normandy
- June 08: Carmaux, France - Nuit Blues
- July 22: Brisson Sur Loire, France - Raffuts De Loire