REVIEW WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Days after rocking Daryl’s House up in Pawling, NY, the bluesman with the double entendre stage name, Popa Chubby, will be at Sellersville Theater.
“Popa Chubby is the Catfish,” proclaims the liner notes of his latest release, “The Catfish.” No, it has nothing to do with creating a fake social media account. It’s more about getting one’s swagger on. To get a feel for what the mysterious proclamation really means, you have to check out the animated video for the title track at www.popachubby.com.
Popa Chubby — real name Ted Horowitz — has been doing this since the early ‘90s, when he won a Long Beach, Calif. public radio station national blues talent search. What will grab you about “The Catfish” will be the variety of guitar tone colors, flashes of lyrical wit or when he breaks into something unexpected. For example, see the Lemmy tribute song “Motorhead Saved My Life” and the reggaefied instrumental cover of The Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love.”
One song worth coming out to see how Popa and his band play it live is the jazz jam-fest “Wes is More,” which features piano and bass solos.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Popa’s eclecticism badly misses the mark on “Slow Down Sugar,” which combines muted trumpet, an overly-busy piano part and ill-advised and creepy rapping.
“You make me want to play better, write better, sing better. I love you all, you are all diverse and beautiful,” he writes in “The Catfish”’s liner notes.