Popa Chubby - 'Two Dogs'

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Popa Chubby - 'Two Dogs'

Certainly demonstrates a talented musician enjoying what he does.

Popa Chubby is the brainchild of one Ted Horowitz who has marked over twenty-five years as a Blues guitarist. Hailing from New York, his first gigs were during the NYC Punk scene as a guitarist, playing at the legendary CGBG club. Although learning his trade listening to the wide variety of acts at the time, including The Ramones and The Cramps, he very much found that the foundation for his playing style was the Blues.

His music is an easy if unchallenging listen that is played with a passion and an obvious love for what he does. He has a lived-in gravelly voice which is ideal for this style of music and he is also a very accomplished Blues guitarist. However, there is nothing that stands out for me in his songs. I find them rather repetitive vocally, and while I agree that to make original Blues music must be difficult, there is nothing here that I haven't heard before.

The use of horns on 'Pre-Existing Conditions' adds life to the song and lyrics like "I've got the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu" put a smile on my face. I also quite liked the Swamp Blues that is 'Sam Lay's Pistol' where Chubby sounds like a refined Captain Beefheart. My favourite songs are both instrumentals; 'Cayophus Dupree is a laid back, Santana-esque composition and 'Chubby's Boogie' pays excellent homage to Steely Dan. Unfortunately, the album closes with two rather uninspired versions of The Rolling Stones' 'Sympathy For The Devil and Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' which I don't feel add anything to the album.

In summary, 'Two Dogs' doesn't stand up when compared to recent releases by Walter Trout and Joanne Shaw Taylor, but it is an enjoyable enough listen and certainly demonstrates a talented musician enjoying what he does.

Robin McGhie

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