Popa Chubby, born Ted Horowitz, has been hard rocking the blues in his fierce and soulful way for more than 25 years. Over the course of a career that dates back to 1994, he has been a force to be reckoned with on the guitar, and his tempestuous, soulful playing has never been more powerful. An imposing figure with a shaven head, tattooed arms, a goatee and a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson," Popa Chubby is an endearing character who is one of the genre’s most popular figures.
Popa Chubby and the Beast Band bring heavy blues rock on a new live double CD set. Gulf Coast Records announces September 8 release date for "Live at G. Bluey’s Juke Joint NYC", the label debut live double-CD set from New York City-based blues guitar slinger Popa Chubby’s (aka “The Beast from the East”). The album’s first single, “Motorcycle Mama,” and its accompanying video will be available on July 21, as will the album’s digital pre-order.
The new album was recorded at G. Bluey’s Juke Joint in Long Island City, New York, on October 24 and 25, 2022, and features Popa Chubby (guitar and vocals), backed by his all-star “Beast Band,” which consists of Mike Merritt - bass (Conan O’Brien, Billy Gibbons); Mike Dimeo - keyboards (Johnny Winter, Tommy James); and Stefano Giudici - drums.
Popa's career has always been about moving forward and carving a place for himself in the imposing terrain of the music business; overcoming odds to continue growing and maturing as a creative force. He has built a constantly increasing base of fans across the world, where in many territories he is a star. A native New Yorker, Horowitz's first gigs were in the NYC punk scene as a guitarist for what he reflects was a "crazy Japanese special effects performance artist in a kimono called Screaming Mad George who had a horror-movie inspired show."
Right from the start he was immersed in rock ‘n’ roll as theater, and learned from George and others playing CBGB’s at the time that included the Ramones, the Cramps, Richard Hell, whose band he joined (the Voidoids), that rock ‘n’ roll should be dangerous. He reflects, "Musicians like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols weren’t just bands. They were a threat to society." The Blues however was the foundation of his playing style. He recalls, "Since I’d grown up on Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin, when I started playing blues in New York clubs I understood that the blues should be dangerous, too. It wasn’t just from playing in punk bands. Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters were dangerous men. They’d cut or shoot you if they thought it was necessary. And Little Walter packed a gun and wouldn’t hesitate to use it. That danger is a real part of the Blues and I keep it alive in my music.”
Popa Chubby is his own man for better or worse. He reflects, "I’m living in a wild time, and that is where the inspiration is drawn from. There are my issues, but the picture is much bigger than me and my situation. Everything is breaking down in the world. The lines are being redefined. We all need something.”