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Popa Chubby

Saturday, June 19, at Wilbert's.

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Popa Chubby
  • Popa Chubby

Already an established iconoclast from a "pure" blues perspective, Ted Horowitz, aka Popa Chubby, further blurs the lines that delineate typical notions of bluesman and singer-songwriter these days. With a back catalog of material laden with the multiple influences one might expect from a born-and-bred New Yorker and a child of the late '60s rock explosion, the behemoth guitarist-vocalist, whose blues might now and again be laced with scratches, beats, or a post-Beatles chord, seems hell-bent on crashing the gates of political and social protest.

Standing in Chubby's crosshairs at present are the Bush Administration and assorted kindred spirits. His latest offering, Peace, Love & Respect, takes on the Iraq war, suicide bombers, and First Amendment erosion; it even includes a bona fide peace anthem, "Young Men," that may rank with classics such as Steve Earle's "Jerusalem" for sheer stirring power. All this is not to suggest some major sea change -- it's not as if Chubby's lost his blues connection. It's more as if, rather than honoring a style, he's most mindful of the blues' primary business -- speaking one's mind. But then again, Chubby's blues have always been multicolored.

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