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Popa Chubby

Electric Chubbyland, Vols. 1-2 (Blind Pig)

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Crank a Popa Chubby disc, and it won't take long to detect the big bluesman's thing for Hendrix. Sure, the usual icons can be heard in the New Yorker's fretwork, including B.B. and Freddie King. But it's Jimi who exerts the greatest influence. Inspired by a pair of tribute festivals he recently played, Chubby's double-volume set of Hendrix covers is by no means tribute-band fare. Electric Chubbyland is a tasty mix of the fresh and the familiar.

The wah-wah intro to "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" serves as a clarion call to those jonesing to experience Hendrix's music with all the energy its creator intended. While Chubby and the band play most arrangements by the book, his solos are uniquely cut gems. What's more, the ballads "Little Wing" and "The Wind Cries Mary" sound tailor-made for one of the best white soul voices around.

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