NEW YORK: Electric Chubbyland Comes to NYC!!! - by J. Blake

Posted on 9/15/2009 by J. Blake

Last night (Monday September 14, 2009) native New Yorker Popa Chubby, took the stage just after 8pm at B.B. King’s Bar & Grill in Time Square. The crowd was treated to a program of music titled ELECTRIC CHUBBYLAND, celebrating the work of Jimi Hendrix.

Chubby opened the show with a dirty blues medley of Catfish Blues and Hear My Train Comin’ and he even threw in a few verses of Muddy Water’s You Need Love for good measure. The set continued with the massive guitarist riffling through Jimi’s greatest hits, including Foxy Lady, Wind Cries Mary, Hey Joe, Who Knows and Burning of the Midnight Lamp.

Clearly a veteran of the NYC club scene, the 49 year-old blues rocker seemed at home in front of the midtown crowd. His banter from the stage was entertaining and his friendly personality shined through nicely, causing the audience to feel like they were there simply supporting an old friend, as opposed to an internationally known blues recording artist. At times the length of his solos may have seemed slightly excessive, but his guitar playing overall was as always top notch; expertly straddling the line between wildly out of control and dead-on precision. Signature “Popa Chubby” licks and runs were in abundance and at times his leads took on a bit of a Brian Setzer-esque quality that is not necessarily surprising considering his most recent CD effort (and the album he has been out promoting for the better part of a year), VICIOUS COUNTRY, is a high octane country/rockabilly effort, that on occasion approaches the quality and style of The Stray Cats.

Midway through the set, Popa Chubby took a seat and briefly departed from the musical tribute to Hendrix and treated the audience to a preview of his upcoming CD, THE FLIGHT IS ON; with a mellow tune titled NYC 1977-2010, chronicling the guitarist’s discovery of rock music in the NYC club scene as a teenager.

A spirited version of Hendrix’s Red House followed, featuring some tasteful guitar work from a 17 year-old blues guitarist that Chubby discovered at Guitar Center’s King of the Blues Competition in Brooklyn. A lengthy and slightly original arrangement of the much covered Little Wing and a short, yet rockin’ rendition of Purple Haze closed the show and as the trio exited the stage, the appreciative crowd demanded an encore. More than happy to oblige, the band took to the stage once again and launched into a furious medley that included Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Rock Me Baby, Killing Floor and a rendition Van Morrison’s Gloria that featured Chubby’s wife and sometimes musical collaborator, Galea, on vocals.

Monday is usually a tough night for NYC clubs, but every member of the not-quite-packed crowd left excited and happy. Popa Chubby and his rhythm section may have rocked a collection of familiar Hendrix tunes, but most importantly they made those songs their own. Chubby’s style and personality clearly shine through in his playing, which seems to be a rare commodity with guitarists today and he works the audience like only a veteran bluesman/rocker can.
He puts on a great show and I strongly recommend checking him out when he is in your neck of the woods. I also recommend Chubby’s 2006 3CD boxset titled ELECTRIC CHUBBYLAND, which features all of the Hendrix covers mentioned above and many more.

Copyright © 2009 - J. Blake. All Rights Reserved.
*Live Photo: Copyright © 2009 - Nelson G. Onofre. All Rights Reserved.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
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