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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Popa Chubby

Universal Breakdown Blues

Review by Larry Toering

Popa Chubby returns with a hot upcoming release that is sure to crossover from contemporary blues to rock audiences. Track after track is filled with everything from traditional blues to his own blend of rock and urban soul, done with a lot of skill and flavor. I like this so much that I'm catching up with his career since listening to it. The more I listen, the more I like this artist. It's a great disc and it's always nice to be able to recommend someone as you discover them. So, this release is worth looking forward to.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Don't Want Nobody
By the time this is over, I wouldn't be telling him what to do. This is as good as contemporary blues gets, with a big nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
I Ain't Giving Up

The vocals are what really shine here, proving it's more than just guitar. I like the lyrics too. This is excellent. The background vocals help, but he still sings brilliantly on this.

Universal Breakdown Blues

This title track is totally hot from beginning to end. He really gets down to the street level of reality, and spreads an urban vibe all over the blues. I love the wah wah soloing.

The People's Blues

This is more of a slow blues in the traditional sense, as anyone should know, but he still makes an original urban tune out of it, as well. Thar seems to be the idea with him as a blues artist. Jimi Hnedrix would be proud.

Rock Me Baby

Rock 'n' Roll enters the scene on this killer tune well known by all blues lovers, and by now you're really having a fun time. Crunchy guitar leads the way here, and once again I'm impressed with the way he covers a song.

69 Dollars
This is a really rocking number, as well. In fact, it's one of the best tunes so far.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
The way he rearranges a song is magnificent, and he does a fantastic job here. He makes it all his own by the time he gets done slapping his own stamp on the classic. The disc comes highly recommended for this alone. It is just awesome!
I Need A Lil' Mojo

Lots of chicken pickin' and traditional blues keep it boiling between a couple of epic moments on the album, and it does the business.

Danger Man
This is a contender for the best track on this disc, with searing guitar work that blends perfectly with more great vocals.
Goin' Back To Amsterdam (Reefer Smokin' Man)

Of course the subject matter here is obvious, but the track smokes in every way nonetheless.

The Finger Bangin' Boogie
This is another hot track with a lot of spunk, and another one of the stronger numbers because of the R&B vibes.
Mindbender
There are a few epic tracks throughout the disc and this closer is one of them. It's another testament to his skills, humor and taste, and a great way to close the entire set.

 

 
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