Popa Chubby (born Ted Horowitz) is a New York blues singer and guitar player. His angry and aggressive style of blues is influenced heavily by Willie Dixon. He is more popular in France than the U.S. His stage name is a play on the slang idiom "pop a chubby", meaning to get an erection.
Born Ted Horowitz in the Bronx, New York, Popa Chubby was the son of a candy store owner.
At 13, Chubby began playing drums; shortly thereafter, he discovered the music of the Rolling Stones and began playing guitar.
Although he grew up in the 1970s, Chubby took his cue from artists of the 1960s, including Sly & the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton,
among others. By the time he was in his early twenties, he enjoyed and played blues music, but also worked for a while backing punk poet Richard Hell.
Chubby's first big break was winning a national blues talent search sponsored by KLON, a public radio station in Long Beach, California. He won the New Artist of the Year award and opened at the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1992.
Chubby has continued to play more than 200 club dates a year through the 1990s. His Sony/Okeh debut, Booty and the Beast, was produced by longtime Atlantic Records engineer/producer Tom Dowd, whose recordings by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, and others are legendary.
In 1994, Chubby released several albums on his own Laughing Bear label,
It's Chubby Time and Gas Money, before landing his deal with
Sony Music/Okeh Records for Booty and the Beast, his major-label debut,
released in 1995.
In 1996, the 1 (800) PrimeCD label released a live recording of Chubby's,
Hit the High Hard One. Two years later, One Million Broken Guitars
was released on Lightyear Records; Brooklyn Basement Blues followed in 1999.
In 2000, Chubby signed with the Blind Pig label and released
How'd a White Boy Get the Blues? in 2001. The disc turned out to be a slight departure, incorporating elements of contemporary pop and hip-hop.
2002's The Good, the Bad and the Chubby showed great development in the artist's songwriting and included the 9/11 commentary "Somebody Let the Devil Out."
Blind Pig released a collection of early Chubby recordings, The Hungry Years, in 2003. Troubled by the war in Iraq, Chubby released his most political album, Peace, Love and Respect, a year later.
Two albums previously available only in France -- Live at FIP and Wild -- were compiled by the Blind Pig label and released as Big Man Big Guitar in 2005, followed by a new studio set called Stealing the Devil's Guitar a year later.
Popa Chubby has released "Deliveries After Dark". It debuted on the Billboard Blues Charts at #4.
Popa is currently working on a book of short stories entitled "Road Rot", about his exploits as a touring musician from the streets of the Big Apple. In early 2008 Popa Chubby and renowned drummer Ken Serio hooked up to tour promoting "Deliveries After Dark' for those who were lucky enough to see the 17 gigs they played together, the trio was very high energy and promising, however after only 17 gigs , drummer Ken Serio left the tour due to personal differences with Horowitz. Rumors are they may try playing together in the future.
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