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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Provogue artist: Popa Chubby - Universal Breakdown Blues - New Release Review

I have just received the newest release, Universal Breakdown Blues, from Popa Chubby and it's on fire! I shamefully admit to having never actually heard a full recording by PC and now need to go to the CD store. This release is packed full of string ripping, fire snorting, rocking blues. Opening with I Don't Want Nobody, a loping Texas style blues rocker, PC unleashes the beast. This track is a real romper and traveling familiar waters with a lot of flair. I Ain't Giving Up, a soul style blues ballad, PC shows has ability to hold his own vocally and has a nice entourage of background singers helping out. I've expressed my feelings about the soul/blues tracks and my fondness for how well they set up to allow players to strut their stuff and PC really lays out a tasty solo on this one. I also want to comment on his "tone" on this rules! The title track, Universal Breakdown Blues, has a bit of a laid back rock feel with a bit of complexity leaning toward Hendrix and Wah on the riffs. The People's Blues, a Stormy Monday like track gits down in the dirt and kicks mud everywhere. This dog is dirty! Clocking in at over 8 minutes, kick back and enjoy the show. I do love it when someone plays a slow blues with attitude...and this is it! Rock Me Baby has a new face stirring Crossroads, Voodoo Chile and Leslie West into a pot and feeding it to PC. This a really nice venue to see what PC has in his bag of tricks and he seems to flow like a river. Very cool. 69 Dollars is a radio style track with Latin feel. Nice to hear that contemporary players can play guitar on a Latin blues rock track and not sound like Santana. PC has a breadth of guitar styles that he feels comfortable in... all sounding like him. Nice job. Next up is the classic, Over The Rainbow. Jeff Beck started something here but PC isn't following suit. He takes a different approach altogether. Starting with a classical interlude, and then into a early 60's lead, PC takes this track places that it hasn't been before. I like the overdriven tone on his amp and rhythmic breaks which give the track new texture. His fingers literally dancing across the fretboard is pure magic. Playing off of the melody in a jazz like style is really sumptuous. I would never have expected this kind of interpretation from him (my lack of exposure). A nice interlude featuring volume swells at the end of the track is a cool treat as well before breaking into a short Texas style ripper ending. I Need A Lil' Mojo has a strongly New Orleans flavor with a stinging guitar for punctuation... yeah..second line with electric guitar. Don't let that dancing march beat stop you from thinking red hot guitar work... it's here. Danger Man is a blues rocker with nods to Willie Dixon and Elmore James. Modern metal like riffs mixed into a blues rocker sound right at home. Goin' Back To Amsterdam (Reefer Smokin' Man) has a distinctive Elmore James which due to the lyrical content and slide work is bound to be a crowd favorite. The Finger Bangin' Boogie, a nod to ZZ Top's Tube Snake Boogie is a trick little tune with catchy lyrics and sweet slide work. Wrapping up with Mindbender, PC does an overdriven boogie track with great guitar riffs along the lines of Goin' Down. Don't need to give me any excuses to just stand and play hot riffs over a boogie track...I'll take it all day. I really like this release and PC has a new fan here. If you don't know his work...this is a great place to start and if you do know his work... here's a great release to add to your collection. This recording will be formally released on May 28, 2013.

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