I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Emotional Gangster, from Popa Chubby and it's a cool, aggressive blues rocker. Opening with driving, Tonight I'm Gonna Be The Man, Popa Chubby rips on slide over a rumbling beat. With tandem vocals he sets the pace and charging drums keep the tension. A cool, bluesy melody and blues rooted slide riffs saturate the track. Solid opener. On Morganfield's Hoochie Coochie Man, Chubby gives the blues classic his own twist, retaining the bluesy roots but interjecting just a taste or rock. With a droning bass line he never gets to fast but he does take the time to show his chops on Water's original phrasing. Very nice. Harmonica wizard Jason Ricci sits in on Save The Best For Last, a low slung shuffle with a Jimmy Reed feel. Chubby really lays on the beat giving it a pronounced lope and his vocals are prime. Ricci and Chubby trade phrases making this one of my favorites on the release. Elmore James' Dust My Broom fits into this set nicely with all of the slide and Chubby does his riffs with gusto. With that perfect tempo that makes you stomp your heel, Chubby locks, loads and fires... very cool. My choice for the radio track on the release is I'm The Dog with it's pounding boogie rhythm and great hook (I'm The Dog). Break out guitar work really kicks this one through the uprights. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Master IP (a CD only bonus track), a 6 plus minute blues jam that really seems to float. laying out some real nice riffs and soaring lead, a strong closer for a strong release.
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