"On this new album, my singing is definitely more natural. I think that for the first time it really sounds like me. Actually, I was really emotionally distraught when I recorded the second part of this album (after 9/11). As a result, I owed it to myself to be me and to let that come out'.
Well done ! In fact, " The Good, The Bad & The Chubby' " is the chance to discover the new face of Popa Chubby, an artist definitively in tune with his time and who reflects the type of self-confidence which so well suits those who have nothing to prove. More mature than ever, Popa Chubby has without a doubt just recorded an album which will standout in his overflowing discography.
The original inspiration of this new album was love but the events of 9/11 gave a more intense and dramatic coloring to the end of the studio sessions (having overslept on the morning of September 11, Popa Chubby missed an appointment which would have taken him just past the Twin Towers at 9:00 a.m. - just when the bluesman was putting the final touches on his project).
But in any case, love, with a passionate and spontaneous artist like Popa Chubby, is not without conflict. Anger, though cold and contained, is perceivable throughout this new opus and only partially dissimulates a certain despair present in all the lyrics. From this point on, Popa Chubby unloads his anger in a more controlled manner, with a cold determination which is even more convincing - his favorite targets not in short supply (Ben Laden, today's Bluesmen, New York City's municipal politics, George Bush, etc. )
Obviously, one of the most intense moments of this new production is "Somebody let the Devil Out", a song inspired by the catastrophe of 9/11 that Popa Chubby recorded the week following this tragedy with unmistakable emotion. But one mustn't overlook gems like "I Can't See the Light of Day" (the first single taken from the album), "If the Diesel Don't Get You then the Jet Fuel Will" (written in Rome as our man suffered, thinking it was the end and asking himself some questions about the meaning of life), "Passion" (written in Paris), or "P-O-P-A" and "I'll be There for You" which takes us back to this art made up of a mixture of genres (blues, rap, rock, funk, jazz) so dear to the artist.
Nothing surprising about this when we know for example, that this bulimic consumer of music places today's bluesmen in the realm of rap and states that these days he¹s listening as much to Muddy Waters as Dr. Dre and Kid Rock as Freddy King. Because, as he says, " rap is the blues of today since these people use it to unload their pain and talk about their lives and what's happening for them" Here is no doubt an open mindedness which differentiates Popa Chubby from the rest of the pack of today¹s bluesmen. But this is nothing new !
In fact, the man who invented New York City Blues (that he describes in this way : New York blues is a raw, urban, in your face kind of music. A true, real, honest thing, which doesn't waste time or fake it"), was able to polish up his alchemy through such passionate albums as "One Million Broken Guitars", "Brooklyn Basement Blues", "How'd a White Boy Get the Blues ?", and more recently "Flashed Back", an album of covers of rock and rhythm and blues classics recorded with his wife Galea. All this while still finding the time to play the Pygmalion for the blues brotherhood of his city, through a few well chosen productions (Mason Casey, Arthur Neilson, Big Ed Sullivan) or group projects like the compilation "Popa Chubby Presents New York City Blues Again", where we find at his side practically unknown guitarists whose future is more than promising (Matt Smith is a name to especially take note of). Without forgetting of course the stage, the place of all his exploits and on May 23rd which will see him at the Zenith in Paris in the framework of a new French tour. More than ever, the adventure goes on !
Tracklist and audio samples
Somebody Let The Devil Out
If The Diesel Don’t Get You Then The Jet Fuel Will
I Can’t See The Light Of Day
I’ll Be There For You
Stress Will Kill You Every Time
No Trouble No More
Strange Way Of Saying I Love You
Dirty Lie (Studio Version)
Play It From The Heart Bonus Track