Popa Chubby, |
Deliveries After Dark
(Blind Pig, 2008)
When I reviewed Popa Chubby's two-disc salute to Jimi Hendrix, I had to conclude that the set was simply too much Hendrix; I felt Popa Chubby sort of got lost in there. My overall assessment was that I was more looking forward to the next CD, where I hoped we'd get more Chubby and less Hendrix.
It seems that visiting the Hendrix songbook brought out the rock 'n' roll in Chubby. Deliveries After Dark is a flat-out rock album; the roots of the playing are in the blues and there's a few fine blues tunes on here, but there's also a definite heavy metal approach and more than a touch of arena rock.
The opening tune sets the mood: "Let the Music Set You Free" states in its title exactly what Chubby wants to do. The song drives, its tempo breakneck, the playing intense and epic, while Chubby's singing urges us to find our answers in the music. Its solos are driven by fire; Chubby blazes on that one and all of the others.
Even if rock sets the mood, though, it's not a predictable album. It has a tendency to surprise you just as you think you have it figured out. Try to predict the "Theme From the Godfather" as a surf-rock song.
Here's the deal: fans of Popa Chubby, the bluesman, are going to wonder where the blues went, but fans of good music, played with feeling and joy, are going to be thrilled.
Michael Scott Cain
4 October 2008
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