Popa Chubby played drums as a pre-teen in the early ‘70s but The Rolling Stones inspired him to pick up the guitar. A Bronx native, Chubby developed a heroin addiction and lived on the streets in his later teens, but got clean playing music and spent his 20s performing around New York, concentrating on the Blues but also working as a hired gun, most notably for Punk icon Richard Hell. In his early 30s, Chubby won a Blues talent competition conducted by a Long Beach, California public radio station, earning him the opening slot at a Long Beach Blues fest in 1992 and officially launching his career and a decade of playing upwards of 200 dates annually.
In 1994, Chubby self-released his first two albums, which led to a Sony/Okeh contract and his major-label debut, 1995’s Booty and the Beast, but it was one and done for Chubby as a Sony artist. He self-released his incendiary 1995 debut live album, Hit the High Hard One, yet another erection joke and a showcase for his compelling stage presence. After signing with revered Blues label Blind Pig, Chubby released How’d a White Boy Get the Blues? in 2000; long a devotee of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, White Boy saw Chubby incorporating Pop and Hip Hop elements into his sonic repertoire.
Coming up on his 60th birthday next year, Chubby has no intention of slowing down; he released the bracing Two Dogs in 2017 and the fan-favorite compilation Prime Cuts last year. Next year will see an extensive European tour, the release of a second Prime Cuts collection and a new studio set, The Flavor Is In the Fat, slated for February, a month after he gets married for the second time.
The scary thing is that Popa Chubby may just be getting warmed up for his third act.