Popa Chubby - The Catfish

Popa Chubby is a multi-instrumentalist and he plays lots of the bass, drum and keyboard parts on The Catfish, but it is his guitar playing and singing that take the spotlight here as he romps through a dozen songs, 10 of which are self-penned.

The effort begins with the funky strut of "Going Downtown See My Old Gal Sue," a cut where the song's arrangement and Popa's deeply soulful voice recall the work of David Clayton-Thomas with Blood Sweat & Tears.

But this is one bluesman who won't ever be pigeonholed; "Wes is More," presumably an homage to guitarist Wes Montgomery, is a slinky jazz shuffle instrumental, a cover of "Bye Love," also performed as an instrumental, bounces along to a reggae beat, and "Motörhead Saved My Life," while nowhere near as fast and rough as a Motörhead cut, still pays homage to that band's diesel-powered style of rock.

High-energy blues rockers and the slow simmer of "Blues for Charlie" round out the album. A fresh take on Robert Johnson's "C'mon in My Kitchen" closes the set; blues hungry fans will want to get The Catfish into their own kitchen as soon as possible.

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