Sixth Annual BBQ & Blues Bash

Popa Chubby has the blues again. Nearly 20 years have passed since the good Popa aka Ted Horowitz made a big splash in the blues community with his groundbreaking major label debut, 'Booty And The Beast.'"I was busy making rock records after 'Booty And The Beast," Popa Chubby says. "I started playing the blues again because I had to. It became my salvation. It was the way I could survive."'Universal Breakdown Blues' is what Horowitz was inspired to craft after dealing with a painful divorce and recovery.The compelling songs feature searing guitar lines and heartfelt lyrics, which recall the lament that inspired such blues icons as Howlin' Wolf and Robert Johnson. Horowitz digs deep and comes up with some of the most intense songs he has ever written.It's not surprising since Horowitz has always had the ability to make such a moving album. The potential was always there. Such albums as 'Booty and the Beast' and the inspired 'Back To New York City' and the criminally overlooked 'The Fight Is On' are some of the most enduring records made by Horowitz.But this time, he hits one way out of the park, courtesy of the catchy, sublime slices of his fractured life. The latest batch of Popa Chubby tunes are relatable. Who hasn't loved and lost and had to find their way back?"My music follows my life and that's why I'm back with the blues," Horowitz says. "What makes something great is true content. And when I made this I was still aching from what went down with my old lady. With all that was going on in my head, I heard Muddy Waters singing, 'it's been 24 hours since my baby's been gone and that's 23 hours way too long' when I was driving back from the Midwest on a tour. It made me think of my situation with my old lady and it hit me like a ton of bricks. There was nothing like what the old bluesman did. They were authentic and you don't get a lot of that today in music."Well, Horowitz, who impresses with some incendiary guitar runs during 'Universal Breakdown Blues,' moves on as a contemporary blues player. He keeps the flame alive with songs like 'I Ain't Giving Up,' which is one of the most heartfelt songs of his enviable career, which has spanned more than a quarter century.

JoAnne Shaw Taylor

"I have played with all sorts of blues musicians all over the world, I even made a film Deep Blues where I went to Mississippi and recorded with some legendary players such as R.L Burnside and Jesse-Mae Hemphill".

"Last year I heard something I thought I would never hear... a British White Girl playing blues guitar so deep and passionately it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!" (Dave Stewart/Eurythmics)

When Dave Stewart had his big experience, Joanne Shaw Taylor was only 16. Her skills at the Telecaster were so perfect that the blues fan and Eurythmics-frontman asked her to join his supergroup D.U.P. to tour Europe in 2002. She was also offered a record contract but the label went bust. Today Joanne is 23 and happy about the fact that she took her time with the recording debut: "I wanted to take time out to really work on my craft and make sure that when I did an album it was the best that I could do."

For White Sugar Joanne took a plane to Memphis where her label RUF had booked Jim Gaines' studio. Jim had worked with some of Joanne's idols like Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He brought in the experienced sessionmen Steve Potts (drums) and Dave Smith (bass). "Working with these guys was totally easy. I knew of them because of Luther Allison and Jonny Lang's albums. They didn't know the tracks until five minutes before we recorded them. I made them listen to the songs once and then play them. It was fantastic. They got so much feeling and soul. They are amazing guys to work with."

The power trio - that's the kind of band which suits Joanne Shaw Taylor, are also at home in Birmingham, where she and her trio play the pubs, clubs and festivals. "I always wanted to try the power trio thing, like Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Paladins or Jimi Hendrix. I thought it would bring me on as a guitar player and a singer - which I think it has done. And" - Joanne chuckles - "it's also cheaper, you know."

She talks about some influences. When Joanne was a little schoolgirl, she was caught by the rough side of the blues: SRV, Albert Collins, the Paladins, Jimi Hendrix. At Christmas she got her first electric guitar. The old classical guitar, which she had played since she was eight, vanished from the children's room. "As soon as I heard SRV and Albert Collins I knew pretty much that I wanted to do that full stop. That was the lifestyle route that I was going to go down. It was never a hobby. I was always very serious and dedicated to it."

White Sugar is the proof. The confident and young British woman keeps the traditions of her idols but she is going her own way. With her record debut she demonstrates her talent with ten songs that she has written herself. Playing the hard stuff à la SRV, making us feel the bite of her Telecaster just like Albert Collins did or working out charming little riffs from the Jimi Hendrix book - Joanne is always seeking - and finding - new terrain. Funky shuffles, soulful ballads or the hypnotic hookline of the title track, a burning instrumental, she presents her craft powerfully. Some songs were written during the flight to Memphis, a few others were written 10 years ago and are kind of her signature tunes.

There is the autobiographical Kiss The Ground Goodbye, deep feelings come wirh Heavy Heart or Blackest Day, a song that Joanne wrote when she was 14. "With Blackest Day I really wanted to show my influences." She can be proud of her first album." "She's my pride & joy..." SRV once sang. Her fans will be proud of Joanne, too...

"She plays with more attitude and flare than most. Massive potential here. Inspiring."
Guitarist magazine

"Catch her live if you can, then you can say: I was there at the beginning"
Blue Print Magazine

"Joanne IS the new face of the blues"
Blues Matters

$25- $30


The 6th Annual BBQ & Blues Bash will take place Friday, June 20, 2014! The “summer kick-off” party with a purpose will be held from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Mississippi Street in the Cobblestone Historic District, near First Niagara Center. Free and secure parking is available in the adjacent parking lot too! The official post-concert party will be hosted by Buffalo Iron Works at 49 Illinois Street in Buffalo. The street will be closed to through traffic and tented, the event will go on rain or shine, and individuals must be age 21 or over to attend. Photo ID will be required. Free and secure parking will be available the day of the party in the First Niagara Center parking lot immediately adjacent to the event. Admission ticket includes music and beverages, and food tickets will be available for an additional cost.

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Sixth Annual BBQ & Blues Bash

Friday, June 20 · Doors 4:30 PM / Show 5:00 PM at Mississippi Street