Music Scene: Popa Chubby, Keller Williams, Blair Crimmins & the Hookers

By Matthew Godbey  Special to The Post and Courier – Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Popa Chubby

Popa Chubby

A born-and-raised New Yorker, Ted Horowitz, better known as Popa Chubby, grew up in the Bronx during perhaps one of the most explosive and evolving times for rock music in the city: the ’70s.

Artists like The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Blondie and Patti Smith, along with their English counterparts, were busy introducing the world to punk rock and a broader, more jarring, rebellious form of rock music in general.

New York City had become the epicenter of a historical change in music that would span the globe, but for Popa Chubby, he found more intrigue in the blues that had laid the foundation for that change.

It was the pain, the yearning, the danger and limitlessness of the blues that drew Chubby in, and he set out to learn its ways at an early age.

He quickly made a name for himself as a guitarist by playing in blues clubs while also frequenting the growing number of punk shows.

When Richard Hell of Television did his side work as a stand-up poet, Chubby landed a gig as his backing guitar player, a position that expanded his playing style and fan base.

Chubby won a national talent contest in the early ’90s, leading to a headlining spot at the Long Beach Blues Festival. Following the national attention, Chubby set out to make his solo work a full-time venture, recording his debut full-length album, “Gas Money,” in 1994.

He has since released more than 20 albums, including last year’s “Back to New York City.”

Popa Chubby will perform Tuesday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, and are available online at etix.com or at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Go to charlestonpourhouse.com or call 571-4343.

Keller Williams

Anyone who has ever heard Keller Williams play knows that there is little that words can do to describe his one-man orchestra of amazement. It’s just something you have to see for yourself.

Whether you want to call him a guitar god, a musical poltergeist or just a master of his trade, the one constant in any description of Williams is that he is unlike any other artist.

Even though his baby face and shaggy, college-bro hair might suggest otherwise, Williams is actually a veteran of the jam and bluegrass circuit, having been an active musician for more than 20 years.

The self-taught guitarist began his career in the late ’80s around his native Fredericksburg, Va. He soon after joined the likes of The String Cheese Incident; Larry Keel, Rob Wasserman (Grateful Dead) and Bob Weir’s Ratdog; and other revolutionizing jam and bluegrass acts of the early ’90s on the road, a place he has more or less remained ever since.

Despite never having a major commercial breakthrough, Williams has released nearly 20 albums, not including his work with side projects and other artists, and remains one of the biggest draws of the jam band circuit.

Keller Williams will perform a special two-night stay at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Advance tickets are $25 for each night with a limited number of two-night tickets available for $40. Tickets are available online at etix.com or at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Blair Crimmins

Blair Crimmins is a stubborn man.

When everyone said the music of the ’20s and ’30s was dead, Crimmins forged on in a determined effort to resurrect the overshadowed era.

A musical historian of sorts, Crimmins plays the liveliest music of the dead with such an authentic form that one often finds himself wondering if he has stumbled on some obscure, Depression-era, gypsy-jazz recording.

Crimmins takes patches of ragtime, blues and jazz and stitches them onto the fabric of modern-day bluegrass and Americana. He creates a sound that echoes the ghosts of its musical past as garishly as the city streets and clubs in which Crimmins plays today.

Haunting yet advancing, Crimmins brings back the music that helped heal the hearts of a struggling nation at a time when perhaps they could all use a little healing.

Blair Crimmins & the Hookers will perform Sunday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, with Megan Jean and the KFB. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the show, and are available online at etix.com or at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m.