Born Ted Horowitz, Popa Chubby is a true native son of the Big Apple. He was born in 1960 in the Bronx and grew up in a neighborhood made famous by Robert DeNiro in the movie A Bronx Tale. His parents owned a candy store on the corner of 181st Street and Arthur Avenue. His early memories of hearing the juke box playing the hits of early sixties soul and R&B - and the neighborhood teens flocking around it - made a lasting impression on him. To this day the musical influence of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye are ever present in Popa's music.
Popa Chubby's music, forged in the toughness that is New York City, takes blues to the cutting edge, where it highfives its contemporary cousins rock, rap, and hip hop. With his razor sharp, biting guitar, vocals from the gut, and top-notch skill as a songwriter, Popa Chubby artfully combines the rootsiness of blues with the more modern urban elements of today's popular music.
GuitarOne magazine calls guitarist/vocalist Coco Montoya "the hottest southpaw in the blues" and raves about his "master touch and killer tone." The Boston Globe succinctly states that Montoya's music is "hot, blistering soul." From his early days as a drummer to his current status as one of the top-drawing guitarists and vocalists on the blues-rock scene, Montoya earned his status through years of hard work and constant touring. And it all started with a chance meeting in the mid-1970s with legendary bluesman Albert Collins, who offered Montoya a gig as his drummer. Albert took an immediate liking to Montoya, becoming his mentor and teaching his new prot?g? the secrets of Collins' "icy hot" style of blues guitar. Five years later, British blues icon John Mayall happened to catch Montoya at a jam session and was blown away. Mayall recruited him as guitarist in the legendary Bluesbreakers, and Montoya spent the next 10 years touring non-stop, proving himself to be a world-class guitar master in one of the most renowned blues bands in existence.
Since stepping out as a bandleader in 1993, Montoya released five solo albums and performed non-stop at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world. At every show, fans' jaws dropped, and critics raved about Montoya's mind-bending guitar licks and fervent vocals. "The fiery blues that issue forth from Coco Montoya's guitar are awe-inspiring and boogie requiring," says The Village Voice.