Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bill Popp & the Tapes at Otto's Shrunken Head

Bill Popp knew he wanted to sing since he was a five year old in Queens, New York. He became a musician as well when he received his first drum kit at age 11. After a few false starts and leaps into maturity, he began singing his songs in local clubs. It is now 35 years later, he has outlived the clubs (barely, but a quadruple bypass saved him) and he is still working parks and clubs. (Working can mean playing music or fixing pipes, as he is a plumber for the city's Department of Parks and Recreation.) Popp is Bill's real last name, and the surname is fitting in that pop music is his passion. The title of Bill Popp & the Tapes' most recent CD, a four-song EP from 2013 called Popp Hits the 60's, also has a clever double reference in that Popp turned 60 years old last year and he is still playing music from or influenced by the 1960s.

At Otto's Shrunken Head tonight, Bill Popp & the Tapes played original soft-rock weepers and party songs, as well as covers of 50-year-old songs including the Moody Blues' "Knights in White Satin." Popp’s tenor voice delivered warm and singable pop songs and poetic lyrics as his band sweetly combined tight harmony, bright melodic hooks and an occasional dance groove. The light and airy music was ideal for those whose musical tastes are nostalgic for the simplicity of the mid-1960s.

Bill Popp & the Tapes perform next at the bandshell in Central Park on July 24 and August 7.In the meantime, visit Bill Popp & the Tapes at www.billpopp.com.