By Carlotta Mohamed
After 37 years of performing with The Tapes, College Point native Bill Popp is set to release his first solo album, titled “Bill Popp Solo.”
Popp is inviting the public to his free release party at the Parkside Lounge — located at 317 Houston St. on corner of Attorney Street in Manhattan — Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.
Guests will receive a free copy of Popp’s new 13-song album that consists of his vocals accompanied by piano. Light refreshments will be served, followed by a live solo performance from the singer, with other solo guest performers to follow.
“The band is still going strong. When I play solo, people want to buy a CD and all I have is a band CD,” said Popp. “I don’t have anything that represents what I do solo, so it’s another avenue for me, but Bill Popp and The Tapes are strong.”
Popp and The Tapes have been a fixture in the New York music world for more than 37 years with no end in sight. Through the years, the bands’ musicianship, Popp’s songwriting and vocal ability, along with their harmonies, won the group favorable reviews in publications such as Billboard, The New York Daily News, The Village Voice and The All Music Guide, to name a few.
Before the band was formed in 1981, Popp, was a solo performer, crooning his tunes for the Sangria set in long gone clubs such as the Dugout and Folk City in the West Village.
Popp was inspired by the British Invasion rock of the 1960s as well punk rock and new wave of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
While the band was compiling more than 1,000 gigs across the world, Popp would play an occasional solo gig. While Popp’s main focus was always on the band, his solo shows became more frequent in his later years, becoming its own entity.
“The closest song to me is ‘Elizabeth,’” Popp said about his new album. “I wrote that back in 1999 about my mother. For some reason I got reminiscent of my childhood.”
Following the death of his mother in 1978, Popp said it was a wake up call for him and he had promised her that he would always try to get somewhere with his music, and never give up his passion.
Popp thinks that “Bill Popp Solo” will please longtime fans.
“I think if you enjoy my vocal this type of record will feature it,” said Popp. “People are going to love this record or think it’s a frisbee. So far there have been good responses. We gotta hope for the best.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha