Monday, March 26, 2012

Blues Tales

Blues Gang – Blues Wire

Blues Gang first appeared in 1983 and in 1985 they changed their name to Blues Wire.

They are considered the pioneers of blues in Greece because of their endurance, their consistency and apparently their music.
After nine albums and a career spanning more than 20 years, Blues Wire have backed up artists line John Hammond, Big Time Sarah, Kate Webster, Louisiana Red and others while they have opened for Buddy Guy, Albert King, Otis Rush and others.

Blues Grave from Blues Gang second album On a Second Thought (1985)

The Mean Thing from Blues Wire album Bulldog Boogie (1993)

Elias Zaikos

Elias Zaikos is the founder and driving force behind Blues Wire/Blues Gang.
He maintains a parallel career having released 3 albums.
There is another post about Zaikos you can find here.

Kuma Goo from his great solo instrumental Off the Box album (1997)

Blues Trackers

Blues Trackers were formed in Larissa in 1996. They have released 2 albums up to date, Blues Trackers in 2002 and Smells Like Trouble in 2011.
The band accompanied Louisiana Red and opened for Dr. Feelgood among others.
They also have a continuous “conversation” with Elias Zaikos of Blues Wire.

Smells Like Trouble from album with same name (2011)

Panos Badikouthis

Panos Badikouthis is the front man of Blues Trackers.

In 2006 he released his solo album Blues People featuring the cream of local blues scene.

Night Time Man Blues from Panos Badikouthis album (2006)

Small Blues Trap

Small Blues Trap were formed in 2004 in Malesina.

The band has released 3 albums up to date (Our Trap in 2005 in CD-R format, Crossroad Ritual in 2006 and Red Snakes and Cave Bats in 2010).

They have managed to have a very distinct sound.

Strange Melody from the Red Snakes and Cave Bats album (2010)

Paul Karapiperis

Paul Karapiperis is the front man of Small Blues Trap.

In 2009 he released his solo album Fifteen Raindrops in an Ocean of Blues Tales including 15 original tracks of high quality acoustic blues.

Let’s Do the Boogie All Night from his solo album (2009)

Mickey Pantelous

Mickey Pantelous is a really unique case as he plays a distorted form of blues that brings in mind Captain Beefheart or Tom Waits but with a difference: he plays all instruments by himself. Live!
An one-man-band.
Mickey Pantelous has been in several other projects before going…solo with Mickey Pantelous and the Chess-Mates being the only who left a recording (even though their cd was only sold in their lives; I think).

Consolation from the Devil from Mickey Pantelous and the Chess-Mates album Hangover (2007)

As an one-man-band he introduces the name Dr. Albert’s Flipout’s One CAN Band.

His album Can’t Find my Pills was released in 2010.

Here’s the video of There Goes Jack from Can’t Find my Pills album as you should not only listen to Mickey but also see him playing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Space is the Place

Following the last post re Manticore’s Breath there is a song in their album that stands out.

It’s somehow like an interlude and definitely not a representative of the sound of the album.
Yet it is a beautiful song and the first of some “space” tunes I try to present here.

Manticore’s Breath - Astral Lament, 2011

Another space tune here from Fantastikoi Hxoi.
The album is full of Kraut and space influences in any case and still one of the best local efforts.
It’s a private release (digital) that you can find here:

Fantastikoi Hxoi – Kosmikh Apoklish (Cosmic Deviation), 2008

Vagelis Pitsiladis as already discussed has a very diverse career spanning from Euro-disco to Greek popular music.
His contribution to our space soundtrack is from his 1979 Oasis album, Call me now.

Oasis – Star Trek, 1979

Stavros Logaridis was member of the famous group of the 70s, Poll and then Akritas, the progressive group which left a classic album.
In 1978 he released his first solo album with same name.
From this album comes Snif Snif.

Stavros Logaridis – Snif Snif, 1978

Finally in 1976 Vangelis released a concept album around space, Albedo 0.39.
As he explains on the back cover, Albedo is the reflecting ability of a planet and 0.39 (39%) was Earth’s albedo at the time.
From this album here’s Pulsar which was also used by BBC as a theme.

Vangelis – Pulsar, 1976

Thursday, March 1, 2012


From new wave to alternative rock, to psychedelic/progressive, to heavy progressive, to…?

Takis Barbagalas definitely likes changes as his 28-year spanning career proves.

First major step was Lefki Symfonia (White Symphony).

The group formed in 1984 and released 2 important and influential albums (Mystikoi Kipoi 1986, Iho tou Pothou 1988) before Barbagalas leave in 1991.

These first albums were closer to new wave (their sound became harder after Barbagalas left).

Lefki Symfonia - Mystikoi Kipoi (Secret Gardens) from the album with same name, 1986

In 1994 Barbagalas released a new album and single with Red Mist, the new band he formed with former singer of metal band Selefice. The sound is heavy like the grunge and alternative rock sound of the era.

Red Mist - Empire of All from their 1994 single (the song was also included in the album)

Barbagalas then makes a u-turn and deep dives into 70s psychedelic/progressive sound.

Will-o-the wisp seems to be the best vehicle for his artistic quest.
Formed in 1997 Will-o-the wisp released their first self-titled album in 1999.

Will-o-the wisp - Elbereth (Lonely Queen) from their first album, 1999

Another 3 albums follow (Second Sight in 2000, Ceremony of innocence in 2004 and A gift for your dreams in 2007) were the sound becomes even richer and the compositions move towards a pure progressive form reaching high standards on their last album, A gift for your dreams.

Will-o-the wisp - Nature Boy from A gift for your dreams album, 2007

The same team, that is the Will-o-the wisp composition since 2005 (Takis Barbagalas: guitars, Agelos Gerakitis: vocals, Kostas Pagonas: bass and Kostas Kostopoulos: drums), has started a parallel project under the name Manticore’s Breath.

Manticore's Breath - Devil's Hunger from 2010 EP

Their first 10inch was released in 2010 including 2 songs indicating a shift towards more heavy progressive forms.

Their 2011 album Death Breath actually established the new direction with 6 new tracks with heavy guitar riffs, a tight rhythm section and haunted vocals.
The album is released in 600 vinyl copies (sold out) and cd.

Manticore's Breath - Your truth is a dead God from Death Breath album, 2011

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