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61 SECONDS WITH PAUL KARAPIPERIS

The Musician - Paul Karapiperis, Greece based harmonica player, singer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, founding member of the Greek Blues band "SMALL BLUES TRAP".

 

 


YOUR HOUSE IS BURNING DOWN WHICH HARMONICAS AND OTHER MUSICAL EQUIPMENT WOULD MAKE YOU RUN BACK IN TO RETRIEVE?


My handmade harmonica case that contains 20 of my favorite harps and my Amistar resophonic guitar.


WHAT HARMONICA REEDS AND MICROPHONES DO YOU USE?


I use Lee Oskar Reed plates only for Lee Oscar harmonicas. I usually tune my harmonicas. I use a file to remove a small amount of metal from the surface of the reed at its base to lower pitch and from the surface of the reed at its tip to raise pitch. Concerning the mics, I use an old Astatic 200. It is a killer harp mic that I've loved over the years. Also I use a Shure 520DX “Green Bullet”, a mic with unique frequency response.


IS THERE A PEDAL, MICROPHONE OR OTHER MUSICAL EQUIPMENT YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITH OUT?


I love the Boss DD-3 Digital Delay, the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Plus Reverb and the Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave.


WHO WOULD BE YOUR MUSICAL MENTORS AND INFLUENCES?


Too many to list but that's a good start… Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson(1&2), Big Walter Horton, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Terry, Junior Wells, George Smith, James Cotton, Skip James, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Son House, Robert Nighthawk, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, John Mayall, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix and many many more…


DO YOU HAVE A WARM UP ROUTINE BEFORE A GIG?


”Work Song”.


IF YOU COULD PUT TOGETHER THE BAND OF YOUR DREAMS INCLUDING YOURSELF, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO COMPLETE YOUR LINEUP (LIVING OR DEAD) ?


The band I currently play in (Small Blues Trap) keeps me happy but let’s do it…Muddy Waters on slide guitar, Ray Charles on piano, Jimi Hendrix on guitar, Louis Jordan on saxophone, Johnny Young on mandolin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums, Willie Dixon on double bass, Tom Waits, Howlin’ Wolf and Captain Beefheart on vocals. I could play the harmonica but it would be better just to sit and watch them play!


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW ASPIRING HARMONICA PLAYERS?


Find your sound and do your own thing.


WHAT IS THE BEST GIG/CONCERT YOU’VE PERSONALLY ATTENDED IN YOUR LIFE?

Buddy Guy in Athens.


GUN TO THE HEAD - HOHNER OR LEE OSKAR?


Hohner.


DO YOU PLAY ANY OTHER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTs GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY IN A BAND?


Apart from the harmonica and the guitar, I play keyboards, bass, tzouras, baglamas and percussion on recordings but not to the level I would be happy with.


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF INSTRUMENTALS AND WHAT DO THEY OFFER OVER TRADITIONAL SONGS WITH LYRICS?


Ιt has been said that instrumental music affects the innermost, more intuitive parts of our brains, and has therefore a very powerful and direct effect. Sometimes the lyrics are not needed.


FINALLY DO YO HAVE ANY INTERESTING PLANS OR ALBUMS IN THE MAKING?


I released an album in May 2019 called “Acoustic & Electric Growls” and now I have a few different concepts I'm working on. I am already in the studio laying some tracks down for a new personal album and furthermore with my band (SMALL BLUES TRAP) we are currently writing and recording new material for a new album also.


 

Jon-Marc Dowden

61 SECONDS WITH PAUL KARAPIPERIS