The most intriguing release I’ve heard in 30 years of writing album reviews. Karapiperis, who plays harp, resonator guitar and sings for Small Blues Trap, goes on his own for the trippiest blues album ever. The Greek Islands and the Delta aren’t strange bedfellows after all. Acoustic & Electric Growls combines sensuous acoustic blues guitar with haunting harp against a backdrop of understated percussion and intriguing sounds that create a dark, dramatic voodoo vibe. Paul’s heavily accented voice- he’s full-on Greek- is often a growling whisper and an exotically effective wild card. He reminds me of Yorgi, the leader of Anarchy 99 in the Vin Diesel film XXX. A&EG is very psychedelic- Hendrix would have loved this.
A&EG is Paul’s 4th solo album, following Fifteen Drops In An Ocean Of Blues Tales (2009), Somethin’ Like The Blues or Haunted Ballads (2012) and One Sin In Seven Parts (2014) which, of course, I’ll have to track down now. On Acoustic & Electric Growls he is accompanied by 8 other Greek musicians whose names I can’t possibly pronounce. Paul and his guys play by their own rules with barely any backbeats at all; Karapiperis’s vocals and harp, usually accompanied by acoustic guitar, gliding over a dreamscape of bluesy atmospherics. I bet this would be terrific to get into after some jazz cabbage.
For the blues fan thinking “I’m in the mood to try something different”, go to bandcamp.com and find Acoustic & Electric Growls– it’s weirdly cool.