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Paul Karapiperis’ latest release, Acoustic & Electric Growls, is a most adventurous and intriguing set of blues recorded by the Greek singer/songwriter/harmonica player with eight of his friends (lead guitarists Vassilis Athanassiadis, Panos Badikouthis, and Panagiotis Daras, drummers Ilias Lintzos and Nikos Konstantinou, bassist Lefteris Besios, clarinetist Nicholas Psarras, and vocalist Manolis Aggelakis). Karapiperis himself also plays all manner of guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, tzouras, and baglamas during the session.

Karapiperis’ vision of the blues is moody and atmospheric, with various traces of blues, Louisiana swamp, Mississippi Hill Country, Chicago and the Delta freely intermingling with jazz, world, and sometimes psychedelic undercurrents. The songs, all originals, paint vivid images of places deep in the mind, of society in general, recovering from various types of loss (“Broken Pieces of My Wasted Time”) , fear (“The Blues In His Veins”) and desperation (“Trapped In A Fox Hole”). 

Karapiperis’ vocals range from a deep growl to a soulful croon, sometimes reassuring, sometimes desperate, sometimes angry, always compelling and ideally suited to his material, which captures the feeling of the blues as well as anything I’ve heard in a while. The words and music are completely immersed in the blues. The guitar work is just amazing on the entire set and Karapiperis’ harmonica work is a force of nature throughout. 

Paul Karapiperis and Acoustic & Electric Growls stand as living proof that the blues is definitely a worldwide feeling

 

Graham Clarke