BLUES MATTERS (Red Snakes & Cave Bats)

I first heard Small Blues Trap when they contacted me via the Blues networking site with an invitation to listen to some tracks they had posted. When I listened I was impressed with their avoidance of cliché. they had a good feel for arrangements. This album fulfils that promise; it is very good. The first thing that shines out is their sheer love of the music. I’m sure that we often take the availability of blues for granted here in the UK, but it can’t be so easy in Greece and I imagine that they’ve had to fight hard for the opportunity to play and be heard. Well all power to them they deserve to be heard. Paul Karapiperis is the main man in this outfit and would. I imagine have been mainly responsible for the overall sound which is excellent. It creates a real mood of isolation. loneliness and the sense of being in the minority. The instruments are well mixed to produce almost a sound wash effect and I was reminded of the sound that Daniel Lanois produced for Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind’ album. There is certainty something of the fool and mood of that album here, and Dylan’s ‘Dirt Road Blues’ came to mind. I was also reminded of the classic Chess Records sound. especially that of Howling Wolf with the lonesome sound of ‘Evil’ coming to mind The rest of the band is very good. Panagiotis Daras on various guitars. and the rhythm section of Lefteris (Lefty?) Besios on bass and Stathis Evageliou on drums: they’ve played together for a long while and it shows, a very nice, almost American feel. As for individual tracks. well there is no particular killer track but there rs a good consistent feel throughout so you can lake your pick and you won’t be disappointed. I particularly liked the opener ‘Mr. Jack’ and the title track ‘Red Snakes and Cave Bats I would be very interested for the future to see what these guys, as Greek musicians. can bring to the blues from Greek music. There are surely sounds, tones, instrumentation that could be added to the sound-stapes they produce. that would be very interesting and help to build nicely on a first class debut.

Vicky Martin