Can Greeks play the blues? Of course, they can! Blues Wire's latest CD shows perfectly that there's no basic difference between US and European blues artists (and not forgetting other continents too!). Great blues stuff can nowadays be played and heard anywhere in the world and the new effort by top Greek band is exactly that. More than fifteen years of existence and countless gigs has polished the band's sound to perfection. What else can you say for a band that has played or shared the stage with people like John Hammond, Albert Collins, Big Time Sarah, Louisiana Red, Johnny Mars, Albert King, Peter Green, Big Jay McNeely and others?
The band's sound could be explained as a combination of Chicago blues and British blues boom of the sixties plus few influences from the contemporary blues scene. Steady Gig CD's 12 tracks present a heavy mix of well known covers and band's originals, all played with verve and passion of someone who's heart is deep in the blues. Like other great bands, Blues Wire are a cohesive unit where individual personalities contribute to the masterful sound that the band produce.
CD opens with a vigorous version of "I Wish You Would" which would make Billy Boy Arnold proud. This track features some exciting harmonica workout courtesy of George Bandoek. I've heard a lot of versions of this classic and Blues Wire's rendition stands among the best! Rick Estrin's "Homely Girl" gets fine shuffle treatment with great guitar harmonica interplay which is also the case with the band's original "Steady Gig" with some nice slide. "Texas Flood" has been used and abused so far by many blues people, but it still sounds fresh when Blues Wire do it. With additional harmonica, this beautiful version has some Chicago blues feel, while guitarist Elias Zaikos offers plenty of impressive chops from his bag. This standout track is definitely a blues lovers' dream!
Catchy rendition of Junior Wells & Buddy Guy's "Shake It" with tight rhythm section of Sotiris Zissis on bass and Alex Apostolakis on drums will have your speakers jump with joy! Elias Zaikos' "Love Me" is an easygoing shuffle in the best tradition of Chicago fifties blues, while "Catch Me When I Fall" is a slab of contemporary blues sounds that should also appeal to non blues fans. Great guitar on this one by Elias who's years of experience show in his choice of notes and his tone, making this track a great late night listening.
"Lil' More Dirt To Clean" is a happy-go-lucky boogie instrumental with impressive harp, while "Buy A Dog" is Elias' solo acoustic blues with evocative lyrics and excellent guitar picking which closes this disc.
All in all great stuff by a great band. If you're looking for some honest stuff played with heart and passion, excellent musicianship, look no further, check Blues Wire!
Band contact: email@example.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Vasja Ivanovski, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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