"Crazy About the Blues!"
Growing up in Athens, Greece I spent all of my free time trying to find, buy, listen to and study every blues record I could get my hands on at the US/UK-import record stores. And I was also hearing people like Howlin' Wolf on the American radio broadcasts from the then-existing US military base in Athens.
Although the British blues-guitar masters like Peter Green, Eric Clapton and Robin Trower were my first huge influences, the impact on my style from American slingers like Johnny Winter, Harvey Mandel, Duane Allman and, of course, Jimi Hendrix was equally important.
In the early '80s I became the lead guitarist for the pop icon, Sidiropoulos - a Greek Jim Morrison whose lyrics are drug related, erotic and philosophical - with whom I performed and recorded extensively until I moved to Sweden where I continued my classical musical studies at Stockholm University and performed in various clubs around the city.
In the late '80s I moved back to Athens, where I formed a powerful blues-rock trio, 'That's Why,' opened for bands as diverse as the Pixies and Peter Green himself and recorded two songs for the Live at Rodon album. My first self-produced CD "Fota Tou Iliggou" (Lights of Vertigo), was released in July 1996 and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the critics who gave it the highest points of reference. Including "CD of the Month" in Audio (July, 1996).
Between 1996 and 2000 I recorded several songs and in 2000 my Greek record label re-released my CD in a re-mastered, repackaged and re-titled version "I Magissa Tis Arapias" (The Sorceress of Arabia). The title track is a popular Hellenic tune from the that is a mixture of minor blues blended with rembeticko--the Greek blues--for which I created a new arrangement.
When the year 2003 was declared by the American Congress to be "Year of the Blues," I took this to be an excellent sign I should pack up my guitar and head for the motherland of the blues: America! To be specific: New York City. Where I immediately started going to the jams, meeting musicians and making new friends who, like me, had come to the city from places all over the world. Manhattan is a musical mecca and I was blown away by the abundance of musical talent the city had to offer.
Last summer I started to play at some clubs in and around New York. And over the course of various gigs I was able to play with a wide variety of different players some of whom I really clicked with. That's when I decided it was time to go into the recording studio and begin to record my newest songs with--for the first time--English lyrics.
Now I've just completed my first all-American recording with eight news songs for which I've written all the music and lyrics and recorded in NYC and Athens. Performing with me are some amazing musicians: Ms. Bernice "Boom Boom" Brooks, diva of drums, Mr. Ivan "Funkboy" Bodly, bassist extraordinaire, Mr. Jeff "Breathtaker" Stewart, harmonica king and yours truly on guitar and vocals.
The music is the blues played with Greek soul, spiced up with a funky groove and with a rock intensity that brings to my beloved American roots a European touch. And the soft freshness of a Mediterranean breeze. Pump up the volume and enjoy!