BLUES CARGO is an electric Blues Band that was formed back in 1987 in Athens by DIMITRIS IOANNOU (bass guitar, vocals), STELIOS ZAFIRIOU (Guitar), STELIOS GAVRILIDES (Drums) and STELIOS ZOUZOULAS (Guitar).
The Band has been playing regularly for more than 24 consecutive years all over Greece and has gained the respect and the admiration of all the Greek and European blues fans. Their shows continue to massively attract blues audiences regardless of age and gender who consider them as one of the best Blues Bands in Europe. Besides being an extremely tight band that delivers scorching blues guitar solos and a very wide spectrum of blues arrangements, the trade mark of the band is the unprecedented voice of the singer and bass player of Blues Cargo, Mr. Dimitris Ioannou and the fine and emotional guitar paying of Stelios Zafeiriou.
Many famous American artists have been backed up by the Blues Cargo during their appearances in Greece. Some of them are:
LOUISIANA RED, LURRIE BELL, BIG TIME SARAH, EDDIE C. CAMPBELL, GUITAR SHORTY, LEFTY DIZZ, BYTHER SMITH, ANGELA BROWN, LOVIE LEE, JEAN CAROLL, MAXINΕ HOWARD, UP-WILSON, SWEET BETTY, JIMMY MORELLO, JAN HARRINGTON, BLIND MISSISIPI MORRIS, JUKE,MICHAEL DOTSON,JOLLY JUMPER & BIG MOE, and NELLIE TIGER TRAVIS, MICHAEL DOTSON, MATTHEW SKOLLER.
The band has also opened the shows of JOHN MAYAL, JOHN HAΜMOND, NICK GRAVENITES, BIG TOWN PLAYBOYS, and FERNEST ARCENAUX in Greece.
By the end of 1992, they had recorded a number of original tunes which were finally
released on a vinyl LP in 1993, by Pegasus Records.
The album was titled “FIRST DELIVERY” and received very good reviews.
On March, 2009, the band released their second album after 15 years.
That is the reason why this album is called “DELAYED DELIVERY”.
This album apart from most blues media received excellent reviews from world most recognized blues magazine “ BLUES REVIEW”.
The recent BLUES CARGO line up is :
STELIOS ZAFEIRIOU (guitar)
DIMITRIS IOANNOU (bass, lead vocals)
PETROS DACTILIDES (drums)
GIORGOS LAGOGIANNIS/ORESTIS VAVITSAS (keyboards)
BABIS (Saxy B)TSILIVIGOS/(saxophone)
For further information or for booking please contact:
Mr. DIMITRIS IOANNOU
Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
Blues Cargo – Delayed Delivery
14 tracks, 65.51 minutes.
In the latest edition of Blues Revue Bob Margolin writes of the great pleasure he has had from playing with blues musicians from countries where there may be no tradition of blues music but the musicians are skilled and love the blues. Bob could have been writing about Blues Cargo who hail from Greece and have accompanied a long list of visiting US players touring Greece, including Lurrie Bell, Eddie C Campbell, Guitar Shorty and Byther Smith.
Blues Cargo is a four piece band based in Athens. Vocals are handled by bass player Dimitris “Handyman” Ioannou, lead guitar is Stelios Zafeiriou, drums are shared between Stelios Gabrielides and Petros Daktilides and sax is Babis “Saxy Bee” Tsilivigos. Keyboards are added on most tracks by Orestes Vavitsas or George Lagogiannis. The album’s title is a reference to the band’s first album, released in 1994 and entitled First Delivery.
The CD features 10 originals and four covers. The album opens with Chris Cain’s “Drinking Straight Tequila” which was fine with me as I am a big fan of Chris and am surprised that he is not covered more often as his songs often contain interesting lyrics alongside catchy tunes, as is the case here. The other covers are Memphis Slim’s “Everyday I Have The Blues” which has the merit of being much more upbeat than is usually the case with this often covered tune and two less well known tunes. The first is an excellent version of a song by little known writer Buzz Clifford entitled “Ain’t That I Don’t Love You” which has a first class guitar solo and horn arrangement. The second is “I Got The Blues”, a tune by Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli which at 6.17 is the longest cut on the CD and again features some tasty guitar playing and an excellent sax solo.
The self composed material is written by Stelios (4 songs) and Dimitris (6) and covers a good range of blues styles. I liked “95%”, a song about dating tall women and “Handy Man”, a funkier tune in Albert King mode which extols the DIY skills of the singer (or does he mean something else??). “Emptiness” is more of a ballad with a hint of reggae in the rhythm. “Garbage Bin” is up tempo and moves along well, “Six Hundred Miles” is a rolling blues with nice organ/piano underpinning the rhythm and “I Don’t Care” is a funky ending to the CD.
Overall there is a lot to enjoy in this CD. The sound is excellent and the band has clearly paid a lot of attention to the quality of the recording and mastering of the CD. It is varied and the covers are well selected to add balance to the originals. Vocals are good, with just a trace of accent, but that is not intrusive. I do not know how easy it is to purchase the CD but enquiries could be made to the band’s website. The CD certainly demonstrates that there is some good blues music being produced in Greece (we should not forget that Joe Bonamassa recorded his last CD there) and these guys are clearly in the vanguard of that, both on their own and backing visiting acts.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He recently attended the Blues Blast Awards in Chicago and had a great time! He was just back in the USA for the January 2011 Blues Cruise!
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ROOTS TIME BE From Belgium
Regardless of financial crisis, political and social turmoil, street protests, pollution and heat, the Greeks know how to make music. They also have their own personal reasons for "I Got The Blues' singing. The seven-piece blues band "Blues Cargo" examine their escape into the electric blues and thus does rembetika, sirtaki Hadjitakische film or other musicians. With their funky modern electro-blues places they charge complex next to the better Chicago blues bands.
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