Blues Hall of Fame Greece presents BLUES FOR PEACE, a global movement started by Michael Packer

“This land is your land, this land is my land…This land was made for you and me” (Woody Guthrie)

BLUES IN GREECE FOR PEACE

Blues Hall of Fame, Athens Greece presents the world-wide project BLUES FOR PEACE at May 27-30, 2016 in MODU club (Kolonou 76 & Odysseus 14, Platia Karaiskaki) with special guest, the legend of British Blues, Bob Hall. Blues for Peace is a global movement started by Michael Packer (Blues Hall of Fame, New York). Concerts, put on throughout the world over the last weekend of May with the goal of raising the awareness of peace. The project is a world-wide event which will take place in SPAIN, FRANCE, USA, GREECE, IRAN, ITALY, UKRAINE, MEXICO, ISRAEL, AUSTRALIA and many other countries; and sanctioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR.                     (Photo: Bob Hall & Hilary Blythe)

The Greek line-up is: *Blues Cargo *Bob Hall & Hilary Blythe *George Gakis & Troublemakers *The Jumpin' Bones *Blues N'Soul Shakers *Theo & Boogie Sinners *Υiannis Monos *George & The Dukes *Dimitris Rousopoulos *Blues Revenge & Dimitris Polytimos *Nick Tsiamtsikas & Blues Report *Daddy’s Work Blues Band *Simos Kokavesis & Blues Co. *Giotis Kyttaris *Shady Roots. Greek project supported by Outlaw Blues Society (Wichita, USA), Blues.gr, Rhythmichorizons, SouthernRock.gr, and French magazine Blues & Co.

Interview by Michael Limnios

Michael Packer (Blues Hall of Fame, New York): I woke up with the idea and I am the type of person who tries to make my dreams a reality. I am a 60's person. I did not go to Woodstock but I knew artists that performed at the festival like Richie Havens. He said "words couldn't describe the feeling you got from being there" It was the time of Nixon and the Vietnam War and Woodstock made a huge statement of peace, love and music. Blues for Peace will be much like the spirit of Woodstock sending a much needed message of peace to the world through music all over the globe.

Bob Hall: For me personally blues is that empty feeling that all of us get some of the time. It’s a feeling of not belonging, of being unwanted and unloved, a kind of self-doubt.  You are completely vulnerable on stage, but by pouring out your emotions to an audience, especially in the saddest songs, you can sometimes overcome those feelings. It’s not easy and doesn’t always work, but the rush when you succeed is incomparable.

Stelios Zafiriou (Blues Carrgo): Playing music in general is an effort to express feelings. Especially the Blues Music which has a real time expression, just like talking.

Dimitris Ioannou (Blues Cargo): We are all in the same family everybody knows everybody. Let the good times Roll.                      (Blues Cargo / Photo by Nikos Fourmouzis)

Orestis Tsikouris (The Jumpin’ Bones): The Blues are still teaching me to express myself directly and with honesty. Less is more, and that absolutely applies to this kind of music. It also keeps reminding me that in the end of the day it's the simple things in life that matter. This is the culture of the Blues, and that's why very often the people involved only do what they do out of love for the genre.

Theo Alexiou (Boogie Sinners): Playing music and especially the blues, I have the feeling that, some things like...honesty...and expression, grown even better inside me. My personal opinion is that...you can't play the blues without been honest to yourself and to the others. As about the expression I mentioned before, I express myself much better by the time I started to play the blues.

George Hadjopoulos (George and the Dukes): Blues music has reminded me of a Socrates saying which goes: «ΟΥΚ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΠΟΛΛΩ ΤΟ ΕΥ» (The best is not among the plenty). In other words,…keep it simple. I believe that blues music has always been a way to express feelings.  The more expressive you are and less influenced by technique and musical rules, the closer you are to real blues expression. Blues could be seen from more viewing angles but the pioneers have long now instinctively laid a structure from which it is very difficult to escape.

Andreas Gomozias (Blues Revenge): I have played the guitar for 35 years and I have tried many kinds of music looking always for an identity. It’s only when I play the blues, with the right musicians of course, that I find my real self.

Tasos Dritsos (Blues Revenge): The musical structure of blues is quite simple, just three basic chords. And yet, with this musical material, you can express everything. That is what I learn from the blues. That with few and simple means, you can do many things. The blues for me is the musical vehicle through which I can express myself better.

Photo: Blues Revenge & Dimitris Polytimos

Giotis ‘Blues’ Kyttaris: I learned that the blues is not a sign. It's a way of life. You never think that now my life is blues. Just live. The blues is a musical like all the others. That is music. That's all. And as we know there is no man without music because I will not be human. The blues, there is a feeling. That make you feel very bad. The blues have been a sickness, and there was a pain that you never had. Now here where the blues going. It jumps on you early in the morning. And it worries you until you go to sleep. Then after you go to sleep you get to dream all that bad dreams. And is giving you nothing but the midnight creeps. This is the blues.

Dimitris Rousopoulos: The influence of blues music and culture through the environment that was born was great. It became a symbol of resistance and freedom, through this environment people came closer, they found a common means of expression and were able to shout louder what they believe. People like Leroi Jones, Luci Murphy (blues-jazz singer and activist) and many others, managed through their fights, their songs, their texts to show that the Blues is not only a beautiful music that entertains us. It is above all struggle for a better life, for equality and freedom.

Nick Tsiamtsikas: Blues offered me… a lot of depts!

Giannis Pachidis (Daddy's Work Blues Band): Blues offered me…a sweet hug when I’m mistreated, a kick in the ass when I’m broken-down and a companion when I’m lonely; also, the chance to meet some wonderful people!

Yiannis Monos: Blues is the foundation of contemporary music, so simple and yet so powerful in emotions it simply delivers the performer and the listener from the most basic human emotion: pain, but it can be extremely joyful too. No wonder that it has spread around the world so fast.                                               (Photo: Yiannis Monos)

Blues For Peace in Greece with Bob Hall

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