‘Lucky You,’ there’s no waiting for latest from Papadimas
It’s not enough that local musicians have to work on their craft during songwriting sessions, band rehearsals, studio recordings and live concerts. These days they also must be aware of the marketplace and use that to best push their work to the next level.
With that in mind, Warren’s Demos Papadimas isn’t waiting to put out his next release. Over the past five years, he’s made strides in developing as an artist and slowly reaping the benefits through three releases, radio airplay and a growing following.
He adds to that with “The ‘Lucky You’ EP”, which comes out less than a year after his second full-length album, “Waiting.” It will be celebrated with a show this Friday at Cedars West End.
“People have short attention spans,” Papadimas said. “With an EP, it’s like you have 20 minutes to pitch your band to people that haven’t heard it. This record represents many of my band’s strengths and gives everyone involved a good showcase.
“Also, people are accessing and absorbing music differently these days. The full-length album is not as popular as it used to be and is becoming more of an investment of time and attention,” he said.
“I just didn’t want to sit on these songs any longer. It was just time to get something out.”
His full-length debut, “Wanderin’ Through the Wilderness,” showcased influences of acoustic blues, Bob Dylan and his Greek heritage. Three years later, “Waiting” expanded the instrumentation beyond acoustic guitar, upright bass, violin and drums to include pedal steel, organ and accordion.
At times, the material leaned toward country in the same manner that Dylan and the Byrds explored the genre in the late 1960s. Overall, the expansiveness of sound settles nicely into the rootsy Americana style.
Working once again with producer Pete Drivere at Youngstown’s Ampreon Recorder studio, Papadimas took another step forward in following the promise of his past work.
“I’ve embraced richer harmonies and fuller arrangements,” he said. “I’m not as interested in having a stripped down, rootsy approach and aiming for one magic live take to ‘capture the energy.’ I’m less interested in being a revivalist.”
Talking about the EP, he said, “It’s a sampler and showcase of what the band has been working on. It features the stylistic range of the songs that I’m writing — ‘Still The Same’ is very much an Americana song, ‘Lucky You’ is a ballad, ‘Tension’ is folk rock, ‘Somehow’ features the Greek influences mixed with Americana and ‘How Long’ captures the energy of the band onstage doing a rootsier kind of song.”
The musical strengths on the EP can be attributed to Papadimas having a consistent band lineup for a year. Drummer Ralph Rich, a mainstay since 2012, links up with bassist Corey Gray for a solid rhythmic foundation while Caitlin Hedge adds a down-home element on violin and Dave Lynn offers tasty guitars solos and “invaluable” input on arrangements.
“The lineup has developed into a true collaborative unit and is functioning as a much tighter unit,” Papadimas said. “There is a shared understanding among the entire band about the direction of the material.”
It also features Al Moss on pedal steel guitar and Chris Leonardi on the Hammond B3 organ.
While he plans on promoting the EP next year with concert dates and videos, Papadimas continues to record and develop a number of other musical projects, including a Greek folk music EP, a solo acoustic release and the possibility of putting out a live record.
As with the EP, he won’t allow his next recordings to sit around and gather dust.