::T R A C K S::

11. LEGACY (Dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan)

GYR174 - $14.99

Outstanding debut studio disc by this awesome blues/rock guitarist from Greece. Includes 11 songs of excellent, world-class, blues-based, soul-powered, heavy guitar rock power trio music that delivers and is guaranteed to rock your good jam:house down to the solid ground.

Sakis Dovolis is an exciting, young talented blues/rock axeslinger who kicks serious authentic six string ass from start to finish on the amazing "Cross The Line" disc. Brother Sakis is a legit new "guitar hero" who lands with deep inspiration & passion on the instrument, a true bonafide axeripper supreme who plays with style, class and soul. Completing the Sakis Dovolis Trio line-up is the amazing rhythm section of Fotis Dovolis on bass and Nick Kalivas on drums, both excellent talented musicians who lock in and nail down the SDT groove with power, strength and excellence. Last but not least, heavy props and credit goes to our "good musical brother" Stavros Papadopoulos for co-producing, mixing & mastering the Sakis Dovolis Trio: "Cross The Line" disc to high levels of sonic perfection at Freerock Studio in Kavala City, Greece.

If you dig serious blues/rock heavy guitar power trio music, you owe it to yourself to check out the Sakis Dovolis Trio: "Cross The Line" disc that lands solid with musical strength between a rock and a blues place. An essential, killer blues/rock guitar disc from Grooveyard Records that is Highly Recommended to fans of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Philip Sayce, Lance Lopez, Jay Jesse Johnson, Tony Spinner, Craig Erickson, Bryce Janey, Alan Miritakani (Buddaheads), Dirty Dave Osti, Vince Hawkins, Brett Ellis and all other world-class heavy guitar slingers on planet earth & beyond.

MP3 Sample Clips

     (Dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan)









lance lopez
"wall of soul"

lance lopez

lance lopez
"higher ground"

lance lopez
"first things first"

gugun power trio
"solid ground"

gugun power trio
"soul shaker"


scarlet runner
"groove thang"



Sakis Dovolis Trio - "Cross The Line" (Promo Teaser Video)


Sakis Dovolis Trio - "Cross The Line" (Promo Teaser Video)





Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues and Rock music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Both genres, but especially the Blues, are speaking the language of truth. Truth in every level, no matter how difficult can this be, at some point. So, the Blues showed me that simplicity has the amazing power of ripping you off of all the "wrapping" if you will, and leaves you with nothing but the truth. And you gotta face the truth, deal with it, no matter if it's good or bad.

How do you describe your songbook and sound? Where does your creative drive come from?

At the moment, the best way to describe our music is Blues Based Heavy Guitar Rock music! It's kinda big but I cannot think of a better "title". And I'm saying "at the moment" because I don't really know how things will be in a few years from now. I don't like to use strict, standard labels for my music. The one thing that's a fact, is that it will always be "Blues based". I'm searching for inspiration pretty much everywhere in my life. The energy and the creativity usually coming from listening to the masters that inspired me in the first place. A fun fact is that lately, I like to observe people in the audience and see their reactions during the show, how they respond to what I am giving to them. And this makes me automatically a better musician, performer etc. I find this whole thing really creative! Works for me just fine!

"In my whole life, Stevie was there with me. It's more than a fact, that Stevie made me who I am today, and not only in musical terms. And as far as I know, Stevie was a great human being. So, spending a whole day with SRV, talking, jamming etc, would be the best day ever!"

Which acquaintances have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Well, the most important thing in my musical life happened on May 2018, when I've signed with the American Label, "Grooveyard Records NY". It is a huge step for me, a big deal, because through that, I have the opportunity to share my music worldwide and help the Blues to stay alive and kickin'. At this point, I want to thank the head of my label, Mr. Joe Romagnola, who believed in me, supported me and gave me this chance! He's like a "Musical Father" to me. Also, big thank you to my brother Stavros Papadopoulos, a multi - talented musician, for suggesting me to Joe and co producing and engineering our album. I can think of two advices that I always keep in mind. The first one came from Louisiana Red who said and I quote: "Son, you know you got a star. But this is not enough. You gotta keep on tryin' and tryin' hard every single day". And the second one came from Joe Romagnola during the recordings: "Do not overthink anything. Just let it go from your heart to your fingertips!".

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

The past five years, I am almost constantly on the road. I think I can highlight our show at Suwalki Blues Festival in Poland, which was a great experience for me and the boys. The show in Berlin, Germany was also a big thing for us. Of course, I will never forget the day I met and jammed with Louisiana Red. Life changing!! And last but not least, the studio session we had for the recording of SD Trio's album. I remember I was so excited and anxious at the same time! Bottom line, it came out good and I think we did the best we could back in the day. I'm looking forward to the next one!

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

As the years go passing by, the originality of the Blues is kinda fading out. I know that this is the natural flow, everything's moving forward, but I think I miss the pureness of Son House's music, or the authenticity of Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf. So, my biggest fear is the fundamentals of the Blues to be forgotten and my biggest hope is not to be! And that's a "mission" we, Blues musicians, have. We must try to keep the Blues alive and pass it on, to the next generation! And so, it goes on and on!

"At the moment, the best way to describe our music is Blues Based Heavy Guitar Rock music! It's kinda big but I cannot think of a better "title". And I'm saying "at the moment" because I don't really know how things will be in a few years from now. I don't like to use strict, standard labels for my music."

If you could change one thing in the local scene and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I think, the one thing I would change is, somehow, people to support the local bands. We have so many great bands and individual musicians in Greece. People must give them a chance! I know, because I've been there, that they're trying so hard, in order to get noticed and exposed to the, unfortunately small, Greek Blues audience. I also know, that people's love and support is what an artist needs in order to keep on going. I am trying to do that, with younger fellow musicians, when I have the chance!

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your paths in local blues scene?

You know, being a Blues musician in Greece, its same thing like you're trying to survive alone in the desert! The audience is small, venues are less than a few, people are not familiar with this genre, so you realize that you should not have high hopes and expectations. But that's sad. So, there's a two way street right here! The first one, is to give it all up, and do something else. The second one, and that's the hard part, is to keep trying and, eventually, change the way that things working in GR. Regarding this, I consider myself really lucky, because I had the privilege to be close friends with my "Greek Guitar Heroes", Elias Zaikos (BluesWire) and Nick Dounoussis (Nick & the Backbone). Those guys showed me how it's done! Don't wanna get into details now. I just wanna say that every musician in this country must check them and their history out!

What is the impact of Blues music and culture to the racial, political, and socio-cultural implications?

Having in mind the fact that the Blues is actually a folk music genre, it was more than certain that it would affect some aspects of life and culture, in general. To me, Blues music managed to extirpate some ideas, some ingrained behaviours that the world had back in the day. Humanity owes that to all the "Blues" people that suffered, in order to root out those horrible old habits. If we wanna get rid of this whole racism thing, we should all teach to our kids the Blues History. We can go on and on talking about this, but to sum up, Blues is a cultural heritage, for which the whole world should be proud of.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

I can think of many things now, but the answer that comes to me instantly, is to go back in the day and meet my biggest influence, Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughan. You see, Stevie died when I was 2 years old. The only way for me getting to know him, was through his albums, biography, books and later via Internet. But somehow, I feel like I know him very well. In my whole life, Stevie was there with me. It's more than a fact, that Stevie made me who I am today, and not only in musical terms. And as far as I know, Stevie was a great human being. So, spending a whole day with SRV, talking, jamming etc, would be the best day ever!




· reviews ·

Having already forged strong links with Greece’s Stavros Papadopoulos, Grooveyard Records delve deeper into the Greek guitar scene to unearth the Sakis Dovolis Trio. Cross The Line is the threesome’s debut release, with fretman and singer Sakis joined by Fotis Dovolis on bass and Nick Kalivas on drums. With Papadopoulos co-producing with Sakis himself, even before the disc has hit the player, you already know that we are going to be headed in a guitar-centric power-trio blues direction.

And so it proves, Dovolis a skilled yet smooth craftsman who has the feel and tone of Robin Trower or Stevie Ray Vaughn, while adding a more contemporary touch that reminds of Joe Satriani in places. To be fair, the blues are too prominent in the mix here to ever confuse Cross The Line for a Satch album, and yet when you give “Devil’s Road” a blast, the dirty fuzzed up groove could certainly have come from Joe’s The Extremist album. However, the easy, but contemporary drawl from Dovolis takes things in another direction as the thundering bass and drum combo power along in a way all the best blues rock does.

Unexpectedly, there are occasions where vocally Dovolis reminds of Chris Barron from The Spin Doctors and with his propensity to unleash short burst of fret flurries amid technically intriguing drum patterns, the likes of “All Over You” and “I’m No Angel” can also hint in that direction. A hint, however, is all it is, for the overall feel is much more draped in the vibe of days gone by - but with a more current twist - and through “Burn It Down” or the beautifully poised smoothness of “Show Me Your Love” it’s the underrated Aynsley Lister that can be brought to mind. As you’d expect, the fret work is exemplary throughout, with the fluidity that Dovolis has, quite literally, at his fingertips, being quite breathtaking at times.

Gently eclectic, you can soak in the howling but emotional guitar display off “Shades Of Blue”, while “Burn It Down” is buoyant and bullish in its excitement to get its message across. But no matter whether it’s the cracking cover of ZZ Top’s “Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings” or the swaggering, confident “Come On”, the heart of this album resides in the blues and takes no time in convincing you that yours should too.

How they find them, goodness only knows, but if it’s guitar based, blues rock that you’re after, then the Grooveyard should be you destination. The Sakis Dovolis Trio feel right at home in their company.

Steven Reid / Sea Of Tranquility (January 2019)

Like jazz, the blues is woven into everyone’s life and musical experience. Just as Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck are part of the fabric of modern day culture so are BB King and John Lee Hooker. While these great pioneers stood on the shoulders of giants that had embarked upon discovering the wonders of the trail of music before them, they, themselves, have inspired countless musicians to break new grounds and seek out their own way and create their own music. Most of the young lions of the blues have picked up the thread where any of their idols dropped it, followed the lead for a while before navigating into new and uncharted territories.

Over the years I have seen several of our current giants of the great tradition of the blues take their early steps, cheered on by the music of their mentors and role models; Eric Gales, Craig Erickson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Matt Schofield to name a few, great musicians all of them and beaming lights of the blues. What they all have in common is that they all took the stage at a young age immensely good already, fully developed players in total command of their music and the guitar. That was only the start of their journey, they all had further to go and as the years passed their musing evolved and they all set themselves their own new directions. Today they are all in a very different place from that where they started. And there is still another thing they have in common; they are not only the greatest bluesmen of their generation, they are the greatest bluesmen around as I write.

I cannot but run through these thoughts as I listen to Sakis Dovolis, a young Greek, strikingly talented guitarist and astonishingly mature musician for his young age. Most good bluesmen and guitarists spend a career of a lifetime honing their skills on the grand stage of the blues and with some luck and mostly hard work may retire at the pinnacle of their career, tried and tested to perfection but what for young Dovolis is square one. He is like the four great musicians I mentioned above; starting his career at the top end of the game. His music is, as for so many younger musicians, inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan and he showcases all the chops of the great man and more. Too often and most of the time, very unfairly, guitarists inspired by Stevie have been dismissed as “SRV clones”. Don’t make that lazy mistake here: being mentored and inspired by Stevie does not have to mean playing Stevie. Dovolis’s guitar style and sound may be reminiscent of that of Stevie’s but Dovalis music is his own. On this album, he debuts with a massively powerful, high octane rock-tinted blues and some jaw-droppingly great guitar – just cast your mind to the four greats in their early years.

Great guitar apart, Dovolis is no less an impressive songwriter. That is still another thing he shares with the four greats; they all took the stage with mind-blowingly great songs and compositions, thrust in your face with all the excitement, energy and enthusiasm of their (then) untamed youth, exactly where you want it. The whole album is a thrilling trip of sheer power and brilliance and every song will get you going. The riffage of the opening “All Over You” not only sets the mood but sucks you in straight away, ridiculously intoxicating blues-rocker that captivates you and holds you to ransom throughout the album. There is also Legacy, Dovalis’s "Little Wing" moment, the sort of minor blues instrumental that has, since Hendrix’s iconic recording, become a fixture in every serious bluesmans’ catalogue, in various forms and arrangements. This time it’s more "Lenny" than "Little Wing" as Dovolis pays due to his iconic mentor. My favourite on this album is "Show Me Your Love", a beautifully crafted ballad I can best describe as a crooner’s blues, where he showcases his formidable abilities as a blues lounge vocalist, not un-similar to the great Brit blues singer Paul Cox.

There is a great promise made by this album. Great as it is, it is still made by a very young and outstandingly talented musician. Dovolis stands on his square one, just as the four greats did back in the day. They all made their different journeys and where his road will take him is an open question. In the years to come we will see him mature and grow and go places. No doubt his journey will be exciting, with twists, experiments and surprises. His road will take us to lands no one has seen before. It really will be a thrill and most rewarding to keep him company as he embarks on his discoveries of music yet to be heard.

Thor Indridason / Guitar Rock Appreciation Society (United Kingdom) (February 2020)

Every single track on this debut outing, 'Cross The Line' from the powerhouse blues rock trio known as Sakis Dovolis Trio will have your undivided attention once you press play. Sakis Dovolis is an extraordinary blues and rock guitarist, composer, and vocalist. It is truly unbelievable to hear sounds that cry out with such intensity and experience from an individual as relatively young as Sakis. Rounding out the trio are, Fotis Dovolis on bass and Nick Kalivas on drums providing a strong, tight rhythm section. They sound like they are having the time of their lives. That chemistry can heard and felt on such smoking tracks like "All Of You", "Everything", the smoldering title track, the instrumental: "Shades Of Blues", the down dirty swagger of "Devil's Road" and "Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings". There is a maturity and passion behind Sakis' playing. You can clearly hear all of his influences including Jimi, SRV, and I believe maybe a touch of Rory Gallagher, among many others. Overall, 'Cross The Line' by the Sakis Dovolis Trio is a well produced recording that exhibits outstanding musicianship and songs that rip out of your speakers. I cannot recommend this enough to guitar lovers and blues lovers out there. This trio definitely have alot more up their sleeves and I can't wait to hear it. Believe me, they're that good.

Tony Sison / The Dedicated Rocker Society (January 2019)

Finally, there is still hope. Maybe I started a little strange this review, maybe again it's because I love this sound of this music. But for one I am sure, this voice and this guitar makes you feel more addicted. From time to time, I have made some reviews for great musicians of the Greek Stage, but here, believe me, we have something completely different, this album took me and went back to my childhood. If someone took this album and brought my house wrapped in a newspaper, so that I do not know what it is, I would try to dig into my memory to see which artist he is the one who I have definitely heard somewhere in my life. If they asked me again who I would be ashamed of not knowing him, I might even have been lying to him, that I know it is old, somewhere but I do not remember. I honestly talk to you, every song was so professionally played that only a 50-year-old artist could do that. Do not think I'm trying to become exaggerated and liked by the musicians of this album. I honestly have never seen him in my life and I also have a long time to hear something from him, so listening to this album I say a great thumbs up because they found the perfect recipe, the one that has already been found for many decades this American and manages to make a difference.

I do not want to be misunderstood by the older ones who can and should read this review but this man is from another world, honest, quick, but also professional in this sound. I really wonder what does this country do? How many people have still been left to feel this music? Honestly, if some can not feel it, lend them my ears and my heart. As far as the songs of this album are concerned, and especially the title Cross of Line (a phrase that has a great symbolism), and mention to the one who has overcome social, and sometimes even human, limits. Also songs like "All Over You" were used to always come to an end album, in order to hear it all and not to go to this track when I heard it, I thought ... if Stevie lived he would love to play with you.

Sakis Dovolis was born and raised in Kozani. After a 10-year track in the Blues / Rock scene, he has been featured as one of the best guitarists in the Balkan region. At the age of 9, he began classical guitar lessons and later, at the age of 13, he began electric guitar lessons. He also completed his studies with the degrees of harmony, counterpoint, fugue and band organization (class Dimitris Dimopoulos) with excellent and studied at the TEI of Folk & Traditional Music (Arta).

His main influence is Stevie Ray Vaughan, through which he was gradually led to the huge Blues world. At the age of 22, he was named "Greek Stevie Ray Vaughan Jr" by the American legend of Blues, Louisiana Red, but also by the Greek guitar virtuoso, Nikos Dunousis. He has attended master classes with some of the world's leading guitar players such as Scott Henderson, Greg Koch and others. Other influences include guitarists such as Richie Kotzen, Eric Gales, Philip Sayce, Joe Bonamassa, Michael Landau and others.

In 2013, he started a solo artist project titled Sakis Dovolis Power Trio. It combines the basic principles of Blues with a more rock sound, often referred to as Heavy Blues / Rock. Besides concerts in Greece, he has also performed abroad (Germany, Poland, etc.) and has participated in some of Europe's biggest Blues festival such as the Suwalki Blues Festival and the North City Jazz & Blues Festival.

Since May 2018, it is officially owned by American record label Grooveyard Records, which is headquartered in New York, and in November 2018 the release of its first album, Cross the Line, will be released worldwide. In April 2019 he will represent Greece at the European Blues Challenge to be held in the Azores.

Theofilos Bagiasta / Bluesway - Greece (December 2018)

Blues Rock from Greece. Sakis Dovolis (guitar, lead vocals) is the trio's bandleader in which Fotis Dovolis plucks the bass and Nick Kaliva plays drums. "Cross The Line" is the eleven-song debut album of the young group and it is limited to only one foreign composition. "Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings" is from ZZ Top. The present record was produced by Sakis Dovokis and Stavros Papadopoulos, who is also a guitarist with the Universal Hippies. Executive Producer was Joe Romagnola. Strikingly, the guitar and vocals were recorded in Stavros Papadopoulos' Freerock recording studio and drums and bass in an unnamed recording studio. The disc released on Grooveyard Records will be praised - as it should be. Sakis Dovolis is a legit "new" guitar hero - An essential, killer blues / rock guitar disc, Highly Recommended to all fans of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Tony Spinner, Bryce Janey and other guitarists.

"Legacy" is the SRV dedication piece. This instrumental number is remarkable, even at the end of the record makes one sit up again. The intro alone by Sakis Dovolis captivates and when he then with the accompaniment of the rhythm duo fine strands of the Texas Blues flow soulful, you realize at least after the last just over five minutes, from which Wood the Greek is carved. He really has something on offer. Top!

Then Sakis Dovolis Trio takes on the ZZ Top number "Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings". Crisp riffing runs like a red thread through the song and with the snappy guitar solo, the frontman makes new friends. Scattered by a break to quieter moments, his considerable fretboard skills are highlighted. In the course of the piece even a jam session vibe comes up. Class! The album is spurred on by "All Over You", a powerful forward-moving track that shows that Sakis Dovolis has a sympathetic, catchy voice. Here, too, the listener lends his ear to the quieter intermezzo. "Come On" Wah Wah action and a great bass flashing light in rocking blues funk. Excellent! Fotis Dovolis has something profound to say here.

Jam character also has the short "Shades Of Blue" and right after that there is a special highlight in my view, because "Show Me Your Love" is a rather relaxed journey with a slightly jazzy ambience which is interwoven in stages. Great number! "Devil's Road" is once again a blast-grooving blues rock which is characterized by a high-flyer guitar solo.

The Sakis Dovolis Trio convinces with his first album. "Cross The Line" is a very successful introduction to the sound carrier world of this Greek formation. The further development should definitely be observed and maybe there will eventually be the opportunity to experience the Sakis Dovolis Trio live.

Joachim 'Joe' Brookes / RockTimes-Germany (January 2019)

Man, it seems the blues has really hit Greece! They have produced the fantastic talent of Stavros Papadopolous (who has also co-produced this album), with his Universal Hippies, Freerock Saints and Super Vintage. Here, his fellow country man Sakis proves he too can deliver the goods! It does say “trio”, so of course he’s got two fellows taking care of the bass (Fotis Dovolis) and drums (Nick Kalivas), and they do it with power, groove and assertiveness indeed! The album kicks off with the riff rockin’ “All Over You” in same same territory as Robin Trower, Craig Erickson, Philip Sayce. Lance Lopez and with a touch of Stevie Ray in his leads. Sakis is a phenomenal guitarist and also a great singer! If someone had played it to me without saying the band name, I would have said 100 % American. Well, Sakis also knows how to deliver crunchy and groovy riffs. “Everything” is as groovy as they come with Sakis letting that Strat rip the air a new one! Damn, this guy does rip!! He also manages to keep the momentum up delivering one number after another. There’s some heavy, detuned riffing going on in the title track giving it a different vibe, some more mellow, funky and almost jazzy playing in “Show Me Your Love” and he does it a really cool version of ZZ Top’s “Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings”. The album closes with Sakis’ tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a fine one it is. A cool, bluesy ballad with outstanding guitar playing. A killer of an album, indeed!

Janne Stark / Stark Music Reviews (January 2019)

I bet you have never heard of this guitar player before, am I right? Leave it to Grooveyard Records to find great heavy bluesy music at anywhere on the planet. In this case Greece. This cd rocks with a lot of great uptempo music. We are talking guitar saganaki!! Flaming guitar that tastes good (so to speak if you can taste a guitar). I just love his tone and feel on the guitar. This type of blues rock is always welcome in my ears!! Also really like the cover of ZZ Top’s "Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings". That was always a old favorite of mine. This is a high quality performance. What I mean is that you will dig the guitar, vocals and songwriting. Some 70’s heavy guitar influenced music . If I can be cliche, all killer and no filler ! This is a very strong cd for a debut. Another winner to add to the Grooveyard stable of great guitar players! Don’t pass this one up. Its got my stamp of approval on it!!! Ooopa!!

Gary Milligan / Amazon Review (December 2018)

‘Move over rover and let Sakis Dovolis take over.’ Well, that doesn’t roll off your tongue, but the music speaks for itself: It’s equal parts Johnny Winter and Joe Satriani, with a truckload of updated originality and soul as well. But this isn’t blues, nor is it instrumental rock. It’s more like blues-inflected guitar music for fans of 60s rock trios, like Cream or Hendrix. The virtuosity here is considerable, with Dovolis ably supported by Fotis Dovolis on bass and Nick Kalivas on drums. All songs are original with the exception of one ZZ Top number, which says something about the band’s trajectory: They employ a heavy funk component (with an emphasis on HEAVY), but, more than anything else, they’re clearly a hard rocking virtuoso trio with the guitar front and center. Sakis will blow your mind with chops from another planet. He has definitely ‘crossed the line.’

Steven J. Rosen / Author + Journalist (December 2018)

There is something fascinating about people working within dramatic limitations. I think that’s also part of the appeal of the power trio. It’s three musicians trying to sound larger than just guitar, bass, and drums. The power trio can be liberating, providing ample sonic space for every instrument to have its say, but can also be limiting, like working in miniature to create a world that seems full-sized. Which is why the Sakis Dovolis Trio’s debut, Cross the Line, is a brave entry into the power trio world. Dovolis is a Greek singer/guitarist who’s very much influenced by Hendrix, injecting his songs with an uptempo funk and lots of fluid, technical guitar playing. Interestingly, due to the fast-paced songs, much of the album has a sleaze-rock, glam energy. Some of the tracks are reminiscent of Nashville’s Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, who expertly deployed that particular sound. Dovolis has a strong rock voice and fantastic guitar chops, both lead and rhythm. And working in a power trio, he effortlessly combines both jobs. Dovolis has guitar skills to spare and a surprisingly strong singing voice. Every song is well-produced and well-executed.

Blues Rock Review (January 2019)