the Greek blues – a top 20 of Rembetika

Rembetika- the greek blues

Rembetika- the greek blues

Top twenty rembetika on you tube in no order.

1.
ARTIST : YIORGOS KATSAROS [Γιώργος Κατσαρός]
SONG: [ΧΤΕΣ ΤΟ ΒΡΑΔΥ ΣΤΟΥ KARIPI] 1931
translation :HTES TO VRADI STOU KARIPI

notes- Katsaros …amazing guy ..lived till 107 ..was a kind of greek rembetika ambassador in the US.. welcoming all the singers and musicians from Greece who came to live or to play in America. One of the few who played guitar instead if the bouzouki..Yannis and I do this song ..it was easier to learn as it was created on guitar and such a beautiful catchy melody.
This song from 1935 was one of the first dealing with the famous “tekedes”, where manges and rembetes used to hide to smoke cannabis, listen to music and dance.

2.
ARTIST : YIORGOS KATSAROS [Γιώργος Κατσαρός]
Song: Ο ΓΙΑΤΡΟΣ, ΚΑΜΝΤΕΝ (ΗΠΑ) 1928,
Translation : doctor Camden USA

3.
ARTIST : YIORGOS KATSAROS [Γιώργος Κατσαρός]
SONG : / Ο σαλταδόρος –
Translation : O saltadoros

Notes -“Saltadoroi” were Greek kids stealing food and oil from the German conquerors’ vehicles, during WW2. Many of them were shot by the German soldiers when caught stealing. The German occupation of Greece lasted from 1941 to 1944 and was a period of great pain and suffering for most of the Greek people.

4.
ARTIST : YIORGOS KATSAROS [Γιώργος Κατσαρός]
Song : ΚΑΙ ΓΙΑΤΙ ΔΕ ΜΑΣ ΤΟ ΛΕΣ(1928)
Translation :KAI GIATI DE MAS TO LES

Notes :this song is from 1928!! giorgos katsaros was born 1888 as giorgos theologitis on the island amorgos (cyclades/greece). his nickname katsaros originated from his curly hair (katsaros = curly). 1909 he went to the U.S.A., where he became on of the main figures in greek music scene. in the early 20ies he recorded some the first rebetika, even before the beginning of the rebetiko recordings in greece!! he died 1995 at the age of 107!!!

5.
Artist : Anestis Delias ΑΝΕΣΤΗΣ ΔΕΛΙΑΣ
SONG- Βρε μάγκα το μαχαίρι σου [1936]
Translation :Hey Dude Knife !!

Notes: The singer is Anestis Delias one of the few rembetes who succumbed to a heroine overdose..he died very young ..( some say his junkie girlfriend gave him heroine while he was asleep to get him hooked which would guarantee her supply in the future ) he was part of the legendary Piraeus four ..markos vamvakaris , yiorgos batis and stratos Payoumidzis…amazing team playing for me some of the best of this music in the 30 s…

6.
Artist : , Y. Batis and Stratos Payoumidzis Γ. ΜΠΑΤΗΣ, ΣΤΡ. ΠΑΓΙΟΥΜΤΖΗΣ
Song : ΖΕΊ’ΜΠΕΚΑΝΟ ΣΠΑΝΙΟΛΟ(ΖΟΥΛΑ ΣΕ ΜΙΑ ΒΑΡΚΑ ΜΠΗΚΑ) 1933
Translation Spanish Zembekiko ( julie in a boat)

7.
Artist : Markos Vamvakaris Μάρκος Βάμβακαρης –

Song : ΦΡΑΓΚΟΣΥΡΙΑΝΗ 1932

Translation : Frangosyriani

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CeGogPy6fw&feature=related

Notes: markos s rough vocals though he began as a bouzouki player and never intended to be a singer became the signature voice of rembetika … he was encouraged singer after delias s death and never looked back

8.
artist : Markos Vamvakaris Μάρκος Βάμβακαρης
song :Εφουμέρναμ’ένα βράδυ
translation : Efumernam ena vradi [evening]

9.
Artist:Τάκης Νικολάου TAKIS NIKOLAOU
Song : ΜΕΣ ΤΟΝ ΤΕΚΕ ΤΗΣ MARIGOS (1935)
Translation: MES TON TEKE TIS MARIGOS (through Marigos Tekes)

one of the best riffs ever ///ever ///ever

10.
Artist Γιοβάν Τσαούς [Giovan Tsasos] –
Song -Πέντε μάγκες στον Περαία 1935
Translaton: five guys in Pireas

11.
Artist : Yiorgos Batis [Γιώργος Μπάτης]
song – Ο θερμαστής 1934
translation :the stoker

12.
Artist : Kostis Bezos [Κώστας Μπέζος]

Song ΤΟΥΤΟ ΤΟ ΚΑΛΟΚΑΙΡΑΚΙ1931

Translation : This Summer

Notes: probably my favourite rembetika singer and guitar player …yannis and I used 2 or 3 of his tunes in our rebetika cd ….his deep voice and simple catchy guitar tunes stay in your heart forever …

13.
Artist : Kostis Bezos [Κώστας Μπέζος]
Song :ΤΟΥΜΠΕΛΕΚΙ ΤΟΥΜΠΕΛΕΚΙ 1931

this one reminds me of agreek version of ‘I walk the line “ by johnny cash …i wonder if they ever heard eachothers music

14.
Artist : Kostis Bezos [Κώστας Μπέζος]
song- Κάηκε κι ένα σχολείο 1930
tranlation -School burnt down

15.
Artist : Kostis Bezos [Κώστας Μπέζος]
Song :Ήσουνα ξυπόλητη 1930
Translation: You were barefoot

Notes : the first rembetika song I ever heard and still one of my favourite …sent to me by a Greek Dog faced Hermans fan ..i sent him DFH Lps and he sent me remebika tapes …
16.
Artist : Anestis Delias Ανέστης Δελιάς
Song: TO HAREMI STO HAMAM (1936)
Translation :The turkish bath in haremi

17.
Artist : Anestis Delias Ανέστης Δελιάς
song- ΣOΥΡΑ ΚΑΙ ΜΑΣΤΟΥΡΑ 1936 (Original)
translation: Souri and overdose

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ayEjQ0WKgo

18.
Artist : Rita Abatzi [Αμπατζή Ρίτα]
song- Φέρτε πρέζα να πρεζάρω (1934)
-translation: Bring me dope (white powder)

19
Artist : – MARIKA NINOU [ΜΑΡΙΚΑ ΝΙΝΟΥ]
Song: ΓΚΙΟΥΛΜΠΑΧΑΡ- ΖΩΝΤΑΝΑ
Translation:”GUL BAHAR” LIVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svfr40OxKPc&feature=related

20.
Artist:Marika Papagika – ΜΑΡΙΚΑ ΠΑΠΑΓΚΙΚΑ
Song:Bournovalia

Yannis Kyriakides and I do our own warped versions of some of these tunes on guitar and electronics on a cd called uh hum??? ………“Rebetika” ,,,check our website
http://www.unsounds.com/20u.html

or listen

here
Katsaros [Live]

or here
School Burnt Down [studio]

RECOMMENDED LISTENING

There s so much stuff ..my favourite period is 20 s and 30s..before the words were censored and the music cleaned up …Rounder label do a great series of rembtika releases

Markos Vamvakaris, Bouzouki Pioneer, 1932–1940, Rounder Records, 1998.

Mourmourika: Songs of the Greek Underworld, Rounder Records, 1999.

My Only Consolation: Classic Pireotic Rembetica 1932–1946, Rounder Records, 1999.

Rembetica: Historic Urban Folk Songs From Greece, Rounder Records, 1992.

Women of Rembetica, Rounder Records, 2000.

Also check out
“Rembetika Songs of the Greek Underworld” on Trikont label

a fantastic double cd compilation that has many of the songs I selected above ..a great starter if you’ve never heard the music before

Another great compiltion is

Mortika – Rare vintage recordings from a Greek underworld (Arko)
Compiled by Charles Howard who actually has also released several box sets 2 of the best called

“Rembetika Greek Music from the underground| JSP recordings

“Rembetika 2 more of the secret history of greek underground music” JSP recordings

Start with these collections ..if youre not hooked after this lot you never will be .

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6 comments on “the Greek blues – a top 20 of Rembetika”

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  1. wow. thanks for this

  2. As a Greek-American, it’s so cool that a guitarist from one of my favorite groups has also gotten immersed in rembetika. To add to your list, I recommend this raw version of song about a leaky fishing boat, recorded on banjo (!) in Chicago in the 1930s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuH8gRGvSbg

  3. Great posting Andy – than. Yassoooo!!!!

  4. Name of this singer please. I beg you oon my knees
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otpszbjNsvE

  5. Today is July 23, 2014. In six days it will be July 29th….Mikis Theodorakis’ birthday. Sisters and Brothers, it would have been impossible to here Rebetika today had it not been for Theodorakis and Hadidakis back in the 1960’s. Celebrat Mikis’ birdthday and remember you Sisters and Brothers….celebrate them too! Opa!

  6. great selection, love to learn to play rebetika on guitar. Impressed by so much guitar, asits my main instrument. the real underground sound

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