Friday, November 30, 2012

Interpretations of Rembetico

Babis Papadopoulos has a long history as a guitarist in the local scene. Initially as guitarist of Trypes and then as Thanasis Papakonstantinou guitarist in Laikedelika, Babis has marked a whole era with his electric guitar riffs.
In his second solo album, Ap’ti Spilia tou Drakou (From Draco’s Cave) of 2010, he uses an acoustic quartet (guitar, bass, bouzouki, piano) to re-interpret some classic rembetico standards.

Here’s Marcos Vamvakaris song O Sinahis

Vinicio Capossela provides his own interpretation of Rembetico in his 2012 album Rebetiko Gymnastas.
13 songs (rembetico covers and originals) which keep the basic rhythmic patterns of rembetico but with a fresh sound which constitute a really contemporary pop listening.
The arrangements belong to Pappos, Massalas, Chatziiordanou who also contribute playing bouzouki, baglama and accordion accordingly as members of the band which includes Greek players while Kaiti Dali interprets Misirlou.

Here’s Marcos Vamvakaris classic composition Fragosyriani, with Italian lyrics by Capossela, re-named as Contratto per  Karelias

D. Charles Speer, aka David Charles Shuford, member of No Neck Blues, Enos Slaughter, Egypt is the Magic and others, decided to deep dive into the Greek hasiklidika rembetica (songs about the effects of hashish) in his 2011 album Αργιλέδες (Arghiledes).
D. Charles Speer played all the instruments, overdubbed and produced the album which ranges from close to original cover to distorted, overdubbed, psychedelic interpretations of rembetica or even original compositions. 

Here’s Harmanis, a song which originates from the same titled song of Markos Vamvakaris, to become a truly psychedelic folk, eight minutes and a half trip.

And as the main reference here is Markos Vamvakaris let’s not forget Tom Kaza’s project XITZAZ and their interpretation of Fragosyriani presented in older post here.


  1. Όπως πάντα αποκαλυπτικός!! Τις καλύτερες μου ευχές!!! Άσχετα με την σχέση ρεμπέτικου-blues ψάξε αν σου διαφεύγει τον αείμνηστο Johnny Otis (Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes)(December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012). Kisses from K.K. - Zouberi!!

    1. K.K. εδώ παλαιότερη ανάρτηση για Johnny Otis


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