Rebetika #1

EROS 0025-015-2

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Genitsaris - Glykeria - Agathonas

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This recording is one of a number of recently released CD's,  that can probably be attributed to the renewed interest in Rebetiko music. The three artists pictured above, represent three different areas of emphasis in the Greek music industry as well as two different eras. Michalis Genitsaris is of course one of a handful of authentic Rebetis still currently active. Agathonas is one of the new breed of Rebetiko revivalist on the current scene and Glykeria is a well known Pop singer, who also seems to be involved occasionally with the contemporary Revivalist foray as well. They have come together on this occasion and given us a recording that I would probably best describe as "Rebetiko Light". One of the more interesting things about the CD is that both Agathonas and Glykeria and to some extent Genitsaris, seem to have chosen the type of Rebetiko that lends itself very well to a contemporary upbeat interpretation as if they were deliberately trying to target a younger demographic which I believe may have been precisely what they set out to do. Keep in mind as there are different types of Blues, there are also different types of Rebetika.  Most of the songs chosen for this CD  have a strong upbeat rhythmic quality to them . They are also performed in such a way that emphasizes those same qualities and exploits them to the point where some of these numbers are actually quite catchy.  It's possible that the inclusion of Genitsaris was probably more for the purpose of lending the album  credibility, then for a traditional interpretation of his compositions. It's somewhat reminiscent of the late 19 60's, when some Rock groups would occasionally cut a record with one of the older Blues legends such as Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf or a John Lee Hooker for pretty much the same reason. However the music is excellent even though it's not exactly what were used to. But if it introduces Genitsaris and Rebetika to a new generation, then I gladly endorse it. Agathonas and Glykeria are both excellent performers in their own right and may be among the best artist out there today who can introduce this type of material to a younger audience. As long as they also communicate this is only where the Rebetic journey begins. The end of the trip is still quite a way down the road and many of us, are still very much in transit !

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