Husband and wife team Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter join up with guitarist Dave Bartley (of KGB) to create a collection of old Rebetika tunes from the 30's and 40’s. The superb recording quality and choice of tunes makes this cd a rare gem. Christos Govetas is well known in the US and Greece as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist and has several releases to his credit, including traditional music with folk groups Pangeo and Ziyia (both available at cdbaby) , and a Grammy-nominated recording with jazz-man Bill Frisell (The Intercontinentals). Christos got his start when he was bussing tables in a Boston Greek restaurant. He was called up on stage to sing and soon formed his own group Taximi which played Rebetika. Christos teaches Greek music at workshops around the country and was the recipient of the prestigious Northwest Folk Arts Fellowship Award honoring his cultural contribution to the Greek-American community.
Ruth Hunter is also well known in the Greek and Balkan music scene. She and Christos have a unique vocal blend that can only happen when two people have been singing together for many years. She sings and plays this music with sincerity and passion and has astonished her Greek audience with the authenticity of her presentation.You can also hear her on the albums "Rue Balkan" with violinist Ruthie Dornfeld and "Northern Borders" along with Christos and Dave (both also available at cdbaby!).
Dave Bartley plays mandolin, guitar, cittern, tambura and numerous other plucked instruments. He has also written scores of tunes, some of which are working their way into repertoires around the country. Dave is a force in the contradance world, playing with KGB, BAG o’Tricks, Close Call and Tricky Brits. Dave has studied and played music of the Balkans, accompanying the dance performance troupe Radost and playing electric guitar with Aegean View, as well as accompanying global songstress Gina Sala. He has been playing with Christos and Ruth since their arrival in the Northwest in 1996.
All three musicians currently reside in Seattle.
Rebetika started out as music of the Greek underworld around the turn of the last century. It has endured and become the music of the Greek soul, often referred to as “Greek Blues”, perhaps because of the themes which the music gives voice to. The songs deal with the timeless issues of love, heartbreak, drugs, jail, illness, exile and death. In spite of the heavy nature of those topics, Rebetika music also maintains an innocence and joy, a love of life and passion which transcend time and language.