Tsibiti technique (rembetiko fingerpicking) and the Greek Blues
Prompted by the special "tsibiti" technique (rembetiko fingerpicking) and the singular guitar playing of Katsaros, Doussas and Kostis, Dimitris Mystakidis reinterprets in his own personal manner rembetika that have been released and performed only in America.
The Greek Blues
Rembetiko fingerpicking, a.k.a. the “tsibiti” technique was developed in the United States in the beginning of the 20th century, mainly by Kostas Dousas and Yiorgos Katsaros, but also in Greece by Kostas Bezos (A. Kostis). The brilliance and adaptability of these folk musicians led their artistry to unexplored paths: Influenced by the fingerpicking technique of Afroamerican bluesmen, they embraced the distinct open tunings they found in America, creating an original guitar playing technique. The melodies from the homeland, along with their own compositions, acquired a new sound in the neighborhoods of the New World.
History repeats itself
The pain of separation, the long and arduous journey to America, the struggle for survival and acclimatization, marginalization, illegalities, nostalgia and the dream of return, are passing as movie pictures through the songs of the album. The music, sober but skillfully ‘woven’, depicts sorrows, recalls memories and triggers emotions.
Nearly a century later, Greece is experiencing a deep economic crisis and is witnessing a new migration wave. Mostly young and well-educated Greeks are forced to leave their homeland and seek their fortune abroad. At the same time refugees and immigrants from the Middle East are blocked in Greece on their way to northern Europe.
Dimitris Mystakidis dedicates his new album "AMERIKA" to those who left their homeland in search of a better life, but didn't make it. And he notes:
"Same play, different protagonists
a helpless country sending its children away
the immense struggle for existence and acclimatization
the power of dream
the xenophobia and racism of the ensconced".
Released by Fishbowl (April 2017).