The first-ever compilation of χαβάγιες ("havagies"), the nearly forgotten Hawaiian-influenced music of 1930s Greece, focused on the compositions of Kostas Bezos and his ensemble White Birds. A world-class slide guitarist, political cartoonist and sleepless Bohemian, Kostas Bezos created some of the most unique music of any era: surrealist guitar portraits blending Athens and Honolulu, haunting tropical serenades, wild acoustic orchestras, and heartbreaking steel guitar duets. Incredibly, this is the same musician responsible for the legendary "Kostis" rebetika recordings (see A. Kostis "The Jail's a Fine School" [OLV-002 / MRP-098]).
LP version includes a 32-page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein and Dimitris Kourtis, many rare photographs, lyrics, obituaries and a bonus CD containing 18 additional tracks. Restored and mastered from original 78s by Michael Graves, this release is limited to 1,000 copies. Digital version includes all 32 songs and a PDF of the booklet.
Co-released by Olvido Records (OLV-002) and Mississippi Records (MRP-098) on January 30th, 2017.
Produced by Gordon Ashworth, Tony Klein, Dimitris Kourtis. Articles by Tony Klein, edited by Gordon Ashworth. Newspaper Research and Bezos Drawings provided by Dimitris Kourtis. Photographs provided by the Kalliris Family, Stavros Kourousis, Lia Dimitriou, Hugo Strötbaum. Translations by Tony Klein, assisted by Dimitris Kourtis, Charles Howard and Vasilis Varelas. Audio Sources courtesy of Manthos Manios, Les Cook, John Marsden. Audio Transfers by Norman Field, Stavros Kourousis, Manthos Manios. Restoration and Mastering by Michael Graves at Osiris Studio. Lacquer Cutting by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Audio. Vinyl Production by Cascade Record Pressing. Design by Gordon Ashworth. Cover Production by Dan Fried. Offset Printing by Eberhardt Press.
Gratitude and Appreciation: Apostolos Poulios, Charles Eberhardt, Charles Howard, Dimitris Kourtis, Hugo Strötbaum, John Marsden, Jonathan Ward, Katerina Kalliri, Les Cook, Lia Dimitriou, Lianka Karmi & Nonna, Manthos Manios, Melanie Reitzel, Michael Graves, Norman Field, Owen Ashworth, Panayiota Konstantinakou, Panos Alexiadis, Savvas Metaxas, Stavros Kourousis, Thanos Kalliris, Tony Klein, Vasilis Varelas, Yiannis Iasonidis.
Special thanks to Dimitris Kourtis and Tony Klein, the lifeblood of this project.