[Originally posted in August 2012.] I found this collection of Greek dimotika, or folk, music nearly a decade ago in this odd little store in Bayridge just off fifth Avenue at around 79th or 80th Street. All I remember about the store was that it was actually two stores, which you could go back and forth from via a single door in the back connecting both. Oh, wait; no. It was three stores, one of which was a wedding dress maker? Right on the corner. I just Google mapped the area and it looks like none of this exists anymore. Anyway, there was the dress maker, then this weird sort of Z-level movies DVD place and then, last but not least, a small Greek music store.
What was a Greek music store doing in Bay Ridge? Well, Bay Ridge hosts an annual Greek Cultural Festival, so I'm guessing there must be a Greek population there, although I don't think there were any restaurants or other Greek-related businesses, save for the CD store. I've always thought of the neighborhood as predominantly Arabic (there used to be half a dozen or so Arabic music stores dotted along Fifth Avenue), but this is New York, after all.
I picked up this CD on a lark for like $5-10, having no idea what it was, and have loved it ever since the first play. It sounds to me like gypsy music, perhaps because of the clarinet and the extremely soulful voice of the singer. But it clearly says "dimotika" on the cover and that, so far as I know and understand, means "folk." Oh, and if you read Greek, here's the back cover with the track list:
Sorry I seem to be posting more writing and links to writing than music recently, but I've been getting a lot of requests for writing and comics lately, so I've been admittedly distracted from the music bloggin'. I've got a stack of stuff I've been meaning to share with you, including Arthur H's first album, given that y'all seemed to love so much the song of his I included here. Soon!