The Sound of a Pre-War Bouzouki

From 1911, to be precise. I stumbled upon this video on YouTube tonight and thought–what a sound! That guy’s bouzouki sounds just like the pre-war bouzoukia. Turns out, it is a pre-war bouzouki, made by Karambas in 1911 in NYC.

Screen shot 2016-03-03 at 9.58.46 PM

The bouzouki player is Stavros Kourousis, who has also written an excellent book, From Tabouras to Bouzoukiwhich is well worth reading (if you can find it). Remarkably, this was recorded at the BSA–the British School of Archaeology at Athens–which hosted a rebetika night last November. You can check out the instrument at Spyros Dimis’ excellent blog (just scroll down a bit). Of course, it could be a replica….well, what can we here at Mediterranean Palimpsest do to confirm such things anyway? We’re a small operation, after all.


Want a bit more? Here’s Stavros talking about his book (in Greek):

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1 Response to The Sound of a Pre-War Bouzouki

  1. John B says:

    Dallas, this was indeed recorded at the BSA, when Tony Klein (the guitarist here) was talking about his work restoring 78-rpm recordings, most recently ‘The Jail’s a Fine School’ (Olvido 001). From autopsy of the instrument, I’d be surprised if it were a replica. Keep up the good work!

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