"Lagero", a limited edition EP, comes as the follow-up to the well-received self-titled debut album released by indie-folk-instrumental act Burgundy Grapes early in 2005 on Outlandish Recordings. Recorded at the band's home studio over a few focused sessions, "Lagero" documents core duo George Kolyvas and Alexandros Miaoulis with accordionist Yiorgos Tsiatsoulis, a regular collaborator, working mostly live, applying predominantly acoustic sounds, and arranging the material in a sparser-than-usual fashion. The music is fresh while it feels like it has existed since ages... A musical offering which splendidly blends the duo's approach to Road-Movie slide guitar music, americana, portuguese fado, country-folk music and Ionian-islands balladry. One might tell that touches of the early Penguin Cafe Orchestra, the guitar driven lullabies of Matt Elliott, the nostalgic film music of Yann Tiersen, the instrumental music of Calexico, the lyricism of Michael Gira, Agustín Barrios' folkloric music and Manos Hadjidakis' ballads are evident in "Lagero".
, 2007 - 2008
1. Intro (Condensed Tango Version of "Idalina")
2. Sorrow In Your Bliss "Spaghetti Western Take"
3. Straight Line Blues "The Straight Version"
4. Every March The 3rd At Idalina's
5. Diminishing Scene
George Kolyvas classical guitar (2, 3, 4), slide guitar (2), electric guitar (3), rhythm guitar (5)
Alexandros Miaoulis electric guitar (2), finger click (2), tambourine (2), classical guitar (3, 4, 5), guitar harmonics (3), percussion (3), harmonica (3), slide guitar (5)
Yiorgos Tsiatsoulis accordion (1, 4, 5)
Burgundy Grapes, home studio, December 2007 - March 2008
Themistoklis Pantelopoulos & Burgundy Grapes, November 2008 - February 2009
Alexandros Miaoulis, 2008
based on old photos found in a family coffer
February 27, 2009
Fontas Troussas | Jazz & Tzaz | November 2009
translated from greek - original here
One more… spiritual edition by the Athenian Triple Bath label (superfine CD-R of 128 copies). Burgundy Grapes who are not a new band nor do they record for the first are three people. George Kolyvas guitars (classical, slide, electric, rhythmic), Alexandros Miaoulis electric, classical, slide guitars, harmonica, percussion and George Tsiatsoulis accordion. Their short disc "Lagero", which lasts 17:33, includes five orchestral pieces, all examples of simplicity, lyrical, film and sometimes mournful mood, which obviously they aim to create. The basis here is folk music, either in its Mediterranean lighter manner or the dark Anglo-Saxon or even the "deserter" American style, with the guitars, and their combinations dominating. The music of Burgundy Grapes is not among those who I’d call “extrovert”. Seems like seeking (so to speak) a more emotional load that is experienced individually, instead of creating an "atmosphere" that can "serve" communication and contact.
ChAwech | Heathen Harvest | October 2009
"Lagero" is an EP, only 17 and a half minutes in length. It holds an intro and four tracks, all instrumental and mostly acoustic. The intro sounds like a old vinyl record is being played, with all the authentic cracks and noises that accompany it. It's a minute long accordion solo, played by Tsiatsoulis. Then lush played acoustic guitars come in from track two. It's a wonderful track with a strong melancholic feel to it. That's exactly the atmosphere this EP creates; melancholy. The music sounds timeless, from the days of yore but fresh. It sounds like Mediterranean tunes which feel so natural they just have to be timeless. You can imagine yourself sitting in a comfortable chair in the middle of a hot day, listening to this music. The wind blows softly, the sounds of the sea are softly passing by, and the musicians are enjoying themselves with their music. My favorite track on this album, though hard to pick, is "Every March The 3rd At Idalina's", because of the melody and the differences between the two guitars that are playing throughout the track. One plays the melody on higher notes, the other the rhythm on the lower notes. As the song continues, the accordion joins in as well, completing the track. I fully recommend this EP to everyone who enjoys acoustic and instrumental music, especially if you like Mediterranean sounds. Be fast though, it's limited to a mere 128 copies and it costs only five measly euro's, including shipping. For that money, you'll get over 15 minutes of wonderful music, a CDr in a cardsleeve with artwork that fits the music perfectly. It's well worth your money.
Olga Skourti | Avopolis | July 2009
translated from greek - original here
Music referring to walks in the narrow streets of the city, one summer day full of light and heat, with your gaze filtering the same urban landscapes that now seem less dull, less plangent and more "yours". A retro street scene, scene from a short movie that captures a day in a city that seems deserted, almost dead. Music that carries a sadness, like the memory of sorrow for the absence of a friend who must have played with the band as well, but he is no longer here. This music, which could be the soundtrack to some of these everyday moments, is the music of the (local) band Burgundy Grapes. The friend missing is Alexis Papaioannou and was a founding member of the band - since 1994 - along with Alexandros Miaoulis and George Kolyvas. In 2005, the last two dedicated the self-titled debut album of Burgundy Grapes to their late friend, while this year - having another record in the making - they also released in limited quantity, this EP. "Lagero", or else "melancholy" and "nostalgia" in five instrumental tracks, with much introspection and low spirits, acoustic indie/folk guitars. The sun sets in the valley of death, Clint Eastwood loftily chews his half-burnt cigar, the slide guitar follows the dust left behind a rider. Change of scene and now the sun is hiding behind the buildings of Aeolus' street (in Athens), the melodic fingerings of the classical guitar fade with the light, someone (Yiorgos Tsiatsioulis) plays the accordion. In a third shot, the sun burns in Patagonia and, as a slow tango drags you, it is reflecting on the black surface of your sunglasses, while the sound of harmonica brings to mind images you thought you had forgotten. Reflections of past times. Burgundy Grapes with their tied sound might not be (100%) original, compared to international standards of sound - sound which is moving in alternative folk routes and acoustic paths of the decade. They manage though to create an emotional charge, through modest and earthy melodies, without excesses and outbursts, awakening inside you images like the ones mentioned. So, you play "Lagero" in repeat so that nothing interrupts your route back to the past... or, finally, your sinking into "now"(?)
Makis Milatos | Athens Voice | May 2009
translated from greek - original here
Limited edition with 5 compositions which remind us of the wonderful taste from their first album. The sound of this EP is based on acoustic guitar and accordion and crosses a route that passes from spaghetti westerns, flamenco, the Mediterranean, tex-mex sounds. An album that is flowing like a pleasant breeze.
Markus Eriksson | The Shadows Commence | May 2009
Half an eternity after the debut album, the Burgundy Grapes came back with a sparkling, limited CDR called "Lagero". Five tracks, whereof one is a very short tango intro on accordion. Could that be something? Well, actually, this marvelous Greece duo has recorded the ultimate five-track EP, and it feels very complete even though it lacks vocals (the band's niche is to perform strictly instrumental). The intro is, as mentioned, a quick little tango, while the second track is a multi layered guitar embrace with a cool Western touch. A galloping acoustic one is the base, constantly in battle with slides and tambourines. "Straight Line Blues" takes me back to the debut album, and the unique feeling it came with, but shows at the same time that Burgundy Grapes have grown and are now capable of creating far more complex structures. At the same time, the track is rather minimal and naked. The sweaty, South European flavored "Every March the 3rd At Idalina's" marks a new top in the duo's career with some very agile plucks. The last track is a sad and beautiful ballad not far from the works of Vali and such acts, with a touch of wise maturity and slide guitars, and this is for sure a track that sets the hopes for the future of Burgundy Grapes high. "Lagero" is a splendid little hello from a band I will continue to explore. It's got a certain feeling I can not describe, and neither can I say what drives me to listen to these tracks over and over again. It could be any acoustic, instrumental but the touch of burgundy magic makes it irresistible. Comparing this release with their debut album, I can sometimes miss the devastated feeling of hopelessness (and the cellos!) but if this has to do with the artists being less devastated at this time, it makes me glad instead.
Burgundy Grapes' new album "Man In The Lighthouse" (CD, 2010, Inner Ear)
info & samples: inner-ear.gr/en/releases/artist/19-burgundy-grapes
Burgundy Grapes' self-titled debut album (CD, 2005, Outlandish Recordings)
info & samples: burgundygrapes.com/discography.htm