Friday, July 31, 2009

Vlado Marjanović and Drago Ilkić (1912)

Decades before Rasha & Mirko, there was another unique tamburitza duo performing and recording here in the USA known as Marjanović & Ilkić. Vlado Marjanović was a brilliant primaš and tenor, who's fast, intricate style of playing contrasted beautifully with Drago Ilkić's steady rhythm and baritone vocals. Marjanović went on to play with many of the great early tamburaši, including Vaso Bukvich and the "Yugoslavia" Tamb. Društvo, and was a major influence on later musicians. In songs like "Otvori mi Mile pile vrata" and "Kad bi ove ružu male", or even the opening notes of "Pesmu ti pevam", you can hear the profound impact that Vlado Marjanović had on another legendary primaš and tenor, Marko Popovich. It's sad that great musicians like these can just disappear into obscurity. Vlado Marjanović & Drago Ilkić are two musicians who deserve to be remembered.


One of my favorite things about this first track "Pesmu ti pevam" is the second half when they sing a duet of "Čergo moja čergice". I've only included one side of the first record because the second side is by another musician, Vlado Konstantinović, and I'll post that next.

The second track here, "Otvori mi Mile pile vrata", ends with one of the greatest versions of a Kokonjeste that I've ever heard! You can really get a sense of Vlado Marjanović's intense and unique style from this recording.


All of these songs were recorded in New York between June 14 and June 28, 1912.

Pesmu ti pevam


Otvori mi Mile pile vrata
Kad bi ove ruže male


Misli moje
Ančice dušice

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Popovich Brothers Tamburitza Orchestra

There's something absolutely magical about the sound of an orchestra made up of family members. Whether you're talking about groups comprised of brothers, sisters, parents and their children, or even whole extended families like many of the old orchestras from Europe, there's a certain level of togetherness that only blood relations can achieve. There are a very special few of these tamburitza orchestras who have the ability to evoke indescribable feelings and emotions with the simple mention of their name. Whenever I hear the word "tamburitza", I think of the Popovich brothers. Starting young in the 1920's, they continued performing together clear into the new millennium, defining tamburitza for generations of Americans in the process.

With any traditional art form it's extremely important to know where you come from, and the Popovich brothers were living libraries of knowledge about their art form, tamburitza. They knew everything about the history of the Serbian music and culture, the songs and dances, the musicians who came before them, and the old recordings. Along with this deep knowledge and appreciation came the raw, creative talent to transform it all into something completely unique and their own, traditional yet timeless. When you listen to the Popovich brothers play you can hear the love they had for the music in every single note.

This record is possibly their oldest, and except for the youthful voices, their style of playing is just the same as in later years. Timeless!

Check out This great page about The Popovich Brothers by "Baba Mim" Bizic for lots of great history, photos, and links.

And visit Balkan Records if you want to purchase digitally remastered Cd's and live recordings of The Popovich Brothers and many more tamburitza orchestras.

Zlatna Grivna
Razbila Se Casa

Friday, July 24, 2009

Šule Radosavljević-Šapčanin

Šule Radosavljević-Šapčanin's orchestra is one of those great gypsy groups that make you want to get up and start dancing...even if you don't know how. One of the great things about these tracks is the intense, lively kolo dances that follow each and every song. The combination of flawless and beautiful musicianship, with unique and passionate group vocals, make these recordings something truly special. These four were recorded in Serbia in 1927.

Sokolska pesma i kolo

Jeleno Momo Jeleno


Click the song titles to hear the tracks below...

Šule Radosavljević - Šapčanin

- sa svojom kapelom


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tamburasko Drustvo "Balkan"

A Kolo and a Kokonjeste by the Balkan Tamburitza Orchestra.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Vaso & Mirko Bukvich

Here's another nice record from Vaso & Mirko Bukvich recorded in NY, June 1916.


Milkina kuca na kraju

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Joca Mimika (part 3)

Here are another two wonderful records by one of my favorite violinists, Joca Mimika. The first record features his famous "Lire" tamburitza orchestra, but on the second record he only has a small tamburitza group of a couple musicians. The last track, "U Ivana gospodara", is somewhat unique for the fact that a small male chorus accompanies them.

Moja nana
Siroce sam


Jedno momce crna oka
U Ivana gospodara

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Music Is Working

I've re-uploaded all of the music and the links should all be working now. Please let me know if any of the links don't work, or if they open the wrong music file.