Rebetiki Istoria (“rebetika history”) is a leading traditional group from Athens specializing in early-style rebetika, one of the oldest genres of Greek urban popular song. Often called “the Greek blues,” the music expresses the hardship and joys of everyday life and deals with such subjects as unrequited love, economic hardship, and repatriation. At times rebetika was censored and its musicians ostracized; at other times, it was lauded as the greatest expression of Greek music and culture. For 35 years, Rebetiki Istoria has been instrumental in the rebetiko revival, producing authentic and compelling rebetika songs reminiscent of the earliest stars. Its extensive repertoire includes popular songs from Markos Vamvakaris, Vassilis Tsitsanis and Ioannis Papaioannou, little-known gems, and traditional improvisational amanes. The ensemble features bouzouki, baglama, guitar and voice and is led by its founder, the renowned Pavlos Vassiliou.