CD review by Richard Holz
TN158 – Oct 23
This is a tribute album to the musical legacy of Costas Tsicaderis, who died in 2005.
Costas immigrated to Australia in the 1950s from Macedonia.
He was a pioneer and inspirer of Greek performance in Australia, based in Melbourne.
The album contains comprehensive liner notes by Arnold Zane, also of immigrant heritage.
He says that upon hearing this album, the listener will be rewarded with the generous spirit and rich talents of a much loved musician and troubadour.
I found this most certainly true, almost from the first track, which is the title track.
This track was recorded as part of a project called “The Fig Tree” released via the Boite label, a label specialising in music from immigrants and their families.
Costa writes all the music for the album and gets help from other Greek musicians with the lyrics, both in English and Greek.
He also shares lead vocals on tracks like “Select a Day”, sung in Greek by Rena Hatzilepou, who sings beautifully.
He also speaks of his advocacy for immigrants’ rights in the song: Hey True Blue (Don’t Forget I Live Here Too).
It’s a cheeky reference to “True Blue Aussies”, as sung by John Williamson, who may have overlooked the large population of immigrants living in Australia.
Many of the recordings come from radio studios including the ABC and 3CR in Melbourne.
There are also two tracks recorded at a live performance at the Universal Theatre in 1985.
Costa was a man with a social conscience.
I saw him perform at the 2004 National Folk Festival with a stage of Greek musicians.
It was part of a tribute to immigrants that came to Australia and the folk music they brought with them.
It was a great concert.
Sadly, it may have been one of his last performances.
The final track on the album is a version of “The Mighty and The Humble”, recorded at the studios of SBS Radio with the Greek Community Children’s Choir.
It is a fitting tribute to Costa’s legacy from the young generation of Greek Australians.
This album will appeal to anyone with European heritage as well as lovers of folk music who can enjoy the vocals and instrumentation of that part of the world.