Last year, high priest of melodic misery Mark Eitzel traveled to Athens and hooked up with a local group of bar entertainers for this unusual project.

Last year, high priest of melodic misery Mark Eitzel traveled to Athens and hooked up with a local group of bar entertainers for this unusual project. Eitzel revisits various tunes from the American Music Club catalog and his own solo projects in some unique musical formats; he also debuts two new numbers. The 10 Greek players add unusual textures, deploying violin, viola, tzouras, bouzouki, Cretan lyra and pipes. The instrumentation heightens the profound melancholia of Eitzel's self-flagellating compositions. "Western Sky," "Last Harbor" and "Love's Humming" receive especially breathtaking readings, while the reed-dominated "Here They Roll Down" sounds like nothing so much as a collaboration with the Master Musicians of Joujouka. Steeped in pain, Eitzel's music is an acquired taste, but this deep-blue Mediterranean detour should thrill long-terms.—CM