Hubert von Goisern
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S'NIX TOUR 2008-09

S'NIX >> Concert Reviews: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Happy even without a diploma in yodelling

Siegener Zeitung 2nd June 2009 | Text: bö | Photo: dima

Hubert von Goisern makes music for Frisians, Kirghiz, Wittgensteiners and Siegerländers
Formidable band plays the finest alpine rock for two and a half hours.

Hubert von Goisern

The amplifiers bubble. Almost psychedelically. Then it's "showtime". And how. The band make a lightning start. Three girls swing on inflatable guitars. The air burns on the Giller. Hubert von Goisern has a message: all are welcome! Frisians, Kirghiz, muftis and Goths. And of the 2000 people in the KulturPur tent on Sunday evening on the Giller too.

For two and a half hours the Austrian alpine rocker celebrated with the people of Wittgenstein and Siegerland. Mountain people together. Not totally, for the number plates on the cars in the car park show that at Whitsun the journey is not the reward, it is KulturPur. All are welcome. Those from the "country of the kings", from Hochsauerland, from Cologne and the Ruhr area. When so much good befalls one, that alone is worth a powerful welcoming yodel.

Music unites. Across boundaries. Not many know that better than von Goisern, who in the past two years was on tour with a ship. Down to the Black Sea. And the musician, who once purred new sounds with the Alpinkatzen, has a little of a sailor about him. Dressed all in white he leads his crew onto the Giller shore. He feels at home without water too, because where else in the - for the Austrians - "flat" land does he get the feelings of home just from looking at a ski jump?

S'Nix is the title of the most recent album and the tour and Hubert Achleitner, who takes the name von Goisern after his hometown, and his fantastically attuned band reduce the word "nothingness" to absurdity, because it's certainly something that's offered. A mélange of rock, pop and of course the "music of home" that is at times thought-provoking, but mostly goes straight to your legs.

Folk music, right. But no folksy sounds that dribble inconsequentially away. Blue was born in the cotton fields, there's yodelling between the mountain peaks. And on the Giller too. And the audience tries it out at least. And time and again von Goisern packs thoroughly political messages into his lyrics: Herschaun.

"I want to live...", Hubert von Goisern belts out to the audience. He plays not "just" guitar and accordion, but also shines on the trumpet. There's no hidden meaning. The tent trembles with vitality. Guitar broadsides from Severin Trogbacher, primed by bass man Helmut Schartlmüller and drummer Alex Pohn, are a powerful facet of the sound. Anyway, the musicians. The alpine rock flagship doesn't have any ordinary seamen on board, but rather completely convincing soloists, like the keyboarder David Lackner, the rhythm-strong percussionist Maria Moling and Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen, who set a good many shoe soles on fire with their violins. And the way they sing could warm even the yeti's heart ...

The door to world music is opened up time and again, but it's "showtime" and it is mostly navigated with a rapid percussive drive at high speed. But with Mercedes Benz, which is given an almost slow-motion style custom-made reggae state coach, the complete class of the combo becomes clear. The Giller mutates - via a detour across Austria, to Jamaica - into the Emerald Isle, which loosens and relaxes. The audience raves, calls for me and gets a vibrant second helping. Even if nobody gets the yodelling diploma, leaving the tent you see almost only beaming faces.

The Giller can sound so alpine

Westfälische Rundschau 2nd June 2009 | Text & Photos: Lars-Peter Dickel

Hubert von Goisern returns after six years and thrills

Hubert von Goisern

Hilchenbach. Unique and extraordinary. The waiting for Hubert von Goisern was more than worth it. After six years the musical multi-talent found his way again from the Salzkammergut to the Rothaar Hills with his current S'nix Tour. As Sunday's top act Goisern delivered with his band a two and a half hour mélange of rousing and thoughtful sounds and lyrics.

Like no other he can build the bridge between traditional folklore elements and uncompromising rock. Building bridges is his thing anyway: the cosmopolitan is always searching for new impressions and inspirations that he works into his music. He has been in Africa to find that the people yodel there too. And in the last two years he lead the way up and down the Danube and Rhine, to get to know countries, people and their music. That is the bridge between the supposedly foreign cultures. He saw Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and the Ukraine: "And I believe that they are just as afraid of us as we are of them". But with his accordion Hubert von Goisern overcame the boundaries and found many friends. Music is the language that everybody immediately understands.

Into the night with "Heast as nit"

Maria, Elisabeth and Marlene

He inspired the 2200 concert-goers in the big Theaterzelt on the Giller with his melodies too and got them to sing and yodel along: "With singing it's like with skiing. Not everyone can ski like Hermann Maier or Bode Miller and yet lots of people ski anyway".

The audience of course proved themselves to be sure of the words with the familiar tunes like Weit, weit weg and Omunduntn. Even with Juchitzer the voices of the Upland Tyroleans crack and prove that even here alpine rock can be yodelled to.

The 56 year old Goisern matures with every year on tour, on land and on water. And what Goisern conjures up on stage is unique. The Austrian sang, danced and played himself into a frenzy and into the hearts of his fans like a dervish: guitar, trumpet and accordion, he masters them all. No less virtuoso are his seven young musicians, who developed an extraordinary joy in playing with him.

Only after four encores did the enthusiastic audience let Hubert von Goisern go. With Heast as nit, one of his most famous pieces, and the crowning finale of the concert, he saw his audience off into the night.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Siegen - 31st May 2009

Kulturpur 1st June 2009 | Photo: © René Achenbach
Hubert von Goisern

A denser and more refined sound than ever before

Badisches Tagblatt 25th April 2009 | Text: Frank Ketterer

Hubert von Goisern presents himself in the Offenburg Reithalle as a world musician:
harder and rockier, but still genuine

"I can't play folk songs ad nauseum," the folk musician Hubert Achleitner, born in Bad Goisern and so named, recently confided to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and this admission could make at least the die-hard fans of Hubert von Goisern worry a little. For what would become of their Hubert, probably the most modern and at the same time most alpine folk musician of the alpine republic, if he were to leave his most primal musical terrain and suddenly have had enough of, yes, even his folk songs?

The 56 year old didn't remain stuck for an answer to this question for long. In the past year he has released his new album S'Nix, now he is travelling through the German lands with the tour of the same name. On Thursday evening von Goisern made a stop in the sold-out Reithalle in Offenburg. The relieving realisation after this nearly three hour long concert: von Goisern has remained a folk musician through and through. He has not changed himself, but rather the entire genre - and it does not seem presumptuous to claim that folk music has been given a new dimension through von Goisern's S'Nix.

One should avoid making the mistake of getting lost in conceptualism. After all Hubert von Goisern was never a normal folk musician. Since time immemorial he, the one known as the founder of alpine rock, has mixed the traditional and the modern, in concrete terms: folk songs with rock music. In principle he is still doing nothing different, it is just that more folk and nations than ever before seem to be in his music - and moreover more of the modern. Von Goisern is no longer a crazy mountain singer who accidentally plugged his accordion into the guitar amplifier and yodelled along, but rather a world musician in the very best sense.

There is even a pictorial proof that the homeland mountains and valleys have meanwhile become to confining for him: in the past two years the 56 year old has sailed a converted stage ship along the Danube to the Black Sea, mooring at new places, meeting local musicians and playing music with them.

The album S'Nix and the current tour is audibly shaped by this musical travel adventure. On the ship, HvG himself says, new things - personal and artistic - developed and matured. It is fitting that for the first time the arch folk musician didn't go into the studio with finished concepts, but instead the songs arose from long sessions, almost as a continuation of the ship's music.

What came from this, as the magical evening in the Offenburg Reithalle showed, was quite a new Hubert von Goisern. He has become rockier, at times harder and louder, certainly a denser and more refined sound. And even more multifaceted, style-wise in particular. Soul, rap, funk, reggae, tumble over each other - and sometimes pair up seamlessly with country dances and polkas, performed by a band as young as they are excellent, who constantly how to cut right to the heart of the music, no matter which style.

Von Goisern's greatest skill certainly lies in the fact that he has not lost himself in all his self-modernisation. Because it is clear from the first beat - and not just because he is still yodelling and swinging his accordion: this is Hubert von Goisern. Real. Genuine. Like the old one. Only his folk songs have changed and they are breathtakingly new.

Loud protest and quiet love songs

Oberhessische Presse 28th April 2009 | Text: Carsten Beckmann | Photo: Fredy Haas

Despite accordion and yodelling: Hubert von Goisern opens up a new chapter with his current programme

Most visitors to the sold-out Stadthalle on Saturday evening were surprise by a Hubert von Goisern, whom they've
known for years and yet comes across so very differently in 2009.

Hubert von Goisern & BandMarburg. As a rule people expect a river journey may have a long-term calming and meditative effect on the soul. For Hubert von Goisern and his musicians sailing around on the Danube down to the Black Sea must have had a completely different effect: a creative push, a release of cumulative collective strength, which on Saturday nailed the audience in the Stadthalle breathlessly to their seats.

Most numbers on the current Goisern album S'Nix live on an unfamiliar straightforward and powerful rock attitude, which - accordion here, yodelling there - after all the world and folk music adventures definitely present a new chapter in the career of Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern in the Salzkammergut.

Von Goisern's new guitarist Severin Trogbacher is certainly the one most responsible for the power in the band fabric: a musician consistently wired for straining riffs, who nonetheless adheres in no way to the usual Rampensau-machismo of his guild. Rather more Trogbacher looks for eye contact with the band, contact with Hubert von Goisern, closeness to Maria Moling, Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen. The three South Tyrolean singers and musicians provide Hubert von Goisern with intelligently arranged backing vocals, a delicate percussion concept and an atmospheric mini string ensemble. And they provide for plenty of anarchic joie de vivre on the Stadthalle stage, on which a battle breaks out for a few minutes with the microphones. The band leader moderates it away charmingly, snatching the only still functional microphone, the one intended for the trumpet, and at the end of the evening asks for leniency for the glitch that the audience had either long since forgotten or not even noticed: "everything back here vaporised a little while ago".

Von Goisern's thematic canon is still characterised by loud protest against reigning conditions and by quiet singing about love. This doesn't necessarily set him apart from his colleagues in the folk music arena, whom mind you for their part are laughed at or face hostility for this choice of subject. It is perhaps the coherence of the images in his songwriting, the embarrassment-free confirmability of his message that saves Hubert von Goisern from being regarded as banal. It is by no means great philosophy to say that it is the same roads that "lead you home or away". And that you should plan for mistakes when you go beyond your boundaries is no exclusive wisdom either, but rather a dogma that can probably be found in any career guidebook.

But: Hubert von Goisern can sing about all these things, because his audience knows that they are the result of primal, reflected experiences. And he can sing about all these things, because in addition there is this beautiful music, never calculable for more than 30 seconds. Because that too has been Goisern's concept since the Alpinkatzen days: to incorporate so many rhythmic and harmonic breaks into even wild country dance bliss that every attempt to clap along is doomed. The people of Marburg can then also sing along and yodel a little too. They've got it licked "smart", says Hubert von Goisern, indeed quieter than the Erfurt audience the evening before: "But that wasn't quite so right for me."

Rejoicing harmonica to reggae and Styrian yodels

Oberhessische Zeitung 28th April 2009 | Text & Photo: Lademann

Austrian musician Hubert von Goisern in front of 1000 fans in the Marburg Stadthalle

MARBURG (lad). He who travels a great deal broadens his horizons. The Austrian musician Hubert von Goisern can tell you more than a things or two about that. The fact that the 56 year old has always looked for the musical vision beyond the peaks of the Salzkammergut makes him even today the outrider of so-called alpine rock. However his 1000 fans who poured into the sold-out Marburg Stadthalle know that his special secret lives in not just crossing the folk music sounds of alpine culture with roaring guitar. Much more he demonstrates once more on his current S'Nix tour his deft hand for inhaling the music of different cultures of the world and, as with the enhancement of his native echo of the mountains, rebelling against certain parochialisms and regional boundaries. And so von Goisern yodels, sings, cries and simmers with a strong Upper Austrian accent, plays jazz with his trumpet, plucks his guitar, toots on the euphonium, or in particular lets his Styrian harmonica rejoice traditionally and saucily, without denying his identity and origins. It sounds at times anthemic and balladic, at times cool and rousingly fiery.

Hubert von GoisernAppropriately for his ignited alpine world music firework, the alpine rocker opens the three hour long show with the overture Showtime from his new album: "Behind me cool music is playing and everything is going wild", and also introduces his seven member band during the song. In contrast to von Goisern, the band is made up of very young musicians - four instrumentalists and three delightful background singers, who aside from their vocal strengths also shine as violinists and drummer, or boldly let their hips sway.

After nine new songs, such as the Balkan folk-influenced Herschaun, the affectionate love song Die Liab or the thundering anthem Sieger, the 1992 album Aufgeigen stått niederschiassen sounded, the album with which he had his big breakthrough with his former band Die Alpinkatzen. The similarly anthemic, longing Weit, weit weg followed, as well as Heast as nit steeped in the "huidiei jodleiri huidiridi" vocals.

Very stirringly, bringing forth goosebumps, one of the singers yodelled the solemn Juchitzer, with which von Goisern joined in with his trumpet. And time and again the music was crisscrossed with polka, ska, reggae, rock and oriental sounds. With standing ovations the enthusiastic audience called for a long round of encores.

A concert - almost like a mass

Giessener Allgemeine 28th April 2009 | Text: no | Photo: ik

S'Nix - Nothingness - by no means should that signify that it was nothing, nothing happened,
one saw nothing and felt nothing.

Hubert von GoisernWith his current CD production, released in 2008 with the above title, the Austrian (world) musician Hubert von Goisern was once more the master of the unpredictable. It was no different on Saturday at the Marburg Stadthalle, where the founder of alpine rock played a S'Nix tour concert a good two and a half hours long. The man of quiet sounds and silver-tongued poetry coming along quite loudly: full roll, it wasn't for ears trained for traditional folk music.

At the start the audience in the sold-out Erwin-Piscator-Haus heard a half dozen "new" Goisern songs; all compositions that were matured in 2007 during the first part of the European tour - that will come to an end in Linz this summer with many of the musicians they met on their travels - , on their journey on a (stage) ship to the Black Sea and back. Songs that the German audience along that Rhine and Main were able to hear last year. Among them, the song Herschaun: "Looking away, looking here, watching, not looking away. You don't need to look around, you need to look at it, Who said anything about looking in? You should look, only look, because you can copy something. You mustn't look up to something, only look at it, don't look with someone else, you should look yourself. So how do you look? Don't look stupid. But don't lose sight of yourself".

Goisern plays with words - at times humorously, at time seriously. He packs clear criticism into cracking folk music chords of alpine character. He plays reggae and blues and rock 'n' roll. He ponders the essence of time, what is better or worse, what was, which is by no means something that can interfere. He lets contrasts come before your eyes, creating thoughtful movement: high and deep, far and near, black and white. And when he plays music without words, that is when he yodels, then he communicates onomatopoeia and pictures of sounds that are right for stimulating the listeners' fantasies of how the world looks on foreign shores: broad and sweeping, a river running through the land, mountains stretching to the sky, the horizon with a setting sun transforming into a sky full of stars.

Surprisingly and making the evening even more entertaining, Goisern plays a series of "old favourites". The Juchitzer was there in Marburg, sure. Weit, weit weg too. As well as his high pressure version of Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz. Obnunduntn was to be heard. The haunting love song Spat for the way back home - and, third encore, Heast as nit. Oh, Goisern heart, what more do you want ...?

The Austrian musicians David Lackner (keyboards / synth), Alex Pohn (drums), Helmut Schartlmüller (bass) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar) all have an exceptional joy in their playing. And then there are "Mr H's three angels", the Ladin sisters Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen and their cousin Maria Moling: skilled singers, the women from La Val in South Tyrol, assured in backing vocals and solos, as well as - the Schuens - virtuoso violin-playing, or - Moling - rounding off the overall picture with percussion instruments. The master plays not only the accordion: sequences of sound were to be heard on the trumpet, the like of which you know from Miles Davis, pure jazz. And with the electric guitar Goisern was by no means just a "hard rocker". And finally the world musician and philanthropist, who under no circumstances wants either himself or his deeds to be schematically "boxed", broke out the flugelhorn.

Everything was there. Or, as Goisern says: "A concert is almost like a mass. Something extraordinary happens. And if it goes well, then people go home changed. Happier."

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Saarbrücken - 22nd April 2009

28th April 2009 | Photos: © Sarah Marchant

Alpenglow and Metallica

Badische Zeitung 25th April 2009 | Text: Robert Ullmann | Photo: Peter Heck

Hubert von GoisernOFFENBURG. He has a beautiful accordion, Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern on Lake Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut. It is white with red ribbing. He doesn't play it very often during this three-hour concert on Thursday in the Offenburg Reithalle - but when he does, it is always a special moment on this evening that offered such different and apparently also such contradictory music.

1000 spectators came - the Reithalle has never been fuller - and the atmosphere ranged from "enthusiastic" to "delirious", aside from the moments in which the alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern became a melancholic for the people. These moments were not so seldom and their long-term effect perhaps makes these not unemotional, sometimes almost religiously inflated pieces the more impressive. "When the light goes out in your mind ..." muses the 56 year old in song, and together with his seven-piece band builds a picture of sounds: the start is very lyrical, spots of violin, and recurring keyboard figure, like a quiet, bright knock, bell-like floating guitar chords. Goisern plays the trumpet, muted, melancholic lines that would be at home in a bar too. The three background singers - they play the violin or percussion too - overlay whispering oohs and aahs. Goisern changes the trumpet for the red and white accordion, adding trembling, sighing sounds. It is fascinating, the way in which intensifies these ingredients, with his vocal the piece then suddenly shifts into the dramatic. The female choir become siren-like, the rhythm beats heavily, drilling into your ear. The band builds up a wall of sound. Goisern takes up the trumpet once more, without the mute this time, blowing harsh interjections into the sizzling mass of sound.

The petitioner is offended, because God didn't come up with the idea himself

Change of scene. An hour later. Blues and rock fans from Goisern's generation know the Janis Joplin classic Mercedes Benz, an a cappella piece. Goisern presents it in reggae rhythm, with the accordion of course. It strums along nicely at first, ironic like the lyrics, in which the Lord is asked for a little more luxury. In somewhat crumpled Austrian dialect, it is as if the petitioner is offended, because God didn't come up with the idea himself. The song goes along very humorously, powerfully rallying. Then - flash! - the band step out, all but the bass man. He lets his groove bass groove on. On the drums there is a barely audible clicking. Goisern's red and white huffs indignantly. And then the girls on their microphones: fervent gospel oohs, quiet at first, then in the end ever more ecstatic and wild. All to this ironic reggae pumping. Brilliant!

Another half hour later Goisern manages to keep a fantastic number with a bouncy accordion precisely on the narrow line between polka and ska - until the piece becomes a racy country number with a furioso fiddle solo.

The faster pieces mix alpine folk melodic with rock idioms. Goisern adds elements of world music to what he plays; powerful, archaic drumming for example, which he then combines with slow, rolling yodels and leads into lyrics that remind you of mantras. There's something esoteric in it and you don't have to think it's great. But it has power! These pieces often last eight or ten minutes and grow to the sky.

There is also the exact opposite, namely when he stands alone with his guitar before the thousand listeners - and becomes a listener himself. He plucks the first chords of Weit, weit weg, the audience begins to sing and Goisern simply accompanies them. Until the band then join in, with pathos, drumming power and a guitar solo as if from a heavy metal ballad. One might wonder how Hubert von Goisern brings together alpenglow and Metallica, beer tents and New Age music - but he can do it and he offered his audience in Offenburg a grand concert.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Saarbrücken - 22nd April 2009

26th April 2009 | Photos: © Sarah Marchant

When yodelling rocks

Saarbrücker Zeitung 24th April 2009 | Text: Maria Wimmer | Photo: Dietze

On Wednesday Salzburger Hubert von Goisern made a guest appearance with his album "S'Nix" at the Congresshalle in Saarbrücken.
With yodelling, accordion and his new band, the alpine rocker provided for a good atmosphere.

Hubert von GoisernSaarbrücken. "There's no German word for showtime" - that's the name of the song from his current album S'Nix, with which the alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern rang in his concert on Wednesday evening in the well-attended Congresshalle in Saarbrücken. The almost three-hour folk rock show from the 56 year old Salzburger was rousing.

Of course the classic Goisern yodel, which the Austrian performed with his emotive voice was not missing. Time and again he tried to animated the audience to sing along. The majority of the songs that von Goisern sang in Saarbrücken came from the album S'nix, which arose inspired by an expedition by ship through Eastern Europe. The musical impressions that had been gathered on the journey were now also to be heard in his music. His repertoire reaches from rocky songs with whipping guitar and keyboard sounds, like Leben to jazzy versions with trumpet and violins like Siagst as and Regen. And the accordion is just as much a part of von Goisern as the yodelling.

Hubert von Goisern made his breakthrough in 1992 with songs like Koa Hiatamadl and Weit weit weg, thus forming the term "alpine rock" and has to this day released a good dozen albums. Along the way the musician has remained true to his homeland dialect.

With his new seven member band, among them three South Tyroleans, who sing in the background in Ladin-Dolomite dialect, von Goisern ventured a new start. He does not let himself be reduced to alpine rock, but constantly newly invents himself and his music. And that's why the Ladina Elisabeth Schuen can then also yodel to such operatic heights that it could make you dizzy.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Berne - 8th April 2009

Konzertbilder 9th April 2009 | Photo: © konzertbilder.ch
Hubert von Goisern

More photos at www.konzertbilder.ch (Events/2009/April)

Yodelling to pounding rock rhythms

Die Rheinpfalz April 2009 | Text: Hans-Ulrich Fechler | Photo: Kunz

The alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern gives an acclaimed concert at the Mannheim Rosengarten

Hubert von Goisern

Hubert von Goisern invented alpine rock and made it his trademark. But aside from the folk music of his Austrian homeland he has meanwhile also taken up other influences. On tour he gave a slick concert in the Mannheim Rosengarten.

In a guitar and keyboard-led intro there's already yodelling from the back. The yodeller is at once recognised as Hubert von Goisern, bounding onto the stage. The music sets off very rockily and the three female choir singers are swinging inflatable guitars too. Rock music has to appeal not just to the ears, but the eyes too and needs to get into your limbs. "Showtime", "Showtime", "Showtime" Hubert von Goisern calls again and again to fire up and inflame the sold-out Mozartsaal. It's not just the title of the song from the last album S'Nix. The title is the manifesto too. And when the concert comes to an end after three hours, there's yodelling in the listener's head too.

But before we go any further: Hubert von Goisern hasn't just grown older, he is also no longer the old Hubert. Twenty years ago the man in his mid-fifties taught rock music to yodel. Combining the folk music of his Austrian homeland, yodelling and harmonica with pounding rock rhythms is what Hubert Achleitner, who named himself after his birthplace, made into his trademark: alpine rock. With his previously unheard music he even managed to get the New Yorkers up and out of their seats. In order to widen his spectrum and to not just perish on the same old paths, he undertook extensive journeys through Africa and to Tibet and fused the folk music of those places with his own. He recently toured with a ship downstream on the Danube, through the Balkans to the Black Sea. The music of the region has left its mark on the song Herschaun.

The music is loud and booming, but the catchy harmonies don't hurt your ears. The rhythm is constantly straight, never skewed. Alex Pohn on drums and Helmut Schartlmüller on bass form the reliably pervasive rhythm corset. From time to time David Lackner on the keyboards and guitarist Severin Trogbacher emerge from the music tailored rather towards an ensemble sound and towards Hubert von Goisern and come to the fore with solos. The bandleader himself almost preferring to take up the trumpet and flugelhorn than harmonica and accordion. Maria Moling, when not singing in the background is also able to yodel a solo. And the sisters Marlene and Elisabeth Schuen contribute to the sound of the band with voice and violin. And when Marlene Schuen plays a violin solo, it dies away to great effect.

His fans love him the way he is. At the end the auditorium rises to the now indispensable standing ovations. A female fan in the back rows evidently wasn't close enough to her idol. "Hubert, I want a child by you", the woman called in the silence of a pause. After a moment the somewhat embarrassed alpine rocker said: "that's easy to say."

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Offenbach - 5th April 2009

10th April 2009 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Fiddle show and yodelling

Wochenblatt 8th April 2009 | Text & photo: bo

Not just alpine: hard rock and soft ballads at the Lörrach Burghof

It was 1986: freshly ennobled with "von" Hubert von Goisern and Wolfgang von Vienna kicked off powerfully and although the enthusiastic show sometimes drew only a small audience of five people, it was to be the start of something big - a taster of which was recently bestowed upon the Burghof.

But it was to be some years before in 1992 interest came in the German-speaking area as well as internationally, and that was with Koa Hiatamadl from the album Aufgeigen stått niederschiassen by the Alpinkatzen. For non-Austrians and mountain-climbing abstainers not necessarily an original word creation, but in any case Hubert Achleitner might have valued the blue-blooded ingenuity and the accompanying start to his career as a happy coincidence. No later than the beginning of the 90s he was famous and renowned as the founder of alpine rock. Since then he has toured the country and delight an immense band of followers. They follow him everywhere. And this is how it was in Lörrach. The Burghof auditorium was sold out, true fans had travelled from afar. What was on offer was an evening that even at a late hour simply didn't want to get any quieter. And on offer was a show several hours long that went on without a single break. The instruments pulsed. The chords bubbled. The yodels bounced. The band were in full cry. The stage sparked. The auditorium rocked. In the middle was an accordion whose owner worked it until it was white hot. Three vocally-talented female violinists underscored both the main points and highlights.

A dozen brand new songs present the current disc S'NIX, on which von Goisern work intensively in 2008. Thus he could offer dew-fresh songs and the old catchy tunes Weit, weit weg and Omunduntn had their entitlement at this concert too.

The tour continues through Austria, Germany and Switzerland and offers a mixture of rock, pop, soul, jazz and folk music. The 56 year old is master of a multitude of bodies of sound, but nonetheless the squeezebox is his constant companion. And has been since his youth. His grandfather, so the story goes, was the one to introduce him to a Styrian diatonic accordion. What developed from that nowadays fills auditoriums, books and albums. And it was decades ago that the emigrant said that he was drawn to Africa, because he "didn't have anyone who was on his wavelength". After the effusive thunderous applause in the hall nothing further need be said to that.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Würzburg - 4th April 2009

9th April 2009 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Taken to the peak of bliss

Offenbach Post 7th April 2009 | Text: Anke Steinfadt | Photo: Georg
Hubert von Goisern & Band

"There's no German word for showtime!", Hubert von Goisern roars the first line of the song of the same name at the audience in the Offenbach Capitol - a cracking start to an almost three hour long concert, that's rousing and to which the audience energetically rock along, but which also allows for dreaming.

The mixture of loud and quiet sounds is right. Pieces from the current album S'Nix alternate with repertoire favourites like Weit weit weg and Heast as nit.

He would like nothing better than to play music 24 hours a day. "Eat nothing. Not sleep", avows the 56 year old. You take him at his word. Not just his energy, but also his creativity and passion seem almost endless. But last year, during the Linz Europe Tour on a converted cargo ship the whizz kid temporarily lost his strength. Goisern took the opportunity to explain to those in the auditorium who last July at the concert on the Main river bank in Offenbach had waited in vain for his second appearance.

This time there was no indication at all of exhaustion. Hubert Achleitner, who named himself after his hometown of Bad Goisern, sings mostly with full abandon with his eyes shut, cries, gesticulates and yodels. He plays the accordion, trumpet and guitar, sometimes changing instrument within one number. He is accompanied by a first-class and jovial band (Severin Trogbacher, Helmut Schartlmüller, David Lackner, Alexander Pohn) as well as the singers Elisabeth Schuen, Marlene Schuen and Maria Moling, who play violin and percussion on the side. Together they create at times pictures of sounds of sometimes unbelievable breadth and depth, acoustic mountain panoramas that virtually bear the listeners away.

There is scarcely a musical style that the inventor of "alpine rock" doesn't let flow into his compositions. Reggae, country, funk, gypsy and polka rhythms - all that he combines as a matter of course with traditional music. The convergence of cultures, of which he is so fond, was consummated long ago in his music. The Austrian proves that he is not just a political and social free thinker, but also a witty conversationalist, as he tells of his first attempts at yodelling and of strange customs from the Salzkammergut. He also cuts just as good a figure as the lead of the very engaged audience choir. And at the end of showtime all have arrived at the peak of felicity.