Hubert von Goisern
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S'NIX TOUR 2008-09

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

Goisern delivers high voltage for three hours straight

Schwäbische Zeitung 18th October 2008 | Text & Photo: Cornelia Addicks

Hubert von GoisernTuttlingen - High voltage for three hours straight: on Thursday Hubert von Goisern made a guest appearance in the Stadthalle on his s'nix tour. None of the 1200 fans shied away from making a long trek to catch one of the 18 concerts that the pioneer of alpine rock is giving in Germany.

"It's him!", a woman excitedly whispers to her neighbour as the 55 year old world musician comes on stage a few minutes after eight. With an unaccustomedly "civil" haircut, slim in shirt, trousers and trainers. And with a Novak accordion, of which he once wrote that "they are the measure of all things accordion".

The Goiserer dances absentmindedly across the stage to the sounds of Alm, the mountain pasture, turning his back to the audience. Straight afterwards he loudly declares that: "There's no German word for showtime!" In the lyrics to Showtime, the first track on the CD, alongside "Tibetans, Shiites and Nilotes" the songwriter lists Berliners and Frisians too. Did he forget the Swabians? Or was it just that he couldn't think of a rhyme? No matter, his witty remarks about the young Danube outside the hall compensate for this omission.

And then the longed for yodel

As a passionate lover he promises a firework in the night: "I want you with skin and hair, now or never!". It gives you goosebumps. Downright rocking, his I wü leben! rings through the hall. Only after forty minutes, after Weltuntergang, does Mr Achleitner, as the star is really called, let out the first longed for yodel. After the long trumpet solo in Kohler a member of the audience sighs spellbound: "As far as I'm concerned he could play that all evening."

Even grown men have damp eyes with the heartrending Du bist so weit, weit weg von mir. And only the fixed barrier in the hall prevents his female fans from responding to the call "Come here to me!".

The programme ably mixes the new, such as the cheery Regen, written during the spectacular concert ship journey to the Black Sea, with the well-known poacher, or the self-confident I bi å. Only the shepherdess has been banished for good to the mountains by Hubert von Goisern. He plays the kazoo, the archaic cow horn and shows himself to be an accomplished harmonica-player too.

Three pretty Ladinas

There are three pretty Ladinas on the tour: the violinist Marlene Schuen and her sister Elisabeth, whose classically-trained soprano earns applause, as well as Maria Moling with her variety of percussion instruments. The "men" of the band are all Austrians: keyboarder David Lackner, drummer Alex Pohn and bassist Helmut Schartlmüller. "Top dog" Hubert von Goisern, with the accordion strapped to him, battles it out in a kind of turf war with the 25 year old guitarist from Linz, Severin Trogbacher. Exciting. He proves himself as a true Austrian rapper with the assertion "ifwewerelikethatwe'dbereallydumb". In the very final encore a 1200 voice choir accompanies him on his "way through the valley". He's happy and gives praise with a smile: "Beautiful!"

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Aalen - 15th October 2008

18th October 2008 | Photos: © Elli Christl

That was definitely something! Hell yeah!

Gmünder Tagespost 16th October 2008 | Text: Jens Eber | Photo: Peter Hageneder

Hubert von Goisern and his enhanced "Alpinkatzen" make music for the world in the Greuthalle

Hubert von Goisern & Helmut Schartlmüller

After almost three hours of music the audience couldn't keep sitting any more: they jumped up and cheered Hubert von Goisern and his band. S'Nix is the name of the tour, that brought the Austrian to the almost full Greuthalle in Aalen on Wednesday. Now it should be countered: "That was definitely something!"

The start set the line of approach right away: Hubert von Goisern ambled casually onto the stage, strapped on the accordion and played a tune that straight away triggered a spreading reflex to clap along. Into Solide Alm crashed the band, who for the next half hour didn't let up on hard rock. Right at the second post Hubert von Goisern served up a piece from his current CD S'Nix with Showtime.

The 55 year old preferred to leave showtime to others: on the right hand side of the stage the fantastic guitarist Severin Trogbacher ran riot, on the left the South Tyrolean eye-catching trio, the singer Maria Moling (also percussion) and the singing and violin-playing sisters Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen. While keyboarder David Lackner only came into his own during quieter passages, drummer Alex Pohn and bassist Helmut Schartlmüller impressed for nearly three hours with incorruptible groove.

For the past two years Hubert von Goisern has travelled with this marvellous team between the Black Sea and the North Sea on a ship converted to a concert stage, from which they played at each stop. No wonder then that the eight member ensemble understand each other perfectly on this following tour. The experiences of the journey by ship led von Goisern to a rather different kind of Europe speech on Wednesday, about overcoming anxiety towards strangers. After a friendly "Hello!" the Austrian limited himself otherwise mostly to "thank you". When Hubert von Goisern stormed the charts at the start of the nineties with his Alpinkatzen and the "shepherdesses", he was soon give the title of "alpine rocker". The use of the accordion and yodelling are indeed trademarks, but they are nonetheless only two of many stylistic elements.

After the powerful rock start the band seemed to let the concert float for hours, playing in an ecstasy of reggae, funk, blues and everything the music world has to offer to carry you along. Crystal clear sound lets even the tiniest pling of a triangle be heard. You can't get enough of listening to or watching the joy with which this band play, something that even spreads to the roadies playfully dancing at the edge of the stage. It is not just the variety that is the fascinating thing about Hubert von Goisern's music - putting musical styles together isn't an art in itself. But what makes the music unique and made the concert on Wednesday a real experiences is the uncommon warmth that even the most robust rock piece emanates, to say nothing of such gripping pearls as Weit, weit weg or the yodels interspersed into solemn wistfulness.

The atmosphere caught the audience in the Greuthalle to such an extent that not even the interval added, in von Goisern's words "at the request of the drinks sellers", could put the brakes on the enthusiasm for long.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Berlin - 12th October 2008

Deutsche Mugge 15th October 2008 | Photo: © Dietmar Meixner
Hubert von Goisern

Hubert von Goisern and band's concert was actually to have taken place on 9th October in Huxleys, but for good reason was rescheduled to take place at the Admiralspalast on Friedrichstraße. Because the fans who wanted to see Hubert von Goisern on this evening would have filled the venerable Huxleys three times over.

The Admiralspalast offered a worthy ambience for this evening. Two hours before the doors opened fans who wanted to snatch the "good places" were stood in front of the gates, in expectation of a great evening. I soon realised that Hubert von Goisern is very well known. But for all those for whom no familiar song comes from their lips on hearing the name, a few words on his music: he is indisputably and inextricably linked with alpine rock. Traditional songs from his Austrian homeland combined with rock and blues he pairs with country dances, drum beats, world music and polka. He is acclaimed among experts as the founder of the genre of alpine rock. A significant part of this is the present musical appearance of the accordion in his songs, which is then countered by the electric guitar. Then they set off in the direction of reggae, soul and jazz. His lyrics are playful, romantic and nonetheless at times very fierce and critical.

His European tour is just behind him. The special thing about this tour was that he was travelling on the Danube with a cargo ship converted to a stage. The 55 year old was on the move as ambassador for the Capital of Culture Linz, going as far as Hungary and Romania. All in all, he paid musical visits in 12 countries in 2 years. Actually Hubert's name is Hubert Achleitner, but he comes from Bad Goisern and thus arose his stage name. The latest project is a tour in the nightliner bus on the roads of Germany.

First of all I must say that as an invited guest in my role as representative of Deutsche Mugge, I felt very comfortable on this evening, which was down to the hospitality of the hall, the gastronomy and of course the great concert, which began punctually at 8pm. Since I was stood right at the front at the centre of the stage, the crush in the well-filled hall didn't bother me. The seats in the galleries were all filled too. Under dazzling blue stage light the 8 musicians came on stage with the song Solide Alm. I have to confess that I was probably the only person in the first row who wasn't singing along (because unfortunately I didn't know the words). What now went off in terms of variety, tempo, stage show and light show was amazing. And I can't quickly think of many bands where it all works! In addition there was a flawless sound that could be clearly understood in every corner of the hall. I can't refrain from praising the engineers.

Hubert gave his thanks for the long applause and said: "For two weeks and after our cruise tour the first concert again! Yes, we were in Hungary too, but it's simple as a tourist. But that's not for me, you just need an adequate job. So, playing. But money!? They're in the EU, but many don't have any money. I don't want to explain why that is, but idiots are spread evenly around the world. We played free of charge in Hungary and Romania, which is something that many people didn't want to believe. How was that possible? Because you in Germany helped sponsor these concerts by so many of you turning out." The great thing about Hubert's stories was that thanks to the great acoustics a real conversation developed from the stage and the fans in front of it.

Then blow upon blow they carried on without a break with songs like Showtime, Wildschütz Räp and Neuer Tag. The stage and fans rocked and the many barefooted musicians were constantly moving all over the stage. I think only Helmut on bass and Hubert were wearing shoes.

Hubert brought out the laughs again as he talked between songs: "I come from the Salzkammergut ... we are Austria. The girls aren't, so they're slower. It's not that they're unhurried, they're just slow ... because when you play fast you need to know more songs too!"

A great addition for me was also that the head engineer (who changed the instruments, tuned the guitars, etc) kept appearing on stage and danced along to the songs, becoming a formative figure of the evening. As Hubert struck up Regen the hall sang quietly with him, as it was a very melodic and poetic song. The double violin from Marlene and Elisabeth was used very well. But it all went more powerfully into emotions and at the same time into hard rock, because this connection was almost never lost in a song. Weit weit weg (my personal favourite of the evening) in duet with Maria sent a shiver down my spine. Afterwards I asked myself, what were all the instruments that Hubert played? Electric guitar, guitar, harmonica, trumpet, alphorn and and ... on top of it all he is a multi-instrumentalist.

The evening turned into hours and seemed never to end, encore ... encore ... and for the last time Hubert came on stage alone with the guitar and at 9.56pm he sang his song Wenn i durchgeh ... fantastic! Three hours of Hubert von Goisern ... without a break! On Sunday everything just worked, it was a pleasure for me. The concert was my personal high point of the year. I didn't see my usual people, but I got to know lots of new familiar faces from music and acting and so the evening afterwards was very enjoyable too. Now it's time to go through and sort out the personal invitations of the evening for Deutsche-Mugge.

I can only give one recommendation: if Hubert von Goisern makes a stop with his nightliner near you, get on and go with them! You won't regret it. Thanks to Hubert, Maria, Elisabeth, Marlene, David, Alex, Helmut and Severin. You were great hosts and even greater musicians. We'll be seeing each other again - bye for now...

Yodelling, rocking, dancing polkas

Volksfreund 15th October 2008 | Text & Photo: Anke Emmerling

HvG & BandYodels and rap, polka and soul, folk and rock, cut together into a unique mélange, which doesn't fit into any category, most likely being summed up with "Austrian world music" - this is how Hubert von Goisern and his excellent band delight a good 800 spectators in the Trier Arena.

"If you play everything really slowly, you don't need so many songs". Happily this declaration by the man in shirt sleeves on stage is only a joke about the musical mentality of his compatriots from the Austrian "inner" Salzkammergut. For him, Hubert, who takes his name "von Goisern" from his hometown, this doesn't apply. For three hours nonstop, the 55 year old serves music in which he changes his musical instruments, accordion, trumpet, harmonica and guitar the way he changes style and atmosphere.

The finest "home cooking"

In the programme for the new CD S'nix there are cool titles like the one with the almost ecstatic confession "I want to live!" and subtle ballads, for example the chamber music-tinted Regen or Weit weit weg, that was not only accompanied by a wonderful rock guitar solo, but also by the audience's singing. The complete work that is pulled off is like a menu whose courses give you appetite for more and more.

It is down to the creative cook's keen feel for subtle spices, which allow each flavour to be tasted, instead of boiling them into a dull mush. The foundation of the whole thing is "home cooking", because Goisern takes from him roots, traditional alpine music with schuhplattler rhythms and yodels.

As soon as he straps on the accordion to play such sounds, he is sure of the applause of those who have come dressed in dirndls and traditional jackets. But the concert isn't anything to do with Musikantenstadl, von Goisern embeds folk music, which is so often made kitsch, in a new context. Yodels meet rap, polka meets soul, African, Eastern European and Scottish rhythms flow and things become fantastically rocky at times. So bold the combinations, so minted the impression: "fits already".

Because here expressions of different cultures are not just respected, but are above all placed next to each other and treated as equals. Von Goisern shows himself to be a worldly border crosser and not by chance. As a young man he fled the confines of Austria and headed to South Africa, later he lived in Canada, travelled countries including Tibet and was recently on tour for two years on a boat going from the Black Sea to the North Sea as musical ambassador for the Capital of Culture Linz. He tells us about this at the concert, the life belts on stage testify to it and in particular his music characterised by constant moving on, which also becomes an experience with von Goisern's first class band.

Three young ladies, Maria Moling, Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen, contribute - aside from their optical attraction - beautifully clear and resonant voices, subtle percussive accents and atmospheric violin sounds. Severin Trogbacher is a multifaceted talented guitarist on both electric and acoustic guitars. Helmut Schartlmüller (bass) and Alex Pohn (drums) prove themselves to be masters of rousing rhythms and David Lackner on keyboard an expert for atmosphere, which is boiling at the end of the exceptional concert, celebrated with standing ovations. Then things become peaceful, von Goisern says goodbye with a song full of magical mountain hut charm, "the time we have spent together will last", and with this a final acknowledgement that with all his cosmopolitanism, he hasn't forgotten his roots.

Alpine rock with funk, reggae and yodelling

Berliner Morgenpost 14th October 2008 | Text: Peter E. Müller | Photo: © Pop-Eye

Hubert von Goisern & BandIn the past two years he's played almost only in the open air, says musician Hubert von Goisern. As musical ambassador so to speak for the Capital of Culture Linz 2009 he travelled with a ship converted to a stage along the Danube to the Black Sea, mooring again and again in new places and playing with his band and local musicians. They made it up the Rhine and next year the musical journey will come to an end in Linz. But now - with his new album S'Nix in his luggage - he has added in a tour in halls and auditoriums and was to be seen with his band at the Admiralspalast.

Hubert von Goisern has understood like no other how to open the folk music of his homeland to rock. And because before when he caused a furore with his Alpinkatzen increasingly using the Styrian accordion, he was soon given the title of alpine rock. What the 55 year old has created is world music in the best sense. He takes country dances, gstanzl, yodels and polkas and fuels them with raw rock and funk, blues and reggae, Afro-rhythms and Balkan beats. It would have taken too long to get to Berlin via all the canals and locks, he says. And now shows the 800 spectators in the Admiralspalast his emphatically rocky side in a nearly three hour long concert.

It starts off almost as usual. Hubert von Goisern, whose real name is Hubert Achleitner and who comes from Bad Goisern in the Salzkammergut, comes on stage alone with his diatonic accordion for a folk music prelude. He is from the town with a population of 7500 who are currently struggling with a possible posthumous honorary citizenship for their other famous son, the right wing populist Jörg Haider, who was recently killed in an accident. Soon the accompanying musicians emerge from the darkness of the stage and it becomes clear that this evening they're going to get vociferously stuck in. Joining the accordion are keyboards and electric guitar, bass and drums and with "There's no German word for 'showtime'", the opener of the new CD, the band bombs it away at terrific speed, "Hey, this can get louder still" is the rallying cry. And it will.

Three female singers, the violin-playing sisters Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen and Maria Moling, proficient on a variety of percussion instruments, complete the witty young troupe who incorporate yodelling and juchitzers with rock 'n' roll, abandoning themselves to sometimes downright psychedelic rock music and not giving a damn about stylistic boundaries. The button accordion has long since disappeared. Things crash and groove, there's rapping and multi-voice yodelling and in between Hubert von Goisern chats with his audience, telling them about his river journey, about the fear that the people in the east have of the EU and about the special slowness of his compatriots in the heart of Austria, in Bad Aussee. He very soon has the audience on his side in this musical celebration.

Indulging in the alpine blues

Leipziger Volkszeitung 13th October 2008 | Text: Markus Wittpenn

Hubert von Goisern wows in the sold-out Haus Auensee

He didn't like the repertoire. And the band master didn't like his long hair: the young Hubert Achleitner - later Hubert von Goisern - was not exactly in position with his first musical engagement. And even worse: when he left the town's brass band after various confrontations, he had to give back his trumpet.

A few decades later he is delighting people all over the world with his music. The (seated) Haus Auensee is practically sold out, the audience is enthusiastic from the very start. In his music von Goisern mixes influences from rock and alpine folk music with elements of jazz, soul, funk and the traditional music of Burkina Faso. He is deemed to be the founder of the alpine rock genre, but in recent years has opened his style more towards world music.

In Haus Auensee he changes instrument time and again: he learned the trumpet in his youth, later guitar and - through the influence of his grandfather - the diatonic accordion. Yodelling was something he learned from "Alpine Cat" Sabine Kapfinger.

In the background an accompanying band of equally high-class musicians, the violin-playing women are also masters of yodelling and make happy use of this ability. Rock pieces alternate with ballads and instrumental pieces with yodelling interludes. These develop a power, containing many exciting musical elements, spheric musical paintings and much more. "Alpine rock" bestows an almost subversive power on folk music, something of which you would never dare to think the genre was capable.

Aside from numerous pieces from the new album S'Nix von Goisern also plays quite a number of older pieces. Heast as nit from his breakthrough album Aufgeigen stått niederschiassen for example (in 2006 he forbade the FPÖ to use the piece at their events), Weit, weit weg or Hiatamadl. Hubert von Goisern makes the blues palpable, melancholy and sadness that needs no words, only his music.

And Leipzig is not the only place where it is acknowledged with standing ovations: in 2003 he played in Sarajevo and on Cape Verde. Taking music to Cape Verde is like taking sand into the desert. But nonetheless von Goisern played to 90,000 people. Music as a universal language, which has its roots in the peculiarity and preservation of tradition, but which only blooms with openness and exchange. A brilliant, powerful concert experience

Further, ever further

HNA online 9th October 2008 | Text: Ullrich Riedler | Photo: Schachtschneider

Hubert von Goisern makes a stop in Kassel on his musical journey

Hubert von Goisern and Severin TrogbacherKassel. Accordion, harmonica, guitar, trumpet. The man changes instrument like he does musical style. He mixes together what seems not to belong together. And yet at the end everyone has the feeling that it works. The man is called Hubert and he comes from Goisern. That's in Upper Austria. There, where crossing borders and frontiers is a necessity of life if you want to see what lies beyond the mountains. Seeing the horizon, the view and furthering the musical spectrum all go together for the 55 year old, who on Wednesday thrilled his audience for three hours in the full Kassel Stadthalle.

The 55 year old alpine rocker, casual and gangly like a big boy, pulled his diverse following with him into his world of atmosphere and style changes, a mélange of this time more rock than alpine, at time polka, ethno pop or elements reminiscent of eastern European folklore. But here it's no dull stew of overcooked ingredients, but rather a powerful mixture that allows each element to be tasted and develops intense aromas.

For two years the worldly enigmatic man has been sailing on a boat, has been at the Black Sea and travelled with his musical stage ship along the Danube and Rhine to Rotterdam. And very slowly, he says, so slowly that he could speak to people on the river banks. Life belts and a rope ladder on stage are reminders of this journey of encounters, which was characterised by mooring and moving on again, like love, he says. And his music of course.

S'nix is the name of the new album and is shaped by this journey, pushing forward, edgier than it is cosy. It's a little demanding live due to the volume which reminds you of real rock concerts and allows a number of subtle treasures, from the excellent band too, to be lost in the boom. Siagst as, Die Liab or Regen: Just as water is, so am I, I just run and run.

Meanwhile his wonderful love song Weit weit weg, as an honest to goodness rock ballad with a crying electric guitar, which is meltingly beautiful. But Hubert leaves no time for it, we must go on, literally without a break. The synthesis of the arts that is von Goisern doesn't know where the journey is leading. But he knows where his roots lie that make him strong. Thank you, Hubert.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Dresden - 10th October 2008

Bernd Fischer Photo 24th October 2008 | Photo: © Bernd Fischer
Hubert von Goisern

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