Hubert von Goisern
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TRAD II TOUR 2004

TRAD II TOUR 2004 >> Concert Reviews: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Subversive alpine magic

Fuldaer Zeitung 30th August 2004 | Text: Bernd Götte | Photos: Ralph Leupolt

World musician Hubert von Goisern appears before 1100 people in the Fulda Schlosshof

Fulda. On Sunday evening, alpine magic lay over the Schlosshof in Fulda. With Hubert von Goisern ended a series of concerts in the cosy baroque courtyard, which worked in the best way as a concert venue.

Around 1100 people came to hear and see the Austrian world musician and his wonderfully put together team. After excursions into other cultures, Goisern has migrated back to the music of his homeland again with his programme Trad II, and this, as the abbreviation "Trad" suggests, in a traditional manner. Whereby von Goisern did not shy from deforming tradition and developing it. A carpet of rhythm is laid out with electric guitar and drums, which doesn't sound like green mountain pasture, but forms an ideal base for accordion, violin and zither. A lonely mountainside yodel flows into rocking cascades of sound, then dissolving into melancholic trumpet-playing. Anyway, yodelling: Hubert von Goisern, at times supported by his violinist Monika Drasch, gave literally breathtaking samples of this traditional singing art. Because whoever tried a yodel under the direction of the master himself will have quickly noticed how much puff you need for such a vocal feat.

Now and then, Goisern also found comforting words for those who couldn't get on so well with the Austrian dialect. "I know it's difficult to understand. But it's just German," he said and also apologised for the fact that the lyrics of his presentations were indeed traditional, but were nevertheless largely senseless. And that was not the only subversion that the Austrian afforded. Thus he let Asiatic sounds and a breath of jazz flow into tender alpine singing and yodelling suddenly seemed like archaic Shaman singing. And in this special case, this disassociation also made sense: the piece in question was Adolf Hitler's favourite song and Goisern and his men have therefore chosen a version that would most likely have displeased the dictator.

But the musicians also paid tribute to the alpine rock faction: mind you, the fans had to wait until the encore for Hiatamadl, probably the most popular hit from Hubert von Goisern (civil name Hubert Achleitner). But all in all the scales tipped in favour of tradition, the world musician Hubert von Goisern reflected on his homeland and found something beautiful there. His often longing yodels invited you formally to cuddle up and somehow it was then not so cold in the Schlosshof.

Real folk music = exorcism

Badische Zeitung 30th August 2004 | Text: Christian Rath | Photo: Michael Bamberger

Jazzgipfel Freiburg: The Austrian singer Hubert von Goisern acts as the "Anti-Moik" with his folk songs

Hubert von GoisernHubert von Goisern is the "Anti-Moik" of folk music. Someone who wants to save folk songs from their conventional fans. He therefore calls his concert at the Freiburg Augustinerplatz - as part of the Jazzgipfel - an "exorcism". For two hours, Goisern presents only Austrian folk songs, yodels and instrumental pieces.

Of course it was no jazz concert, but it wasn't folksy schlager either. Hubert von Goisern often sounds like someone who has emigrated to the USA and is still singing the old alpine songs after twenty years, but now they mostly sound like the blues and the big marshes. For guitarist Max Lässer also often reaches for the slide guitar and von Goisern repeatedly swaps his accordion for a harmonica.

Hubert von Goisern became famous at the beginning of the 90s with his Alpinkatzen. He made alpine rock in Austrian-Styrian dialect. He was the flagship of new folk music. Then he disbanded the group and went travelling. At the same time, two world music CDs arose from Africa and Tibet. Von Goisern has been singing in German again for four years. Two of the four CDs - Trad and Trad II - are dedicated completely to folk music.

And the intensive analysis was worth it. Hubert von Goisern has never been so good, so consistent, and above all so sure of his style, as he showed himself to be in Freiburg. This time he did without the often false-seeming African interludes and antiquated keyboard and electric guitar bombast.

The key to success is probably Goisern's new band, from which besides guitarist Max Lässer and percussionist Bernd Bechtloff, violinist Monika Drasch particularly stands out. Because she also has a voice which still makes an impression even in the background. Her extremely tricky rhythmic yodel duel with von Goisern was a high point of the evening.

But at the centre of the concert always stood Hubert von Goisern, who sang and yodelled and played many instruments, and who can chat so charmingly - even when he occasionally tries a politely endeavoured High German. Most pieces were of a melancholic nature, for example the night song Abend spat. Though as the moved audience listened to the last notes, von Goisern said dryly: "That was Hitler's favourite song." Confused silence. But von Goisern has a simple explanation as to why he nevertheless sings the piece: "The song can't do anything about it."

For the first time at the Jazzgipfel, an entrance fee was required for the Augustinerplatz - and not too small at 30 Euros. Nevertheless, around a thousand people came, who all looked very happy after the two hour concert and got four encores, even the old, long-unplayed Hiatamadl - but it is a folk song after all.

"Pink and purple chamois" yodel with the "hunter"

Der Neue Tag 10th August 2004 | Text: Clemens Hösamer

Hubert von Goisern and band inspire 2500 people in the Schwandorf Stadtpark - home again

Schwandorf. "My accordion sounds like sunbeams at midday." Hubert von Goisern means that negatively. He and his band also had some little technical problems to overcome at the beginning of the open air in the Schwandorf Stadtpark on Sunday evening. Mind you, nearly 2500 spectators were then inspired by the 52 year old who has returned to his musical roots.

Trad II is the name of the new tour from Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern. It has a lot to do with tradition - in the best sense. As an introduction, there is a classical yodel and Max Lässer plucks the steel guitar, just as if the instrument had always belonged to the alpine repertoire. Ancient gstanzl like "wer das braune bier ned mog" are furnished with reggae rhythms. And Goisern's diatonic fuels it masterfully. Here and there even slipping in an "aloha" - fitting for the mild summer evening.

Biscuit tin as a drum

When he burns icicles, during which nobody notices that they aren't candles, once more old, really ambiguous gstanzl are to be heard, for which Bernd Bechtloff selects a simple biscuit tin from his extensive drum and percussion equipment and puts a grooving blues under the melody. Monika Drasch - still familiar to many as the front woman of the Bayerische Diatonische Jodelwahnsinn - plays the Jews' harp to it. "You understand it, don't you?" adds Goisern. And straightaway gives a solution for all those who don't understand the Salzburg idiom: whoever abandons the lyrics should think of their own story for the melody. That could be necessary for Halt, oda I schiaß de zam. Schwoagrin comes across very sedately, as an English waltz, followed by a rocky yodel. Arnulf Lindner (double and electric bass) makes his instruments growl, Hubert von Goisern yodels and plays the trumpet, Max Lässer lays his hands on the mandolin and Monika Drasch this time takes on the diatonic.

The mocking yodel to the Goiserer Jaga invites you to yodel along, and Goisern advises: "Open your mouth, yodelling is healthy." When the dairymaid then waits for the young lad, it doesn't get kitsch with Goisern. Abend spat is provided with Asian sounds. It becomes cheerful again with De Gamserln black and brown, who become "pink and purple" at the end, and the instrument roadie can make a distorted twelve string guitar yowl so it crashes.

Hiatamadl as encore

After a break, Goisern really lets loose again: Hedidi becomes a speed yodel with Monika Drasch and serene numbers give the evening a touch of a serenade. Beautiful, solemn tunes which engage your ear, which just belong to our musical heritage. Even if Goisern defamiliarises them, he doesn't rob them of their soul. As an encore comes Hiatamadl, by no means as hard as before. At the end are two more soft, beautifully melancholic yodels. Richer from many musical experiences after his tours into the Himalayas and to Africa, Hubert von Goisern is home again, at his roots, in his landscape. A really beautiful summer evening, earned applause from the audience on their feet.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Schwandorf - 8th August 2004

16th August 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

A folk music celebration in the Stadtpark

Donau Online 9th August 2004 | Text: Thomas Göttinger | Photo: uh

More than 2200 people experienced Hubert von Goisern on Sunday evening

Hubert von GoisernSchwandorf. In the evening in the parlour? No, in the evening in the Stadtpark! More than 2200 people celebrated a folk music party of a somewhat different kind there on Sunday. The Austrian's current tour is headed Trad II. Trad stands for the English word "traditional", which means something like folk songs or tunes. Von Goisern even speaks of the wisdom of folk and then makes it programme.

Do you understand it all, Hubert von Goisern asks from the stage, and gets no opposition from the audience. Evidently, the language barrier between the Salzkammergut and Upper Palatinate, Bad Goisern and Schwandorf isn't so big that the intercultural communication could fail this evening. In any case, the man whose stage name is a homage to the place he comes from can save tedious subtitles on the enormous stage in the Stadtpark. Only now and again is an explanation required to give the people of the Upper Palatinate an understanding of the subtleties of alpine culture. A Schwoagerin is something like a Sennerin (dairymaid), but not totally, Achleitner/von Goisern then says for example, and in the next breath makes what he does best, namely music. It's not for purists, not for the self-titled, senior master-like folk music solicitors, who constantly rant about Chiem Pauli or Wastl Fanderl and are just as annoying as the Musikantenstadl faction, with their false welfare world whining. No, von Goisern simply does his own thing. It could well be that at the beginning stands the folk music tradition, double the country dance or whatever. But that's not enough for von Goisern. He goes further, develops the material indeed cautiously and very sensitively, but determinedly nevertheless, even self-willed. His music grooves, swings occasionally, above all rhythmically counteracting time and again with what is handed down. When he wants to, then he effectively jams with his first class fellow combatants on stage and doesn't give a damn about what others think of his treatment of tradition.

No question: On Sunday the Schwandorf audience experienced a very independent, not to mention very headstrong musician who held the road, not just because he stood on stage barefoot, and sounded out public opinion, certainly without telling them want they wanted to hear. It seems simply real, authentic, not put on or synthetic. When he talks about dirndls for example, it's not embarrassing, but sounds natural to him and his universe.

The real star of this evening was the location. It's funny really that this kind of event hasn't gone on stage more often in the Stadtpark. An open air in the middle of the city is urban hustle and bustle, as can only do Schwandorf good.

A force of nature: Hubert von Goisern and his Trad tour band

Neue Rottweiler Zeitung August 2004 | Text: Gabi Hertkorn | Photo: uh

People of Rottweil unwilling to yodel given a helping hand

Hubert von GoisernRottweil, 5th August - the Ferienzauber organisers had an understanding for the dripping wet Goisern fans. Barely an hour before the start of the concert came the long awaited cloudburst and drove the guests in the Neckertal into the Kraftwerk, which had been opened early. Beautifully arranged into standing room at the back, standing room at the sides and the privileged on their chairs.

The Kolossaal was sold-out and crazily full, however the five musicians had lots of room on the stage - and they filled it! It kicked off really rousingly, no inconvenient greetings, they came after the third song and seemed rather brief. You don't talk, you play music.

But then later von Goisern began to talk between the individual songs. Not an unnecessary word, but very charming. The willing listeners hear that there has always been a lot of music playing in the hometown Bad Goisern, after which Hubert Achleitner has named himself. From 7000 inhabitants come, believe it or not, seven different brass bands: "and they're all enemies!"

The young Hubert looked at the native music scene and heard above all what was spoken in the rehearsal breaks and knew for certain that he did not want to be like that. Particularly not like those "who were totally set in their ways". and just as he thought folk music would have gone crazy again, "Karl Moik arrived on the scene"! In his own words, Hubert von Goisern now operates his music as a quasi exorcism. On his Trad tour he is supported in this by the multitalented Monika Drasch, attired in an alternative dirndl dress, she alternately plays violin, flute, clarinet, Jews' harp and bagpipes.

In places Arnulf Lindner seems to have grown into his double bass. Max Lässer inspires on the strings, mastering all available stringed instruments in the best way. Bernd Bechtloff on drums and percussion astonishes with always new alternative instruments, from biscuit tin and cow bells to diverse sound jars.

Occasionally Hubert von Goisern enthusiastically tries to include the Rottweil listeners: "Yodelling frees you, when waiting for operators as well as in traffic jams." He found an unfussy yodel especially for the unpractised, but it is sung only hesitantly by the people. "It's so dim in here that you can't even see your braces," he tries it again. A representative of the local press had already beat it when von Goisern couldn't resist a sideswipe at the writing guild: "there they sit in the first row writing and when you read the paper the next day, you think they were at a completely different concert."

Towards the end of the evening, von Goisern and Drasch yodel in a ballad-like manner and are accompanied by only the double bass, at the latest here everyone notices that folk music too can give you goosebumps. The audience thanked Hubert von Goisern for an evening of many sensational impressions by demanding two encores.

Gstanzls by the Mississippi

Landshuter Zeitung 9th August 2004 | Text: Katrin Filler | Photo: idowa.de

Hubert von Goisern in the Altstadt

HvGYou seldom saw so many people stream into the Altstadt as on Saturday evening. There are that many every four years at the most. This weekend it was different: an enormous stage blocked the way across the Altstadt, an area up to Narrenbrunnen was blocked off. And the whole excitement was down to one man: Hubert von Goisern. He appeared on the large stage and gave a splendid concert in the middle of the Altstadt. Ten to eight, and a queue was still moving from the entrance on Rosengasse almost to Steckengasse. It was doubtful whether the concert would begin anywhere near punctually. But then everything went really quickly. The first success of a concert that is taking place in this form for the first time: a real open air concert in the Altstadt. Whether other similar big events take place in the city may depend on this appearance. As far as the spectators are concerned, there could easily be more concerts in the city. Long before the date, all 2500 seats in the fenced off area were sold-out. Organiser Christoph Jung said that tickets were even sent out to Hamburg and Berlin. After the first plus, a second: the acoustics. They were outstanding. Even in the back rows, where one is otherwise usually troubled by sounds which can't be separated, you heard a great concert. Disadvantage: You didn't see Hubert von Goisern and his band so well. And that would have been worth it due to the joy of playing the musicians exhibited alone.

The album that von Goisern is currently presenting is called Trad II, the successor of Trad, from which he also performed some songs. On it is to be heard: folk music - of course - and rap, jazz, swing, Irish, Japanese. You'd say world music, were the term not tired and the music indicated by it not often overcharged and bad. Trad means traditional, which means folk tunes. Hubert von Goisern devotes himself equally to folk music and all kinds of playing. The source melody always sounds similar, folksy, but the arrangement surprises. At times you think you're in the southern USA, at times in Japan, at times in celestial spheres. Obviously everybody regains something of themselves in the music. You can barely explain how such different people came to the concert in another way. It was nice to watch how a roughly 70 year old woman quietly yodelled along and her enthusiasm was equal in every way to that of her 30 year old female neighbour. The audience simply enjoyed themselves.

The artist who is able of such things first of all came onto the stage with a deadpan expression on his face, surrounded at the beginning by light artificial fog. And so it is six, seven songs until the audience ventures to lend expression to their enthusiasm. But then it remains until the end, increasing ever more. It was really only interrupted as Goisern complained about the passers-by. They stood outside the barrier and chatted, for they couldn't see anything due to the screens around the concert site. It also annoyed a large number of listeners - but such a concert in the Altstadt can hardly be carried out in a different way.

Apart from such small interruptions, the concert was marvellous. Von Goisern, multi-instrumentalist on the accordion, harmonica, trumpet and flute, had choice musicians for the album and concert: Monika Drasch, formerly of Bairisch Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn, also masters many instruments, among them pretty rose pink bagpipes. She can play them at the same time as yodelling between blows. And she can yodel just as well as Hubert von Goisern and so the two perform a yodel serenade a cappella. Great.

Collecting instruments seems to be a passion of all the musicians: Guitarist Max Lässer, one of the most famous in Switzerland, sits on stage among six and twelve stringed guitars, dobro and mandolin and plays in a way that makes you think you're by the Mississippi. Bass player Arnulf Lindner plays more than one instrument, and Bernd Bechtloff also has many drums and other noise-making pieces of equipment with him, with which he plays something Japanese, the wind copies and clatters and rattles. With all such instruments, the musicians run around the stage, around each other, playing music to each other. And this joy of playing is again beneficial to the audience's mood.

Then, with the first encore - certainly with Hiatamadl - it culminates in a member of the audience finally going to the front, close up to the edge of the stage, and clapping along. Since the screens have long since been pulled down at the sides, the passers-by stand closely-packed at the fence. After the second encore, the light on the stage goes quickly out, floodlights illuminate the rows, the decidedly cheerful audience stand up and move together into the lukewarm night. Then Hubert comes onto the stage once more, sits at the edge and sings a song, yodelling together with the audience. In the midst of the Altstadt, the night becomes still warmer.

Spirited, very close and open

OVB Online 11th August 2004 | Text: Thomas Kraus | Photo: OVB Online

Hubert von GoisernIt's seventeen years since Hubert Achleitner, who calls himself Hubert von Goisern after his hometown in the Salzkammergut, gave his first concert in the Bad Aibling Kurpark: he had 42 spectators back then.

Ten years ago a well-attended open air concert took place in Maxlrain. Now "the Goiserer" and his five member band returned to Aibling with his new programme Trad II and played there in front of a good 2500 people in the open air in the Kurpark. Trad is an abbreviation for pieces of folk music handed down without composers. For Hubert von Goisern that means: consequently only playing old folk tunes, songs, yodels and country dances - but his way. As a cosmopolitan person and musician, who knows many countries from his own view, but also knows exactly where he's coming from (and where he is always pulled to), that means that all kinds of blinkers and "sewn in" ways of thinking are forbidden. Musically that means that yodels and hip hoop beats, dobro guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, a jazzy muted and udu drums can by all means go together.

However von Goisern also knows exactly how much subtle intuition such combinations require and how much courage it takes today to freely yodel. He tried to convey the latter to his listeners in the spa town. They should just try it one time: "Let it out - anyone may, who wants to - nobody is unmusical - and this is a yodel. So, open your mouth - yodelling is like medicine." Health reforms in Goiserish, no Loriot's yodel course.

Actually von Goisern does nothing different with folk music from what has always happened outside its antiquated conservation and institutionalisation - instruments were played which could be got hold, had fun with and enjoyed and according to listening habits.

What he has chosen from the fundus of tradition speaks volumes: it is often the linguistically contorted, strange lyrics, like in those of Eiszapfen: "Znagst han i die ganze Nacht Eiszapfen brennt / koan Mensch hats nit kennt, dass koane Wachskerzen sind" ("Recently I burned icicles the whole night / nobody realised they weren't candles").

He performs simple, tender or wild lyrics - in any case they're not cloying, fussy or sugar-sweet. Furthermore, he has a good feeling for the folk music often "pushed down" by the authorities, which just teems with serfdom to the authorities, bigotry and worthiness.

This doesn't occur with him. His way is his very own steep road, a tightrope walk, which he simply goes dancing along as much as an experienced mountain climber as a rock 'n' roller. He gets very close to his audience, whom he found in the last decades, through his wildness, sincerity, openness and courage.

Yodelling on a mild summer evening

Der Neue Tag 9th August 2004 | Text: Thomas Dobler

Hubert von Goisern brings his unusual folk music to the Stadtpark in front of a large audience on Sunday

Schwandorf. Acute danger of catchy tunes arises with these songs: on Sunday evening, Hubert von Goisern presented his unusual folk music in the Stadtpark and 2500 people came to experience the unique musician and his band - on a mild evening, in beautiful surroundings.

The slender Austrian presents himself on the large stage in black trousers and a simple white shirt. You find nothing folksy in his appearance and in his pieces, although that's exactly where the concert train goes - into the Salzkammergut with its alpine landscape and its ribald songs, whose words are not always understandable for someone from the Upper Palatinate. Hubert von Goisern knows that too and he makes a joke of it. "Who understands the lyrics?" he asks his audience right at the beginning with a smile and grants a "large scope of interpretation" for this reason.

At 19.00 hrs, an hour before the start of the show, the Stadtpark is already full. A light breeze wafts over the sunny open air arena, which is seeing such a famous artist for the first time. On the one side, the big black stage, one the other side, a collection of stands for a little hunger and great thirst, and all around the fresh green of the bushes and trees of the park.

The audience, who has streamed into the square in an almost never ending river from the entrance by the waterwheels, is not young any more. They are rather more similar in age to the 52 year old star of the evening. Here and there a female fan appears in countryhouse-style clothing, even more rarely: men in lederhosen. The rest of the large crowd comes wearing summer-light clothes, now and then very elegant.

"We have been to two Hubert von Goisern concerts recently," says Barbara Dimbür, who lives near Heidelberg and is currently renovating a house in Schwarzhofen with her husband Johannes. The Dimbürs didn't want to miss the evening: "Because my husband is a big fan of him." Meanwhile, Hubert von Goisern raises up to a long prelude yodel, totally "Trad", as his current CD is called, that is very "traditional". The arrangement of the music is very rocky though. And it goes down well in Schwandorf, as the applause for this folk musician of an unusual kind shows.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Passau - 1st & 2nd August 2004

9th August 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl