Hubert von Goisern


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Strong Fö(h)n in Bregenz Bay

Südkurier 2001 | Text: Roland Demmerle

Standing ovations for Hubert von Goisern and band in the Inselhalle, Lindau

At 8pm, the concert should start, but a throng of people still press against the front of the sold out Inselhalle. Two hundred fans must be sent away. They do not know yet that there will be an additional concert in Konstanz on 30th June. 8.15pm Hubert von Goisern opens the programme with yodelling, wearing red dress trousers with wide black seams and black braces. His new sound, changed in the direction of ethno music through cultural encounters in Asia, Africa and America, is intoxicating. And what he recently said in an interview is very noticeable. If instrumental music rings out in his homeland, everyone crowds on to the dancefloor, if something is sung, melancholy grips you. Today many people would wait in vain for Hiatamadl, to make up for it, there were sounds from Jamaica, East Africa, and folk songs from the Tyrolean mountains.


Right from the start, the band are good together. And the bandleader proves on guitar, accordion, flute, brass, mouth organ and drums, that it is pure coquetry, when he portrays himself as a universal dilettante. "Augen tief und klar wie ein See und ich bin ganz hinabgefallen" ("Eyes deep and clear and I fall right into them,") sings the song poet in reggae-time and many dreamy looks were cast on him from the audience. The passage in between is indeed not as jazzy as the tour promotion would have you believe, but it is a wonderful ballad.

Sarcastic announcements and mocking songs follow, against Catholic moral ideas, about the political big mouth Jörg Haider, about the concealed Hashish culture. Mercedes Benz as a reggae version has never been heard like that by anyone. And what everyone wishes for the Tyrolean: not only a car, but also a halo, for with that, as he says, one has "einen besseren Riss" ("a better chance"). Then Hubert von Goisern gives counselling with a flugelhorn solo. "Alles was Du willst, das geht, wenn Du weißt, was Du willst" ("Everything you want is ok, if you know what you want,") he sings and the slow title melody of the CD Fön, above all has a rich swinging interlude.

"With the blues, it's important first of all, that it is painful," he philosophises. But only Catholics could understand that. And because the approval seemed too Protestant, there is help at the same time: Weh toan tuat's auf jeden Fall. And so as not to embroil the listeners too much in deep feelings, the middle of the piece was enriched with rocking, weird passages, a Guggenmusik (loud, usually brass, carnival music) of blues. The first part closed with a piece on which Tibetan flutes, African harmony and driving slapbass were mutually inspiring. Slowly the percussion section was built up until everyone on stage was drumming, rattling, clattering with it and the rhythm seized the whole room.

Funky was how the musicians opened the second set. With Drawig, came once more a song from the album Fön, then with Zilln übern See began the presentation of songs from the disc Trad which came out at the beginning of the month, on which Hubert von Goisern puts a new interpretation on folk songs from his homeland. Songs about the courtship display of the capercaillie, brown beer, about the urgent tipsy boy under the window of an attractive maid. "It's quite different today," he jokes, but with the closing passage says that the girl asks the boy to come back. Everyone laughs.

After the last rousing piece the musicians received tremendous applause, staying on stage playing their encore immediately. Hubert von Goisern turned back to the beginning of the concert. Sentimental lullabies rang out, two songs, then it is the end. Standing ovation in the Inselhalle.

After the tremendous cheering the bandleader comes back onto the stage alone, takes hold of the acoustic guitar and once more gets into the traditional homeland song. Three short verses and then the song from the valley of beautiful bygone days is over. And with it a thrilling concert.

Cleverly combined

Süddeutsche Zeitung 2001 | Text: Ralf Dombrowski

Scarcely a lederhosen in sight. A few scattered horn buttons on lapels in the foyer of the Circus Krone indicate that the earlier star of new folk music is on stage. But they remain the exceptions. For Hubert Achleitner, known as von Goisern, the gentle would-be style revolutionary from Salzkammergut, has managed to convert his audience. No shrieking Hiatamadl in the room, no-one seriously expects the return of the noisy Landler rebel, who six years ago refused to climb the ladder to success at the peak of Musikantenstadl. Rather, the public await the experiments that Goisern promised to present after his creative break and extensive globe trotting.

They are not disappointed. The go-getting singer and songwriter packs a cleverly combined conglomeration of musical impulses, which he connects with his own regional musical roots. There was lots of Caribbean to hear, Reggae and a little salsa as spice. As well as the blues and a Janis Joplin homage with the dialect version of Mercedes Benz, Goisern sang songs of rural love full of ardour, yodelled elaborately and from time to time laid in ethereal areas. He played the flugelhorn and tenor horn, accordion and guitar, masterfully led his new combo and at the same time stayed the thoughtful musician with Tai-Chi movements, who strides deliberately about the stage. That is probably exactly the key to his success. For Hubert von Goisern does not corrupt himself in favour of marketability. The people in the auditorium sense this sincerity. Standing ovations.

Hubert von Goisern in Erfurt

Thueringer Allgemeine 2001 | Text: Michael John

Janis would never have dreamed it possible. That someone comes from inner Salzkammergut and revises her famous prayer with accordion and dialect: "Geh Herrgott hiazt kauf ma an Mercedes Benz." But Janis Joplin need not turn in her grave. Even though Hubert von Goisern's version is as far away from the original as the Alps are from California, they are so close in their longing and with more than just eye-winking irony.

Anyway Janis. Some probably connect the experience of a priggish childhood with you, quite certainly. But you were good too, as Goisern remarked in front of his inspired fans in the sold out Erfurt Centrum.

Whoever was brought up with the Bible feels guaranteed the blues in later life and also knows how to sing like Goisern in Weh toan tuat's auf jeden Fall. Wonderfully languished from the soul. The blues was, however, only one of many musical formulas in the Fön programme. Ang'lacht for instance, rode in the dub-reggae-rhythm on a Police-memorial riff and at the same time still achieved the joke in the typical Doors sound playing of the organ. Quite different was the jazzy Drawig or the legs apart rocky Die Strass'n. However, an African inspired piece was absolutely exotic, sung in Kisuaheli into the bargain.

After enough distance was put from the other yodel rock, the second half of the concert looked after the homeland sounds all the more. Folk songs, so traditional that it was already good again, much better than the usual tiny tot folklore kitsch which even Hubert von Goisern sprinkles in for the purpose of better digestion. Songs about girls, fishermen and the cock's palace and a satirical yodel from a hunter. Charming. The fact that the concert goes on for a full three hours is not least down to the Goiserer's anecdotes, the length and entertainment value of a short story. All the same, who else can say that hundreds of demonstrating animal conservationists with a little more virtuous intention pursued him and only a sprint to the nearby border saved him? It is to be supposed that prayer would not have helped him that time, at most a Benz.

But God still hasn't bought him one.

The yodelling juggler

Nürnberger Zeitung 2001 | Text: VG

Hubert von Goisern mixes alpine rock with world music

An Austrian "alpine rocker" who appeared in small night clubs in Africa and Tibet to give his pieces new momentum - that sounds hard to digest, but anyone who knows Hubert von Goisern, knows that he makes a tingling music cocktail out of incompatible ingredients. The cosmopolitan yodelling juggler presented his fourth studio album Fön on his current tour and in Erlangen showed together with his five comrades-in-arms or completely thrilling performance together with multicultural orchestration.

Violins, electric violin, bass, guitars, keyboard and a surprise percussion packet providing an exotic rhythmic instrumental background to Hubert von Goisern's main voice, which spiralled jubilant yodelling up into the air. However, the vocal virtuoso with the vibrating timbre took hold of an instrument himself and proved his knowledge of accordion, flute, bongo drums, trumpets and mouth organ.

Like an Alpine Rocker pas deux, von Goisern went to the individual band members and invited them to a musical duel. Whether light melodic cascades on the violin, jazzy runs on the guitar, depressive bass or the lively drumming of terrific rhythms - each musician stamped his own style on the ensemble, lightly intermingling the bright musical mixture of von Goisern's songs.

With diatribe and black humour the globetrotter from the Salzkammergut jingled happily through all musical directions whether jazz, blues, samba, rock, folk songs, cradle songs, ballads, country dances, an Austrian adaptation of Janis Joplin or Kisuaheli music, von Goisern handcrafted a montage, a puzzle until his listeners' heads were spinning.

A painful relationship

In between von Goisern philosophised about the potential for pain in relationships between the sexes, the latent readiness for suffering of Catholics and the self-sufficiency of the squeeze box player, if he did not, by means of comparing cities, proclaim the discovery of slowness. Von Goisern proves that he can turn a strong idiom and musical cosmopolitanism into something completely new. And one thing is certain - the man has passed the yodelling diploma with distinction.

Making room for nothing

Hubert von Goisern makes a guest appearance at the Stadthalle

Lichtenfels. Hubert von Goisern is not a stage enthusiast. Not one who whirls like a cool bloke. The musician from Salzkammergut stands facing the audience, stays economical in his movements and only does as much with regard to dynamics as is demanded by playing the accordion. Nothing compared to what he achieves with his voice. Von Goisern is a vocal acrobat. He sings, shouts, cheers, shrieks with delight, yodelled or talks incredibly quickly. A bolt of energy, undoubtedly. But also someone with a feeling for a delicate nuances, someone who is capable of making a conscious pause, to which nothing yields.

Von Goisern is not only a gifted musician, but also an entertainer. In the shaping of his dialect he chooses if the instruments are quiet, the moderate variant of "Goiserish" and knows how to entertain his audience with wit. He speaks about the parallels between Catholicism and blues, about the pain when a relationship breaks up and about the song bird which the inhabitants of Salzkammergut shut in cages, so it can entertain them.

In everything that he does on stage he is casual. An audience of 1200 came to the Stadthalle last Thursday evening - and he knows how to serve them up a programme that never seems outrageous. The art of telling a story at just this spot already told 30 times and at the 31st time serving it up as if freshly unwrapped - this he can do.

To want to put von Goisern in a pigeonhole is a fruitless undertaking. A few structures of his music are shown experimentally, which is also indicated by the multitude of instruments. Balladic songs, with violinist Agnes Grasberger providing effective background music alternate with thundery rhythms which draw on Caribbean and African material and for the production of which drummer Bernd Bechtloff enjoys the freedom to do what he wants.

No fraud

Particularly in the second part of the concert, von Goisern showed his roots. The accordion swinging Goiserish singing and to crown it all a collection of yodelling tradition remains constant, through excursions into world music von Goisern only increases the tension. Agreeably as tradition is defined in his playing. No note of friendly fraud as Hinterseer and his gang do.

And then, in the second part the hit Hiatamadl which had made Hubert von Goisern and his Alpinkatzen famous, was just audible. But lid on, nothing there. "I have the need to do something completely new," the musician put on the record before his tour. Nevertheless, he did not succeed. Luckily.

Hubert von Goisern in the Circus Krone

Virgin Musik April 2001 | Photos: © Virgin Musik

In Munich on the evening of the 18th April 2001, Hubert von Goisern has strong competition, because Bayern München are playing against Manchester United. The camera men from BR, who are filming the concert improvise: they put the TV signal of the live broadcast from the outside broadcast vehicle through to the cameras, in order to be able to follow the game in the interval.

At first it seems as if the public must become accustomed to the fact that Hubert is really playing live again, so the mood was subliminally excited in the sold out Circus Krone. In the background on stage hangs a creased cloth, that after lighting looks like mountains at sunrise or like a visionary dream landscape that changes in the light.

Hubert appears, in bright red trousers with black stripes down the side. The first songs are very gentle and then, as he greets his fans and at last takes his accordion into his hands, a noticeable sigh of relief goes through the audience - he is here again!

The first half of his set mainly consists of songs from his new album Fön, broken up here and there with cryptic entertainment interludes in which Hubert philosophises about the Blues and the (Catholic) church, or about his role in the active protection of animals.

After the interval, only the red side stripe has remained from the stage clothes of the first half, but Hubert presents himself musically in a more traditional way: the second half of his set, almost only contains songs from his album Trad, again garnished with a few very entertaining interludes. Which devote themselves, among others, to the origin of the traditional songs that Hubert von Goisern has newly interpreted in his intimate and intensive way.

The members of his very committed band are given every opportunity to prove their skill. One must naturally alongside Hubert's old companion Helmut Punzenberger on the electric guitar, mention above all the incredibly experienced man on the drums, Bernd Bechtloff, who contributed crucially to the musical rhythmic mood. The audience accordingly applauded wildly after his solo interlude. Burkhard Frauenlob on the keyboards and Agnes Grasberger, the violinist, produce surprising sounds in harmony with Hubert's accordion and Arnulf Lindner plays not only the bass, but the double bass too.

Hubert does credit to his reputation as a multifaceted musician as he plays effortlessly through a whole orchestra, and each instrument is used where Hubert can unfold his atmospheric sound - whether it is the flugelhorn or the flute.

The quiet passion of Hubert von Goisern's stage presence runs through the evening like a red thread, so to speak. In the quiet lies strength, he seems to want to express himself with every fibre and it becomes immediately noticeable, audible. Boring? - Exactly the opposite! Hubert von Goisern still plays for his life on stage, but even more concentrated. More mature. One wants it never to end.

At the end, with the last title, Hubert again shows how close the musical cultures of this world lie together. He presents a song in Kisuaheli that is always sung at the end of festivals in Africa - and yodels to it. When Hubert von Goisern does it, it sounds as if it has always been that way.

Alpine humming for the discriminating

Nürnberger Nachrichten 9th April 2001 | Text: Steffen Radlmaier

A return to past values: folk and world music with Hubert von Goisern in Erlangen

Anton aus Tirol and Hubert von Goisern are like the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Austrian folk music. Two artistic figures like day and night. Anton stands for the hit parade, commerce and thigh-slapping folksiness, Hubert for the good, true and beautiful in folk music. One a fun fellow, the other a rebel.

Hubert Achleitner, the civil name of the awkward customer from Bad Goisern has resisted the temptations of the music business. His Hiatamadl, a true alpine hit, seemed suspicious to him. At the height of his success, Hubert von Goisern applied the brakes in 1994, disbanded the Alpinkatzen and adjourned to think things through. Six years, during which he went on extensive journeys. Among others to Tibet and Africa, documented on the albums Inexil and Gombe. In addition from this time came the film music Schlafes Bruder, as well as a film about behavioural scientist Jane Goodall.

But for a few months now, Hubert von Goisern has been here again and goes further from where he stopped years ago, not completely different, but somewhat more subtle and mature. The colourful audience in the Erlangen Stadthalle (sold out long ago) were delighted at the return of von Goisern, like a reunion with an old friend. Old and young sit there peaceably beside one another, rock fans as well as folk music enthusiasts, male and female. In Hubert's world Musikantenstadl all are heartily welcome.

The concert begins with a sort of alpine primal scream therapy: Hubert von Goisern's yodelling full of pain and longing comes from the depths of his being. That is called soul in pop music and Hubert can sing. Then follows a country dance in reggae rhythm, wonderful harmonisation of the accordion, with jazz piano, country fiddle and rock guitar: the world is a village in the Salzkammergut.

In earthy dialect Hubert the upright tells of bird catching and praying, it gets a bit involved, but it's spontaneous and is always connected to the song. And because with Hubert everything is always somewhat different, he published quickly one after another, two new albums, which decided the evening's programme. The alpine world music of Fön in the first half, the carefully refreshed folk songs of Trad in the second. And just these two simple pieces have a strong impact. Current CDs: Hubert von Goisern Fön and Trad (both on Lawine/ Virgin).

Hubert von Goisern tackles things calmly and thoughtfully. His concerts are something like musical wanderings through the mountains and offer alpine humming for the discriminating.