Hubert von Goisern


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Hubert von Goisern: Live in Bern - 11th April 2001 2001 | Photos: ©

An evening with the new Hubert von Goisern

RON - Rheinpfalz Online 16th March 2001 | Text: Christian Hanelt | Photo: RON

Karlsruhe celebrates the new world musician from the Alps - folk music far away from popular folksiness

Hubert von GoisernWia die Zeit Vergeht. With this CD, recorded during the 1994 tour, Hubert von Goisern said goodbye to his band, the Alpinkatzen and to the public. To the latter, however, only temporarily. After excursions into world music, after affairs with Tibetan and African music, Goisern is now back on stage. And the fans have stayed true to him. "Sold out" reports the promoter on Tuesday in the Badenerlandhalle in Karlsruhe. Reason enough to repeat the concert on 6th October in Brahmsaal.

"I have had the desire to make something perfectly new and different," says Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern, an idyllic village in Salzkammergut, the music he means by that is his CD Fön which was available in November - but also and above all, the music on his most recent, 10 day old work Trad.

Goisern leaves the past behind, looks forwards, offers the public a new Goisern - a musician who without folksy fuss widens and enriches the musical structures and instruments of his Austrian homeland with rock, pop, soul, funk, jazz, blues, but also the sounds of foreign culture areas. Von Goisern has developed himself further, added many new facets to the music of the Alpinkatzen, but he has basically stayed true to himself. So, out of the alpine rocker, with every thought of stylistic pigeon-holing thrown out, has come a gifted entertainer, a man who surprises song for song with spoken and musical wit.

So, in Katholisch, he blasphemes about the preacher who "hinter sein' Altar oane hat, die eam sche' tuat oder gar zwoa" ("Just behind his altar / A woman that snuggles him, and sometimes he takes two"). Everyone else "ganget oanfach in die Kirchen" ("steps before the clergyman") and "beicht Sünden" ("confesses sins") because, as he sings in his version of the Janis Joplin classic Mercedes Benz, "oans des is g'wiss, mit'n Heilig'n-schein hat ma an weit bessern Riss" ("one thing is sure, if you have a halo, you have a better chance") with women. By the way: for Goisern, it's the Catholics who find the approach to the blues easiest - "their capacity for suffering is distinctive". But actually the blues is a manly domain, there certainly it is solely about women and that "it hurts no matter what". Vocal versatility, if not acrobatics is shown by Goisern in Kålt in which he almost sings a falsetto like Prince. Instrumentally he proves himself multitalented with guitar, accordion, flugelhorn, harmonica, pipes and drums. Anyhow, so much for part one of the concert which was reserved for songs from the CD Fön.

After the interval, Goisern presented himself somewhat more peacefully with "straight" music. It is time for Trad, for completely new songs which first of all were received with caution by the audience. Goisern played folk music, dusted off a few classics of the genre which had nothing to do with the folksiness of many TV shows. They are songs which have become the strong essential part of the cultural identity of the people of the Alps and were played by von Goisern in their uncomplicated beauty and simplicity.

Incidentally: With Heast as Nit he had one single Alpinkatzen hit in the programme as a last encore. That was certainly cheered, however - and this was the really fascinating thing of the evening - the audience celebrated their Hubert, song by song.

Rock yodeller and alpine Satchmo

Südwest Presse 10th April 2001 | Text: Udo Eberl | Photo: SP

Hubert von Goisern in the sold out Ulm Congress Centrum

Hubert von Goisern and Helmut PunzenbergerIn the interval of Hubert von Goisern's concert, there were still some sceptical faces, at the end, standing ovations. The musical all rounder, who intelligently moves between exquisite rock and traditional folk music, also inspires with his new pieces.

In February 1995, Hubert von Goisern, who had made folk music in rock format popular with his Alpinkatzen, said "Bye everyone" quite quietly with a live CD. The rousing "Juchitzer" rock and alternative yodelling was past. Hubert, a practised climber, was clear that the conquering of a peak can only be followed sooner or later by the descent. That is why he preferred to move in the valleys and came to find out about Tibet and Africa through world journeys. Interesting discs far from the taste of the masses were the result, but whoever once stood on a stage in front of thousands of fans knows they will naturally want it again. With Fön, Hubert von Goisern presented a mature album last autumn, songs of which should also be the centre of attention of the Ulm concert. It was sold out, incidentally as is the whole tour.

The Goiserer is even more than just a patent musician, who can go into the depths with the accordion, just the same as a songwriter with a guitar. He is a type who knows something to describe which one could listen to for ever, if he talks with the charm of eternal rascals about mating cockerels, songbird hunting or the Merman in the Hallstatt lake. He is one who knows what he wants, a pleasant music poacher with distinct features. And so one that the public does not forget. One then also lets oneself in for a completely new start.

Never "homeland evening"

From the beginning Hubert von Goisern and his band played on their strengths. The early tunes were interpreted with soft keyboard sounds through which Hubert could yodel. Wonderful atmosphere in a fantastic stage light, the sound excellently mixed as usual. But the singer had more to offer than just a modified juchitzer. Lively reggae, finely sharpened pop in the style of Sting, rich blues - "if it doesn't hurt, it's no good" - or song-pearls like Fia di were to be heard, and from time to time, it became really jazzy thanks to keyboard player Burkhard Frauenlob. Hubert even moved through Die Strass'n as the Alpine Satchmo.

The violinist, Agnes Grasberger and agile percussionist and drummer Bernd Bechtloff, who enthused the audience at the end with a drum solo on a milk churn, are brilliant in the sextet. Also a vocally convincing band that had no trouble translating the fine arrangements of their boss. So Janis Joplin's rock-old timer Mercedes Benz chugged about the stage as if freshly greased, and Akipenda, a Swahili song, came with a lively Afro-Drive.

In the second part of the programme, with quite a few pieces from von Goisern's current CD, Trad, there was folk music to hear that was distant from Musikantenstadl. Homely, earthy, but never trivial or "homeland evening". And as Hubert began to sing Heast as Nit, as a tiny, final concession to the Alpinkatzen time, the man from inner Salzkammergut looked happy. Standing ovations for magical moments.

Between Catholicism and bourgeoisie

SZ Online 28th March 2001 | Text: Andy Dallmann

Hubert von Goisern shows endurance in Dresden

Almost nothing fits the standard as Hubert von Goisern and his band play in Dresden for the second time on Monday. The Alter Schlachthof was completely full for a concert that began punctually and lasted three hours including the interval. Between electric guitar, violin and double bass, Hubert yodelled, chatted and paid homage to the reggae offbeat.

A contrast to the first guest performance almost seven years ago was worth a fundamental consideration to the multitalented Styrian musician, composer and singer: "First a hygiene museum, now Alter Schlachthof (old slaughterhouse) - what a development." Hubert von Goisern has also developed himself, but better: he has changed himself. The band at his side is completely different, the music is not merry rock any more, but light-footed even though the more complex and complicated arrangements work. And the lederhosen no longer belong to the stage outfit. Accordion, occasional yodel and naturally the Goisern dialect stay as a connection between past and future. That helped first to fill the hall and then to bring the public for a taste of the new.

At the edge of the stage a metal milk churn and a djembe frame the monitor box and between the two symbolised worlds, Hubert jumped here and there, sometimes he speedily brought them together. In the percussion duel, drummer Bernd Bechtloff gave the milk churn a rough time with his drumsticks, von Goisern let the palms of his hands smack on the skin of the djembe. Pure rhythm, that was countered in the second part above all by folk tunes. Extensive acoustic arrangements and robbed of everything kitsch, Zilln übern See, Hahnpfalz or A Goiserer Jaga - yodelled with the audience's help - sound as fresh as a mountain wind. In comparison with it come the really groovy blues numbers from the 2000 album Fön. The blues, which von Goisern says are deeply imbued with Catholicism, have taken over from rock along with jazz and soul in his creative activity. It is not a loss.

Hiatamadl becomes dairy maid

Rosenheim 2001 | Text: Karl Königbauer | Photo: Gilg

Hubert von GoisernNo - he doesn't play Hiatamadl any more. Nevertheless, he will not disappoint his listeners, that is now already certain. Hubert von Goisern is convincingly on stage again after more than six years: vocal and enormously alert as a person, rooted in folk music and - even more than before - inspired by sounds of the whole world. In any case, he left this extremely positive impression in the "warm-up" appearance at the Bad Aibling Kurhaus.

Still before the official start of the Fön tour that is already sold out twice in Rosenheim, the Goisern fans were naturally above all excited to see whether it would still be "their" Hubert. Already after the first number, they could lean back relaxed for the moment: the typical Goisern voice still always dominates the songs, and it worked far more decisively than everything that had perhaps changed in comparison with the great success numbers with the Alpinkatzen.

It certainly took a moment for the listeners to really get going. Goisern and his five excellent accompanying musicians - outstanding drummer Bernd Bechtloff, a new and still promising emphasis, the violinist Agnes Grasberger - in the first part above all let the peaceful songs from the Fön CD be heard. They demonstrate the trend of the "new" Goisern. The sound has matured, developed with elements of blues, reggae, jazz, African and Tibet, in part ballad-like - but also a little less rocky than six years ago.

Also in the second part, Hubert von Goisern did not offer the Hiatamadl big seller, but mostly let the folk music adaptations from his second CD release Trad be heard. Üba d Oima (Over the pasture) led the way for the musician from Goisern, and with it, to his roots. Many circles close in these songs: out of the Hiatamadl has now rather come a "Schwoagarin" (dairymaid), and that is not only in the lyrics.

And then with Landlarisch tanzn and Heast as Nit, even well known songs coming, it is finally clear: he has matured a little, yet more open in musical direction and at the same time, still clearer in his own style. But it is not a new HvG. He has stayed true to himself and he will be successful again, very successful without question.

Hubert is still a powerful guy

Badische Zeitung March 2001 | Text: Christian Rath

Yodelling interludes and strong dialect:
In Freiburg Bürgerhaus am Seepark Hubert von Goisern sang and explained his songs

Heast as Nit was the only keepsake from the Alpinkatzen time. And this wistful ballad ("die Jungen san alt worn und die Alten san g'storbn" - "The young have grown old and the old have died") was only first heard as encore. Otherwise, Hubert von Goisern mainly presented material from his two new CDs Fön and Trad in the Freiburg Bürgerhaus am Seepark.

The evening began with ecclesiastical themes: with pieces about the advantages of the Catholic faith ("I gangat oanfach jeden Sunntag in die Kirchen und hätt' die Sünden 'beicht" - "I'd step before the clergyman on Sunday, confess my sins and be free"), the power of prayer (Mercedes Benz) and the blues ("suffering is bliss"). But naturally, Hubert von Goisern has not become well-behaved. With his accordion, he moves at time so lasciviously about the stage that he receives spontaneous applause. Hubert Achleitner (his civil name) is also, at the age of 48, still a really handsome and powerful guy.

The audience can judge that. In the auditorium, the average age of the roughly one thousand members of the audience, is over 40. Those who have come are probably predominantly the fans from earlier. And they become neither disappointed nor antagonised. Goisern's new accompanying band play hardly any less rockier than the Alpinkatzen - although the Austrian dialect singer had really announced exactly that. With keyboards, guitar, bass, electric violin and drums, the five member band sound mostly rather more American than alpine in the first part of the concert. There were soul, calypso and reggae influences, but almost always standing linear in the foreground - bluesy rock.

The singer provides for the Goisern-appeal himself with his strong dialect and the yodel interludes. And with established instrument changes, he shows himself to be as versatile as the whole band put together. Next to his Styrian accordion, Hubert von Goisern also plays the acoustic and electric guitar, trumpet and horn, flute and harmonica. And naturally, he also drummed with the pieces from his three year old Africa album Gombe.

After the interval, there were mainly Austrian folk songs, many of them so vigorously arranged, that no-one in the audience had the idea to call for the old Hiatamadl. "He who doesn't love brown beer, goes to a cold grave" - they are lyrics from real timeless meaningfulness. In comparison, the 150 year old satirical yodel about a hunter who tracks down the poacher, demands an explanation all the same. But because Hubert von Goisern can describe so beautifully, the sold out Bürgerhaus would have accepted a local history evening with him too. If Goisern is on form, everything is possible.

Homeland in the globalised music world

Die Presse 9th March 2001 | Text: Martin Kugler

Hubert von Goisern inspires in the Theater an der Wien with his subtle mixture of alpine tradition
and sophisticated freedom

The man who walked out to conquer the world, to get to know all the places is now back on the home stage. Into native matters because more than ever the homeland decides the lyrics and music of Hubert von Goisern, admittedly in front of a truly global background.

Now reggae rhythms dominate, soul sounds and earthy blues. Descents into the all too simple realms of pop are thankfully rare exceptions. For half an hour of his brilliant appearance at the Theater an der Wien on Wednesday, he presented "true" folk music: anonymous songs of his homeland, once a bit of guitar strumming á la Musikantenstadl, but then again musically modernised and with the necessary irony. A shuffle-like Landler likes to stand for Goisern's eclecticism, for his homeland style in the time of his post globalisation.

"Praying is useful"

For the most part, it is about love, drinking and hunting. Catholicism also takes in the wider world - certainly in the dubious sympathetic variant of populist devoutness. "Praying is useful," says Goisern. Then with that he has his greatest wish fulfilled: to "tear open" Mercedes Benz (associations with US pop songs are welcome) and if it works - "but it must not be" - also everlasting life. And perhaps another halo. Goisern was last on stage in 1994, but in the past four years - so he says, he had the itch to experience the "cool" stage feeling again. With his excellent band in the background he is now more concise and alert than ever. Splendid yodelling - the common denominator between all the styles and languages he uses - convincing on the accordion, formerly put in as a sound effect, authentic when he dabbles on the flugelhorn - the first instrument of his musical career.

Final goosepimples were provided by Goisern's brilliant classic Heast as Nit, which was cheered appreciatively by the audience.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Bad Aibling - 1st March 2001

Photos: © Toni Glaser | 2001