Hubert von Goisern

S'NIX TOUR 2008-09

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

"No German word" for showtime

Mannheimer Morgen 6th April 2009 | Text: Bernd Mand | Photo: Prosswitz

Hubert von Goisern and band play superbly in the Mozartsaal of the Mannheim Rosengarten

Hubert von Goisern & BandAdmittedly, "heavyweight" is perhaps not the best choice of word in order to pay another person a compliment, but it's difficult to find an appropriately powerful visual characterisation that can more aptly describe Hubert von Goisern at his show in the Mannheim Rosengarten.

In front of an almost sold-out Mozartsaal von Goisern and his band flew so vigorously through three hours of programme that even before the encore barely anyone in the auditorium could remain seated. "It's showtime!" the 56 year old Austrian called to the audience. "Yeah, there's no German word for showtime!" And it was to be a great show too. Sophisticatedly lit, always playing strongly forwards and with the volume levels pushed up in such a way that could have easily helped a good many young whippersnappers from today's music business towards sudden deafness.

Many songs came straight from the folk musician's most recent album S'nix, which is based less on world music than its predecessors and focuses once more on the western music schools such as funk, jazz and punk guitar rides too. And yet in many corners the musical discoveries of his tonal world travels are of course snoozing next to traces of reggae and synth sounds. Narrative epics like Regen or the rocky sure-fire successes like Leben alternate with head-nodders like Herschaun with its lowered dance hall framework and eastern European folklore loops.

To everyone's joy the almost untiring man jumps here and there between the old and new. Covering Mercedes Benz in extra slow blues, or letting the alps glow chorally with Sieger. And even though you can't shake off the feeling that it is the old popular songs that give the audience the greatest pleasure and perhaps a simple La Montanara would slide more nicely into the ear canals of some, nobody seems fazed by von Goisern's bombastic rock contingent.

Exuberant carnival

Together with his young band, the members of which could easily be his nieces and nephews, Hubert von Goisern presented simply great arrangements, which stretched the term "dialect" in undreamt of ways. You could call it alpine rock if you like. What takes place here on the stage is an exuberant carnival with a firm foundation of experience and keen curiosity. Perhaps one should do without the seating next time though. You can't bop along well sitting down.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Mannheim - 3rd April 2009

8th April 2009 | Photos: © Elli Christl

In the Congress Centrum: Why Hubert von Goisern likes Würzburg

Mainpost 5th April 2009 | Text: Hans-Jürgen Grellmann | Photo: Christoph Weiss

The Austrian thrills his audience for three hours in the full Congress Centrum

Hubert von GoisernFor three solid hours without a break the 56 year old Austrian world citizen Hubert Achleitner, better known as Hubert von Goisern, stands on the stage in the sold out Congress Centrum in Würzburg, singing and playing his heart out on seven different instruments. Perhaps he wants to make it clear to the people of Würzburg, this is what he says in any case, what they missed in August last year, when he was able to moor his music ship in Schweinfurt and Lohr on his European tour, but not here in the cathedral city. Nevertheless, he remembers the city well, because it was here that having been taken acutely ill, he was restored to health for his journey up the Main and Rhine.

Now he is on the road with his excellent four piece band and three female musicians, with whom he recorded his last CD (S'Nix) and with whom he takes on the first part of the concert. Here too he has immortalised the multifaceted musical influences from Africa, America, Asia with a multitude of rhythm instruments and sound films, for which the first-rate keyboarder David Lackner lets his electronic keys, purr, beep, cry and even rumble.

Ultimately von Goisern take a journey through time through his career, with lots of songs to which the fans sing along. Really softly with Durchgeh durch's Tal, really rocky with Oben and Unten. Even a beautiful blues, the adapted Janis Joplin anthem Mercedes Benz is there. The atmosphere of the 20 songs is really good. He gives three encores, finally the ingeniously simple Heast es nit, with the melancholy line "Die Jungn san alt worn, and die Altn san gstorbn". (The young have grown old and the old have died)

Hubert von Goisern does not play his first big Koa Hiatamadl. Perhaps he'll make up for it on 27th June when he guests at Burg Wertheim.

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

Mainpost 5th April 2009 | Photo: © Christoph Weiß
Hubert von Goisern

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When the yodeller comes under rocker

Kölnische Rundschau 4th April 2009 | Text: Kerstin Völling

This Hubert can do anything: play the guitar, accordion and trumpet, yodel, let out juchitzers and sing. In the sold-out E-Werk the extravagant folk musician pepped up sounds of the homeland together with three background singers.

Cologne - It's not long since Hubert von Goisern last honoured the cathedral city. Only last August the Austrian docked with the concert barge "Brandner IV" in the Rheinauhafen and promoted the Capital of Culture Linz alongside musicians from Cologne. "They were very different conditions," says the 56 year old.

He's right. In the sold-out E-Werk everything is more manageable. To begin with there are the rows of seat in the gallery for the more sedate guests. Those in the standing area are birds of paradise in rustic clothes, people wearing gold chains, skinheads, freaks, students and conservative housewives. As the fruit is, so is the tree: Hubert is a unique mix too. The spectrum reaches from punk to blues, from ballads and polka to homeland songs. "It's showtime!" the yodel king calls. He sets off for the time being with rock. He is not the only one who masters it so especially well, his band do too and in particular David Lackner on the keys, who will later earn spontaneous applause for a wild solo.

The extravagant folk musician peps up the homeland sounds together with three background singers. Appropriately they turn in little skirts that are cut to shape like a cross between petticoats and dirndls. Elisabeth Schuen can definitely also shatter glass: clearly, loudly and in the highest pitch she combines yodelling with arias. You can as good as see them before you, these Alps, the three thousand metre high mountains that are so difficult to conquer, in which the strident echoes resound. And you can sing yodels too, von Goisern teaches: "Holereidudida - now everybody!" "Holareidudida" the audience answers. Where are Wolfgang Niedecken's guest appearances if you want to see them?

The Kölsch rocker doesn't appear, instead comes the blood red background light that von Goisern has reserved for his most famous schlager. Again the fans sing: "Jetzt bist so weit, weit weg - so weit, weit weg von mir, des tuat mir schia" ("You're now so far, far away - so far, far away from me, it hurts me so). The atmosphere reaches right to the very last rows. But this Hubert can do anything: play the guitar, accordion and trumpet, yodel, let out juchitzers and sing. So he's free to venture a Janis Joplin classic: "Geh Hergott hiazt kauf me an Mercedes Benz ..., auch wenn es ka(o)lt is un nit am Wetter liegt." ("Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ... even though it's cold and it's not down to the weather). Great applause.

Strident, funky, borderline. And yet somehow fascinating. Anyone who wants to get a feeling for alpine rock shouldn't overlook von Goisern.

In this regard his latest album S'Nix is to be recommended. He presented it to some extent in August. Next to Herschaun he now presents Leben: "Nit über all's allweil nur drüber reden, drüber reden. Es geht do' da nit nur um's überleben, um's überleben - I wü' leben." ("Don't just talk, talk about everything all the time. It's not just about surviving - I want to live.")

It's palpable. The whole concert long. You don't need to understand dialect to get that.

A celebration of life

Badische Zeitung 3rd April 2009 | Text: Michael Baas | Photo: André Roos

Hubert von GoisernIn earlier times, he "didn't care" if he lied, Hubert von Goisern let the audience in the full to bursting Burghof know after the interval of the three hour concert. But today ... at the ripe old age of 56 the Austrian, who so charmingly combines homeland and cosmopolitanism, doesn't want to tell any more stories. But somehow he tells them anyway and with almost every sound: in the juchizers and yodels, which are saturated with emotion; in the lyrics, which are as succinct as they are worldly wise, and in the "steep" stories that still flash up now and again. For example in the introduction to i bi ån, spoken in French, immediately assigning it in this nasal accent to the Salzkammergut, where it is the equivalent to "I have everything I need", the emphasis on needing. That is the point: it's not about having for Hubert von Goisern any more; for him it's about being and - with growing age - doing so ever more unapologetically. The brilliant start of the S'nix (Nothingness) Tour in Lörrach backed that up impressively.

The Austrian became famous at the beginning of the 90s as the innovator of alpine folklore, which together with the Alpinkatzen he combined with rock and folk music. In the meantime he now has a few metamorphoses behind him, has mutated from alpine rocker to alpine ethno rocker, has made excursions into world music and in the two Trad albums interpreted traditional folklore rather historically puristically in a back to the roots manner. In 2007 he then set sail for new shores in the most literal sense with the concert ship project. "I can't play folk songs ad nauseum," the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted him as saying last year. All the same the "folk musician", as he still calls himself, lives and flashes sometimes more, sometimes less: in yodelling, on the Styrian accordion and in the overall image of the new band - right down to the outfit, then folklore-bright pleated skirts, the three Ladin "girls" (Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen as well as Maria Moling), who do background singing, yodelling, play the violin and more.

The "folk musician" von Goisern has shed his skin again. The band - David Lackner (keyboard), Alex Pohn (drums), Helmut Schartlmüller (bass) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar) - is young, much younger than the multi-instrumentalist and they rock. But what does rock mean? The spectrum reaches from punk to funk, from blues to ballads, from rock to polka, from hip hop to homeland. It booms powerfully in the intro. Juicy keyboard sounds and lashing guitar riffs melt together with the crystal clear voices of the Ladinas, as in the Juchitzer. There's blues in Mercedes Benz like you would here in the lower reaches of the Mississippi. An imploring accordion meets melancholy violin as in the Schönberger. The ethereal is to be found in Auseinandertreiben with a trace of jazz and a trumpet that Goisern plays as pointillistically as Miles Davis in his later years. Soft ballads follow, almost chansons with interludes of yodelling, like Neuer Tag or Strassn and things get really rocky like in Leben, whose expressive and yet fervent like a Tibetan mantra repeated "I want to live" could stand over the concert like a programmatic inscription: Goisern celebrates a life in the here and now, an existence for which his happiness searches beyond consumerism and commercialism.

The "folk musician" shows once more what can be made from and with folk music and he goes further than ever before, not just combining folklore with electric guitar, but revealing it to new electronic worlds of sound, venturing new style syntheses. The powerful and charged passages from the new album and this occasionally also loaded with rock bombast von Goisern may have confused one or two people - especially in the first half. But the professional knows what fans expect, skilfully weaving in popular pieces and familiar arrangements and with the third encore, his hit Heast as nit, a wave of blissful pleasure undulates through the rows of seats for a long time - a successful start to the tour, not just for the musicians.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Vöcklabruck - 3rd November 2008

Flickr 5th November 2008 | Photo: © Elke H
Hubert von Goisern

Music for understanding between peoples

Die Furche Nr. 45/08 7th November 2008 | Text: Henning Klingen

The exceptional musician Hubert von Goisern is on tour in Austria and Germany with his new album S'Nix - and at the same time is presenting the fruits of his extensive ship tour along the Danube. His music also serves a united Europe.

Cast away. Weigh anchor. Set sail. On to new shores. An expedition by ship is a rewarding matter for both artists and journalists. For artists it opens up new perspectives, helping to slow down eyes and thoughts and focus concentration on the music. For journalists it opens up a true treasure chest of metaphors - some of which might even be appropriate. And seldom do they work as well as in the case of the exceptional musician Hubert von Goisern, who - barely back from his ship journey along the Danube - is now touring through Austria and Germany with his new album S'Nix.

Time and again during the course of his career he has ventured to make the departure for new shores. The success story of the Alpinkatzen for example was something from which he made a conscious break in the mid 90s, in order to allow Africa and Tibet to inspire him musically. Albums came from both journeys, which left the hardboiled Hiatamadl fan slack-jawed. In 2000 the reversion to puristically arranged jazz and blues rhythms followed with Fön. In 2002 von Goisern changed the backwash once more with Iwasig, allowing increased yodelling to flow in again and be inspired especially by a new band with an excellent Brazilian bassist.

"European discourse" through music

After a return to his musical roots with the two Trad albums von Goisern has now however made a radical turn with S'Nix: jazzy ballads interchange with almost classic rock numbers. Nothing remains of the purism of Fön: broad, flat strings, dominant electric guitars, extremely hard drums, mixed in and getting right to the point.

At the same time however with S'Nix von Goisern also brings in the harvests of the last two years, during which the world musician sailed along the Danube on a ship tour. Between June and September he played 22 concerts on his ship's stage in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Serbia and Slovakia - the majority of them free of charge and with support from the local artists of the country in which he was playing. This year von Goisern went with the flow - downstream in fact to Rotterdam. On this tour too he played another nearly 30 concerts in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

Von Goisern was given a following wind - both financial and media-based - by "Linz09". The Capital of Culture splashed out and quickly made the tour their showcase for bringing together both peoples and cultures. EU Commissar Ján Figel wished the project the best of luck, Erhard Busek became its patron, and soon the ship's diesel engines were growling forwards, in order to - as the official "mission statement" grandly states - "put into motion a European discourse [with music], making it possible for us to experience the continent". The concept of a united, borderless Europe is "far too wonderful to not at least try" von Goisern translates.

A first interim results could be marvelled at last weekend at two concerts in the Museumsquartier in Vienna. The evenings began with a warning: "This might not be what you expected", von Goisern greeted his audience. Swathes of mist stretched across the stage, two life belts on the loudspeakers signalled what was to come for the listeners: a wild water ride on new musical waters with an unknown way out.

The obligatory "Heast as nit"

The band showed themselves to be in an excellent mood to play and after the two ship tours are tuned into one another perfectly. Bulgarian musician Darinka Tsekova provided exotic sound diversity with her gadulka, a stringed instrument. It took a while before the audience had attuned to these new worlds of sounds broadly accompanied by keyboarder David Lackner. But by the first old hits like Iawaramoi and Mercedes Benz the area in front of the stage had become a swaying mass, that was only released into the storms of the Vienna night after three intensive hours of musical EU integration and the obligatory Heast as nit encore.

A great deal of water has yet to flow down the Danube before we will know whether the musical understanding between people will also bear social fruits. It at least remains a beautiful dream - at least until the middle of next year. Then von Goisern will be hosting a 3 day festival in the Linz harbour with all the artists who came on board during the tour.

Alpine rock meets world music

Rhein-Zeitung 12th November 2008 | Text: Martina Koch

Mainz: Hubert von Goisern makes up the cancelled summer concert

MAINZ. There were lots of long faces on the evening of 6th July at the Zollhafen in Mainz: hundreds of fans waited longingly for the alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern, who was to make a stop with his concert ship in Mainz on his Linz Europe Tour and they got - Xavier Naidoo.

"Xavier jumped in for me back then and I think what he did was super", says von Goisern, who'd had to cancel due to ill health, at the start of his catch-up concert in the Rheingoldhalle. His stage ship is now moored in the Linz harbour and only some lifebelt in the stage decoration are left to remind you of the original project of the European river expedition. "It'll be a long concert this evening and I'm eager to see whether you'll sit through it," von Goisern warns his audience − and with good reason: at 8pm on the dot he and his eight band members are on stage, at half past eleven the last encore has not yet faded away.

For three and a half hours von Goisern yodels, sings, rocks and grooves through a programme that couldn't be any more diverse. Right away with the first song of the evening, Showtime from his most recent album S'Nix, it's clear: von Goisern has developed away from the alpine rocker who paired the folksy melodies of his homeland with rocky elements. "There's no German word for showtime", he calls into the auditorium and lets rip with a groovy rock number. Auseinandertreiben, also from the new album, comes in with a languid beat that is strongly reminiscent of reggae music, while Herschaun is enriched by a rather unusual instrument: Darinka Tsekova from Bulgaria plays the gadulka, a bulbous stringed instrument, whose plaintive scraping sound adds a breath of Eastern European folklore.

On his numerous journeys through Asia and Eastern Europe von Goisern has clearly absorbed the foreign musical influences like a sponge and developed from them his own form of world music that crosses all genre boundaries. The fans of the alpine rocker rub their eyes in amazement: von Goisern and his fantastic musicians certainly convince with their untamed joy in playing and their impressive ability, but one would have liked to have heard a few of the popular tried and tested songs of the early 90s à la Heast as nit and Weit, weit weg. But with a three and a half hour programme of course there's room for these classics of alpine rock as well, at which the fans excel, word-perfect. Von Goisern, the musician of so many facets, leaves nothing to be desired on this evening.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Basel - 9th November 2008

AVO Session 13th November 2008 | Photos: © Dominik Pluess

Like a blazing force of nature

Allgemeine Zeitung 12th November 2008 | Text:Christopher Scholz

Hubert von Goisern sends the Mainz audience into raptures

MAINZ. Hubert von Goisern opens the evening in the Rheingoldhalle with Solide Alm from his 1988 album Alpine Lawine. And just like a blazing force of nature he comes down on his audience, who have expected him with great longing for so long: at least since July, when he was due to moor his ship in the Zollhafen on his Linz Europe Tour, but then overcome with flu, was represented by Xavier Naidoo. You can barely believe that this Austrian alpine rocker from Bad Goisern can be stopped by an infection: for three and a half hours without a break, he drives a full house into raptures - and exhaustion.

The Nazi era hurt folk music, mutilating folksy schlager and making it kitsch, von Goisern once said in an interview. For twenty years now, traditional elements have been brought to great new honour by him and his accordion. This cultural adventurer, who will soon be 56 years old, has collected his musical influences from Canada, South Africa and as far away as the Philippines. In the past two summers he sailed through the "rag rug" of Europe, from the Black Sea to the North Sea, to explore its variety, overcoming borders with the international language of music.

Indulging in his dialect to his heart's content, he tells of his travels, of the fear that people in Bulgaria have of the EU, of floods, of the exceedingly slow travel on a ship. How much might desire to make music have be dammed up at 15 kilometres per hour? Whether funky, rocky or folksy, von Goisern bubbles over with his joy in playing. And with him - in truly excellent sound - his eight member band, in particular three female musicians (Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen, Maria Moling), who enchant with percussion and violins, but most of all their beguiling voices. Moling's yodelling penetrates through the stage smoke like the war song of an alpine amazon. The fourth female musician, Darinka Tsekova, positively rips the air apart with the sharp-edged sounds of her gadulka, a stringed instrument from her Bulgarian homeland. The music is as foreign as a heathen evocation, and yet as familiar as a traditional nursery rhyme, something to which you clap along and at which you marvel, and that is always exhilarating

Failed go-getters and false prophets

Augsburger Allgemeine 10th November 2008 | Text: Lilo Murr | Photo: ALFA
Hubert von Goisern

A week today Hubert von Goisern will be 56 years old. No reason for the Upper Austrian to make his show any shorter. Quite the opposite. At the Sporthalle the musician showed himself to be as spirited and curious as ever, as someone who still has no interest in following well-worn paths. He does without a support band, filling three hours of concert with his own songs. He risks not not every fan being able to follow him. Four years ago 2500 spectators awaited him in the pouring rain at the open air stage, but on Friday evening only 1300 found their way to the Sporthalle. They loved it though, there was a great deal of applause at the end for the singer and his troupe.

Goisern, whose real name is Hubert Achleitner, takes it sportingly. And serves his audience hard rock as in Showtime or a pretty unusual version of Joplin's Mercedes Benz. Drums, electric guitar and electric bass are the core of the new band, which is made up of very young musicians. This is probably why the new pieces also show more muscle than songs like Weit weit weg, Fön and Heast as nit. The rockier sound is also probably the reason that Goisern reaches for his accordion much less often during the concert, but instead raps at time or serves up a rousing funk number.

Nonetheless his lyrics are on the new album S'Nix are also as lively, funny and devious as ever before. And so he satirises special prophets in Weltuntergang and in Sieger the many go-getters, who all want to get to the top, but who have no idea about descent.

An evening with Hubert von Goisern also always means a discovery of other, often special, artists. This time it is three South Tyroleans, Marlene and Elisabeth Schuen and Maria Moling, who sing wonderfully, and play violin and percussion.

Bulgaria in the Balkans, into which the musician headed with his band on a long ship journey, has left its mark too. On stage stands the petite Darinka Tsekova playing the gadulka.

One thing has been made clear again. Evenings with Goisern are always an enrichment. The fact that he doesn't serve his listeners, but rather invites them to come with him, says something for the Upper Austrian. And so we're already looking forward to the next concert with the man from Goisern, who now lives in Salzburg with his wife and children.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Augsburg - 7th November 2008

10th November 2008 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Going up and down and rockwards

Heidenheimer Neue Presse 8th November 2008 | Text: Pierre La Qua | Photo: Matthias Kessler

Hubert von Goisern surprises in Ulm with rock numbers, bringing the poetic with him
and yodelling with his band deep under the skin.

Hubert von GoisernHubert von Goisern has always been good for surprises. His last coup: the Linz Europe Tour, begun in Eastern Europe in 2007 and later continued in the west. He travelled the great rivers of Europe on a ship, accompanied by his band and the musicians of the different regions. The alpine rocker has allowed the many influences of this tour, both in terms of music and content, to flow into his current programme, with which he delighted the audience in the Donauhalle in Ulm.

Pink Floyd rock, hip hop, rustic yodels and a blown buffalo horn - does all that go together? When it's Hubert von Goisern - it's an unequivocal yes. At least with regard to Wildschütz Räp, which he recorded 15 years ago with his Alpinkatzen and has meanwhile enhanced it with a bombastic rock beat. But during the rest of the concert in Ulm too, things went haywire, up, down and through the Austrian's considerable repertoire. In which the Alps and their folkloristic customs appeared much less than usual this time.

Instead rock reared its head. The announcement before the concert had warned the audience in advance: "It'll be the rockiest Hubert von Goisern ever". Despite a longingly played trumpet, the really vamped-up reggae beat of Auseinandertreiben allowed no link to the much-loved von Goisern. But the about-face came promptly. Herschaun, from the new album S'Nix just like the two songs before it, unsettled the listener with an intro on the gadulka (a kind of primitive violin) that was pretty strange for Western ears and quickly developed into an extremely driving, danceable mix of Balkan and raga beat.

Hubert von Goisern pulls out all the musical stops as unpredictably as the Danube. At times contemplative with poetic pop numbers (Regen) and lightly jazzed up slow funk yodels (Kohler), or punchily timed funk and disco rock (I bi an, Leben). Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz is underscored with dub beats, Cajun accordion and Austrian lyrics, the slow dance from the inner Salzkammergut is furnished with rock attitude (Benni).

But Hubert von Goisern is always so completely thrilling, rousing, original and above all authentic when his band reflect on the alpine roots and yodels under the skin with folksy Steirers, juchitzers and polkas. As much as one wishes for the development of an artist: Hubert von Goisern as a rock band doesn't come over as particularly fresh and mind-blowing. Not because one is accustomed to the musical altercation with his native roots, which he has always known how to process in his individual way, but simply because he is better in this métier. And yet Goisern still succeeds in making the about-turn in good time, in order to keep both old and new fans happy. And he constantly proves himself to be an engaging entertainer, who never comes across as pushy, whose amusing stories make you smile and who also has something political to say. Like for example when he makes known the opinion of inhabitants of Eastern Europe, who - in marked contrast to the prevailing opinion here - don't want to be in the EU, because they're worried that what little they have will then be taken from them too.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Augsburg - 7th November 2008

View Magazin 8th November 2008 | Photo: © Christian Büttner
Hubert von Goisern

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