Hubert von Goisern


TOUR 2014 >> Concert Reviews: 1 2

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Munich - 3rd November 2014

6th November 2014 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Out of Goisern

Wetterauer Zeitung 4. November 2014 | Text & Foto: Gabi Krämer

Austria's ambassador of sound Hubert von Goisern performs at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt.
After two hours he takes a bow: "Thank you, that was wonderful!" Quite right.

How the time flies – "can't you hear...": Just two years ago he stepped away from the public stage, giving no more concerts. This kind of asceticism isn't permanent for someone through whose veins pure unadulterated music flows. Hubert von Goisern, Austria's most multi-faceted ambassador of sound and border-crosser between every musical culture around the globe, has finally been drawn back to his audience after the successful Brenna tuat's tour.

HvGIn front of around 3000 fans in the sold out Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt the ultimate nature boy from the Salzkammergut and his four-member band presented an unexpected output from the most recent liaison with world music: an "American-alpine friendship project". After excursions to Africa and Asia, as well as his high profile cargo ship tour, which once led him along the Danube from Linz to the Black Sea, the definitive founder of alpine rock has now grappled with the musical-cultural exploration of the American southern states. Since one "can be as annoyed with the USA today as in the seventies," he made his mind up to find friends there. Country, zydeco, Cajun, bluegrass – what a motley cornucopia of inspiration!

The extensive trip to Louisiana and the consequent "return visit" of American musicians to Austria was was a rather bumpy ride. The planned musical interaction - elsewhere the basis for jam sessions that nobody wanted to end - only got under way slowly: the southerners had a hard time at first with the Goisern sound. For the 61-year-old it was a real challenge, as he confessed frankly and with humour: "I really like these good crazy people. They're not much crazier than us, but they're much more armed..."

Amusing announcements and anecdotes, chatty with his own humour - it's a real gem at Goisern's concerts. No frippery is needed as staging. The audience hangs reverentially on his every word as the multi-instrumentalist casually lets the accordion dangle from his shoulders as he tells of this "completely different approach to life" he met on his USA trip. He makes no secret of the fact that "the Yanks" were at times very reserved.

Thank goodness Hubert von Goisern made the acquaintance of Steve Fishell, who as direct import from the USA now weaves the fitting carpet of sound on the current tour with his pedal steel guitar, getting straight down to business with the established stage crew: Alexander Pohn (drums), Helmut Schartlmüller (bass) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar) have an intuitive understanding, each is a musical whiz. They implement the new programme with downright devilish pleasure.

Susanna, the new shepherdess

The first part of the concert is an excursion into country and bluegrass worlds. For example Goisern plants an alpine note on the famous Cajun song Jambalaya (on the Bayou), enchants with experimental embellishments on well-known earworms such as Corinna Corinna, or lets loose with the blues on Oh Susanna. No matter whether trumpet, harmonica, electric piano, guitar or alphorn: Goisern is one with his instruments. Occasionally he cries out with a yodel of archaic fury - the audience gives their thanks with keen applause and after a super fast scene change on stage are treated to a number of fondly regarded pearls from the repertoire, for example the acoustic version of Omunduntn. A collective "Juchitzn" is called for. Hiatamadl and Weit, weit weg, celebrated elsewhere on the current tour, are songs Goisern remains owing the fans in Frankfurt this time. So be it. That's Goisern too. He takes a bow after two hours: Thank you, that was wonderful!" Quite right.

It burns well

Frankfurter Neue Presse 4. November 2014 | Text: jsc

Hubert von Goisern and Band musically inspired by America at their show
in the sold out Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt.

It was certainly a deliberate move by the 61-year-old alpine dervish to include Can’t Find My Way Home, the blues ballad by Steve Winwood, in his programme. It's just the other way around with him: he has always found his way home, to Goisern in Austria, but he keeps being lured out into the world. Most recently he was in Nashville and Louisiana, absorbing country, blues and voodoo influences and casting them in new songs, which his outstanding band brought powerfully and with impressive enthusiasm in their playing to the sold out auditorium.

Hubert himself gives a virtuoso performance on the accordion as usual, integrating a horn solo at times, taking to the electric keyboard and intoning beautiful ballads. He lets the electric guitar crack and aside from his band guitarist, also has the American Steve Fishell along, who stoically handles the steel guitar and alternatively the lapsteel. From this profit such wonderful songs as Nur alle 100 Johr, the folk song Jambalaya, reworked in Austrian dialect, and Corinna, Corinna as a cool blues shuffle.

Whether Stoansteirisch, the alcohol apotheosis Schnaps, Corinna or So a Seg’n: there is much experimentation with a variety of instruments. The multi-voiced harmonies of the band sound sophisticated and perfect, but not sterile. After a good hour the new work has been presented, one or two voices from the audience call for the oldies, but the eloquent lateral thinker doesn't want to perform as someone who just trots out the hits. He gives the crowd Brenna tuats guat with its breakneck refrain, simultaneously a rejection of capitalism, and Heast as net, the reflection on the passing of time, only to stage a kind of psychedelic alpine blues with the alphorn as an encore. It was wonderful!

Hubert von Goisern live at the Jahrhunderthalle

Wormser Wochenblatt 3rd November 2014 | Photo: © Rudolf Uhrig
Hubert von Goisern

News from the "alpine rocker"

Allgemeine Zeitung 4th November 2014 | Text: Andreas Schermer

Hubert von Goisern in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT - There's something new from the 61-year-old champion of "new folk music". For the more delicate minds of the folksy scene, Hubert von Goisern is certainly too bold, too ribald, too recalcitrant and too political. It is for that reason that Hubert Achleitner from Goisern became a recognised pioneer, ennobled with his own category of "alpine rock". But this description can be misleading for his highly changeable style influences on the accordion and harmonica, in which the accompaniment by Alexander Pohn (drums), Helmut Schartlmüller (bass) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar) warp into reggae or punk rock and can adopt an authentic southern blues, or Cajun music.

"No madder than us..."

It speaks volumes when the broad-minded Upper Austrian, in the face of the general hostility towards America, wanted to find friends there, but after his American experience had to concede: "I was more estranged from this nation than when I went. Maybe over there they're no madder than us - but they're much more armed!" In his humorous remarks he describes the musical pleasure in the south of the country, where his offers of artistics collaboration found little approval though. A rash choice of song was simply boycotted, because the person was a devout Catholic and the piece was famous, but resolutely Protestant. Whether the enthusiastic audience at the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle was Protestant remained to be seen. In any case, a powerful choir hummed along to the melody of Amazing Grace. Reworked into So a Seg'n, the piece, just like Jambalaya or Corinna, is a taster of his new album, which won't be released until after the current tour. As a matter of fact, he also plays the desired older extracts from his repertoire in such innovative interpretations that his fans don't tire of the familiar either

After an hour the troupe leaves the stage without a word, returning soon after for an equally long encore, in which they concentrate more on classics and audience favourites such as Oben und Unten, Koa Hiatamadl and Brenna tuat's guat. And what could form a more beautiful contrast to the feeling of the black music than a real alphorn? Powerfully and meditatively, the muted singing tone of the wooden natural trumpet spreads in the auditorium, tickling goosebumps up and down the backs of those listening.

Alpine Springsteen

Badisches Tagblatt 3rd November 2014 | Text: Frank Ketterer | Photo: © Bastian

Hubert von Goisern enters uncharted musical waters at the Tollhaus

Hubert von GoisernThey'd had an itch to play completely undisturbed, said Hubert Achleitner, with a mischievous grin, who, coming from the Upper Austrian town of Goisern, thus also bears that name. In order to be able to satisfy this wish, the arguably most alpine, but by far most modern too of all folk musicians specifically composed twelve new songs, which will not be available on an album until next spring. So what the more than 1000-strong audience at the Tollhaus in Karlsruhe heard on Friday evening was uncharted territory - in two meanings of the term: the audience didn't know Hubert's new songs and couldn't sing along - and consequently couldn't disturb the musicians as they played. For the as yet unreleased album, which is to be called Federn, Hubert von Goisern has once more - as has long been his incomparable way - unlocked and incorporated a new musical cosmos.

This time the 61-year-old has embraces the USA. He made two trips across the pond for musical research trips, spending a total of 50 days over there, taking a shine to the southern states in particular. Von Goisern's travel findings: "Narrow mountain valleys and swampland have something in common." And because that's the case, he brought Steve Fishell from Nashville, Tennessee back to Europe with him, who is now a part of von Goisern's first-rate band on the "small, but beautiful" autumn tour through the German-speaking countries, and whose southern state steel guitar makes a congenial partner for Goisern's trademark accordion.

You can tell that it all goes together fantastically at the latest by the Cajun music having found fans here at home. Von Goisern performs it in Stoansteirisch in Karlsruhe too - and in his very own way: he doesn't simply copy the various musical styles, but rather adapts them. Swamp music meets mountain yodel, and through the course of the evening it happens with Tex Mex, bluegrass, country and blues. The longer von Goisern dedicates himself to the States, the more it becomes a kind of alpine Springsteen. There has never been so much rock and blues in Hubert from Goisern. The fact that he presents his new songs such as So a Seg'n, Ich habe den Blues and Am helllichten Tag in broadest dialect takes nothing away from their occasional dirty southern earthiness.

In the second half of the programme the new numbers are garnished with a few classics like Brenna tuats gut, Stadltür and last but not least Heast es nit, which the audience "interrupts" - and devoutly sing along. Von Goisern doesn't mind. "That was great", he says. Yes, Hubert, wonderful!

In his blood: Hubert von Goisern at Dresden's Alter Schlachthof

Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten | Text: Christian Ruf | Photo: © Dietrich Flechtner

Hubert von GoisernHe's always on the road, Hubert von Goisern, whose real name is Achleitner. Now the headstrong folk musician has been to Dresden's Alter Schlachthof too. His music and programme have been inspired above all by a tour he undertook in the USA. In short: von Goisern is and remains a phenomenon.

It is said that when someone undertakes a journey, then he can tell a story. The folk music revolutionary Hubert Achleitner alias Hubert von Goisern quite a number of journeys. He likes it at home, but there's this unbounding curiosity about the world. Not about an all-inclusive stay in a hotel chain, but about real contact with country and people. He's travelled the Balkans, been to Tibet, Africa, always taking his accordion with him. The man is his own main thread, who has hitherto rejected any obliging current and has gone unerringly his own way musically - for more than 25 years now.

Now the world musician has been travelling in the USA. The fact that "everything sounded completely different" was clearly down to this America visit. Goisern has always had rock, but never so crashing and rattling as now. It's almost reminiscent of Springsteen with his E Street Band or Neil Young with Crazy Horse. In addition Goisern has discovered country and above all Cajun music. And with an old blues there's even a breath of cotton fields in the air, during a jazz piece in which Goisern takes up the trumpet, you are transported to the Cotton Club. Boundaries dissolve, music styles mix. The harmonica gives way to a yodel, the path leads from hard riffs to country dance and back again, all supported by an excellent band.

To which also belongs an America, who sits at the steel guitar, which adds an unusual, but extraordinarily enriching facet to Goisern's music. This guy was the only one with whom Goisern could play on his tour through the USA and with whom he found himself on the same wavelength. He once met with two Americans, with whom he jammed a bit, but when he started playing Amazing Grace, they didn't engage. When Goisern asked with astonishment what was wrong, they replied that it was a Protestant hymn, and as Catholics they would not play it. Goisern can be a stubborn devil too, but he was gobsmacked in the face of this narrow-mindedness. With his emotionally laden version of Amazing Grace he gave the bulk of the audience in the Schlachthof goosebumps.

Goisern talked, no, he poured out his heart, speaking frankly. There are idiots everywhere, in Germany, in Austria, but because there are so many people in America, there are also more idiots, Goisern smirked. Apart from that, as a general rule, the idiots don't have weapons over here. Yes, there is intolerance here too, Goisern is conscience of that. "But at least you're ashamed of it," he said - adding dryly: "I hope so anyway."

"Ich spür's im Bluat, des duad so guat" ("I feel it in my blood, it feels so good"), it goes in one song. The statement applies to many of the new songs in terms of atmosphere, when things become homey, you can imagine yourself to be on an alpine pasture. Even the lowland Tyroleans are assailed with elemental force by longing for the mountains, proper mountains. The Watzmann is calling, not the Fichtelberg. For the time being the new songs are not held on an album. For Goisern took the liberty of deliberately surprising his fans, not wanting anyone to be in a position to sing along. Only when it came to Brenna tuat's guat, which wasn't played until the encore, was that possible. Yes, he's a devil, that Goisern, but one whose heart is in the right place. And that is all that matters.

Swamp blues from the alpine pasture

Sächsische Zeitung 1st/2nd November 2014 | Text: Andy Dallmann

No lederhosen, no climbing boots, no folklore apparel on stage. Instead, some of the 1500 people attending the concert came as though they were celebrating a belated Oktoberfest in Dresden. On Thursday Hubert von Goisern brought his alpine rock to the stage at the Alter Schlachthof and a few dirndl skirts swung merrily in the audience.

Steve Fishell demonstrated twofold that cowboy hats would have been suitable accessories: in that he wore one himself and powerfully Americanised the band's overall sound with his virtuoso playing on the pedal steel guitar and dobro. No wonder, since the man also comes from Nashville, where Hubert von Goisern recently discovered him on an extensive trip to the USA. Aside from a new friend and member of the band, this trip seems to have given the world-travelled Austrian, who turns 62 in just over two weeks, little joy. He had nothing good to say about the land of opportunity between songs. There was much applause for the grumbling though, however the old songs elicited more applause than the brand new ones.

Hubert von Goisern and his four companions pulled off nearly two and a half hours, the frontman switching from accordion to harmonica, guitar to horn, to electric piano and even brought in an alphorn in the almost spacey finale. By now it was clear that Andreas Gabalier will never be able to rise to von Goisern's league, even if he can mix electric guitar and lederhosen-atmosphere as cleverly. Only the Goiserer knows how to integrate the swampiest blues into an alpine meadow panorama, how to pass off dialect rhymes as intellectual claims and how to inject an American classic like Corinna with a deeply Styrian soul. We'll see what of this makes it onto the next album. Because even here, von Goisern doesn't give a damn about the norm: he's playing his tour first and will be releasing a new album afterwards. Going by what he performed during the concert, the work will undoubtedly be stunningly good.

Hubert von Goisern at the Tollhaus

Ka-News 1st November 2014 | Photo: © Of
Hubert von Goisern & Band

More photos at

Alpine sound and Yankee Doodle

Donau Kurier 30th October 2014 | Text: Lorenz Erl

Ingolstadt (DK) Hubert von Goisern has been to America. The music there made a powerful impression upon him and thus follows what is inevitable with a musician of his kind: he combines, melts and juxtaposes the new impressions, sometimes contrary to one another.

On Wednesday evening the listeners in the Saturn Arena didn't have to wait long for the result of alpine sound and Yankee Doodle, where accordion meets hard rock. This time 1600 fans spread themselves across the area in front of the stage and the tiered seating. At his last concert two years ago, there were many more people there. The atmosphere is nonetheless excellent.

Not everything was to his liking in Yankee land and he doesn't beat about the bush on his new tour. "There are those who are so far away in their mental attitude that I don't think I've even met that kind of thinking in Africa," he says and gets his first laugh. But von Goisern is a musician and not a cabaret artist. He'd rather strap on his accordion and make the connection from the Appalachian Mountains to the peaks of the province of Salzburg.He's brought back Steve Fishell and his pedal steel guitar from his tour through the USA. Their shared experiences - over there as well as in Upper Austria - form a theme through the evening. The lively alpine rocker has discovered his love for the quiet sounds, the soft sound of the steel guitar and soulful blue together with alpine melancholy. He takes it to the next level with the harmonica, creating the sounds of Halloween and Hades, and he admits that a good many people had feared this music. This new love of Hubert von Goisern's doesn't turn him into a squeezebox philanderer, but with his version of Amazing Grace there's not far to go. He uses the Yankee Doodle polka mix to dispel the gloom once more. The joy in experimentation felt by the untiring 62-year-old world musician delights the fans and his humorous, charming manner mingling with apparent opposites of intelligent, engaged and sparkling vitality. All these songs are to be found on the new CD, which won't be released until the spring.

For an hour and a half von Goisern and his accompanying musicians romp about in the Austro-American musical realms, then make a rapid cut. They disappear briefly backstage - without comment - and leave the confused audience alone for a few moments. Then they return and take up with the highlights so far. Hiatamadl makes the start. How many thousand times have they looked at the girl's calves? But they are professionals, still putting substantial passion into the sound and things get good and hot. It's the sound that the audience has been waiting for and the enthusiasm blazes accordingly for another hour.

They save the highlight of the night for the encore though. Goisern brings an alphorn on stage and together with Alex Pohn on drums, bassist Helmut Schartlmüller and guitarist Severin Trogbacher, they create a powerful sound that gets right to the tips of your hair and bursts through familiar experiences with sound. Goosebumps as a goodbye for the journey home.

Hubert von Goisern at the Saturn Arena

Donau Kurier 30th October 2014 | Photo: Claus Wölke
Hubert von Goisern

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King of the Alps

Badische Zeitung 29th October 2014 | Text: Thomas Loisl Mink

Hubert von Goisern performs new songs at the Lörrach Burghof
and once again manages to thrill his fans.

He has freed alpine folk music from kitsch and enriched it with rock and world music, as well as latterly with country, Cajun and Zydeco. Hubert von Goisern has become the most important representative of so-called new folk music and has made a lot of friends in so doing. This was to be seen at his concert on Monday evening at the Lörrach Burghof, which was sold out.

The audience's enthusiasm engulfed him and his band right from the start, even if he didn't fulfil all of their wishes. After his 2012 tour, which also led him to the Burghof, he wondered if he would go on tour again and what he would do. Because repetition doesn't appeal to the Upper Austrian, even if a number of his listeners think that's a shame. "You can't eat schnitzel every day, there comes a point when you're sick and tired of it, even if it's beautifully prepared," he declared. And because a few audience members contradicted him, he added a corroborative, "Nope!" For that reason he found new stimuli and wrote a few new songs before setting off on tour again.

With these new songs - a new studio album is in the works - he dealt with the first part of the concert. Jambalaya came from world music, in Stoansteirisch he mixed hard rock and driving beats with country dances and alpine yodelling and Cajun from the southern USA. He travelled there to find inspiration. Since people are as annoyed with America nowadays as they were in the 70s, he wanted to find friends there. Someone with whom he got on well musically was Steve Fishell from Nashville, Tennessee, who now plays steel guitar in the band and brings along plenty of country, Cajun and Zydeco feeling.

And as so often is the case, Hubert von Goisern was inspired by his experiences to write songs, such as the schnapps tasting with Fishell, freshly arrived from America. From that came the song Schnaps, which captivated people with a hypnotic riff and a piercing rock guitar and of course with Hubert's virtuoso, energetic accordion-playing. He repeatedly proved that though the accordion is his trademark, it is not the only instrument he masters.

He opened Am helllichten Tag with a harmonica solo, added a jazz horn solo to I bin ganz alloan, later he also played keyboard and guitar. He adapted the old blues classic Corinna Corinna and from Amazing Grace he made the song So a Seg'n, only to then play full steam ahead country dance rock again with Oh Susanna. With the incisive, energetic Snowdown, which broaches the issue of world's trouble spots, the band left the stage after more than an hour, only to return immediately and play just as long again.

And now come a few of the hits for which the audience has been waiting: Oben+Unten completely acoustic, Koa Hiatamadl, Brenna tuats guat. The band with Severin Trogbacher on the guitar, Helmut Schartlmüller on bass and Alexander Pohn on drums cut loose and had a great deal of fun, as did the audience, who danced with enthusiasm and went crazy. Then Steve Fishell joined them again, the country alpine rock Stadltür followed and a number of ballads, which won people over with beautiful melodies and emotional depth.

After a total of 20 songs, the band departed, but came back for an encore, in which Hubert von Goisern played an alphorn, which was being played in Salzburg 200 years before it was mentioned in Switzerland, he said. Hubert von Goisern showed himself to be the musical border-crosser and biting contemporary critic that he has always been and as which he is known and respected. The audience was thrilled.

Alpine rock that gets under your skin

Die Oberbadische 29th October 2014 | Text & Photo: Gerd Lustig

Hubert von GoisernLörrach. What hasn't Hubert von Goisern done musically? In truth the transformations that the now 61-year-old dervish, whose real name is Hubert Achleitner and who just comes from Goisern in the province of Upper Austria, has made, reinventing himself every couple of years, beggars belief.

Transformations, changes and complexity: that is almost the main thread that has run through Upper Austrian's career for more than 25 years. Consequently he has rejected nearly every accommodating trend and has gone unerringly his own way in music. He broke through conventions and brought tradition into the modern, true to the motto of "music for the people - from the people".

Now after a good two years' break from the stage, he is back in the sold out Burghof - with a new programme of course. The man who launched alpine rock in the 90s and enjoyed great success with it, is now diving into the realm of country and bluegrass. A trip to the USA was the inspiration. Thus seen, a good first half of the guest appearance by Goisern was an excursion into new country, soul, blues and bluegrass worlds. Incidentally this is all to be heard on the CD to be released in spring 2015.

They are all absolutely pleasing pieces, which Hubert von Goisern repeatedly garnishes with witty introductions as a perfect narrator. Whether Alle 100 Johr, Stoansteirisch, Schnaps, Corinna or So a Seg’n: there is much instrumental experimentation and at times things race along.

At the end the musician and four-piece band present a number of ballads, which ooze with heartache, romantic suffering and joie de vivre, for example the irresistible Heast as nit (wie die Zeit vergeht), Nit lang her or Wia da Wind. It doesn't matter at all whether you understand the lyrics, or at least passages, thanks to the dialect. For it is the songs that draw you and get under your skin. That alpine rocker who produces such unconventional, biting and delightfully shrill yodels is still the best - in spite of all the musical influences from all over the world.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Esch - 26th October 2014

30th October 2014 | Photo: René Fuchs
Hubert von Goisern and Helmut Schartlmüller

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Hubert von Goisern at the Rockhal

Musicheadquarter 28th October 2014 | Text: Andi

Hubert von Goisern from Upper Austria has given his first concert in Luxembourg. The Rockhal club in Esch/Alzette quickly filled with music enthusiasts who had come mainly from Luxembourg and Germany. The usually high percentage of French audience members stayed logically low this time. The atmosphere was excellent and many of those present were seeing the alpine rocker for the first time.

Hubert von Goisern had made himself scarce in the past couple of years. After the last tour there was no new album, instead he travelled to the USA to collect new ideas and musical influences. He filled the break between the songs with anecdotes from these experiences and the audience hung on his every word. This was my first concert by this artist too and I was utterly impressed.

The new CD won't be out until spring 2015, but all the songs were played live. The influences of all kinds that Hubert works into his songs are particularly strong. There's rock and yodelling, harmonica, blues, country music and of course the inevitable accordion.

The band is made up of really young musicians, who support Hubert superbly. The interplay between accordion and rock instrumentation was impressive and brought many tonal facets into the events. Joining them was a musician from Nashville on the steel guitar, which brought a perpetual country touch to the pieces. The anecdotes that Hubert shared from his journeys to Nashville and New Orleans were gut-wrenchingly funny and refreshingly honest.

Boundaries were fluid at the concert. Rock and country, folk and blues mixed together. The harmonica gave way to a yodel, the path led from hard riffs to classical and back again. It's rare that one experiences such a diversified concert. Hubert played trumpet and suddenly sounded vocally like Louis Armstrong. He talked about the Americans who didn't want to play Amazing Grace, because it was a Protestant hymn - and then played his own special emotion-laden version.

The content of the songs is often political. Hubert sings a haunting song about asylum seekers and our dishonest society that approves of the uprising in Damascus, but doesn't want asylum seekers in their own backyard. A very moving piece.

The encores began after 90 minutes of concert and didn't end until 45 minutes later. A colourful collection of hits, including the number 1 hit Brenna tuat’s guat was offered up for the finale and provoked a storm of enthusiasm. The audience in Luxemburg was clearly taken with the first concert from the man from Goisern and took with them the hope that he will be back to the small country soon.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Bad Ischl - 20th October 2014

25th October 2014 | Photos: © Sarah Marchant

Louisiana meets Salzkammergut

Neues Volksblatt 22nd October 2014 | Text & Photo: Josef Gebetsroither

Hubert von Goisern begins his tour at the sold out Lehartheater in Bad Ischl

Hubert & BandOn Monday Hubert von Goisern began his new tour at the Lehartheater in Bad Ischl, which had sold out very quickly. With him: Alex Pohn on drums, Helmut Schartlmüller on bass, Severin Trogbacher on electric guitar and - new to the band - Steve Fishell from Nashville, Tennessee, on the pedal steel guitar, whose style and ability turned out to be especially enriching through the course of the evening. Travelling - exploring foreign cultures - is a creative challenge and inspiration for Hubert von Goisern. He has been drawn to Asia and Africa, he sailed the Danube to the Black Sea on a converted cargo ship. More recently he travelled the USA (Louisiana) and came back with a rucksack full of ideas and sounds. In addition he invited studio musicians from Louisiana to the Salzkammergut and ultimately found a congenial lineup with Steve Fishell. With Jambalaya (a rice dish typical of Cajun and Creole cooking in Louisiana), Hubert von Goisern set the direction for the first part of the concert and gave a taster of the forthcoming CD Federn, which is expected to be released in spring 2015.

Country and delta blues in dialect

With country and delta blues, swamp and Cajun songs (Corinna, Corinna), which he splendidly converts into his typical style of Salzkammergut dialect, he once again breaks through all conventions of alpine folk music and brings tradition into the modern.

He changes instruments constantly throughout the concert. He shows his prowess and far-reaching musical repertoire with accordion, harmonica, alphorn, guitar and electric piano. In the second half new arrangements of classics like Amazing Grace or Stevie Winwood's Can't find my way home (in Salzkammergut dialect of course) are featured. After six encores with hits like Brenna tuats or Heast as net and standing ovations, Hubert von Goisern departs from his home audience and a sweaty concert with a well-deserved "Thank you, that was great!"

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Bad Ischl - 20th October 2014

24th October 2014 | Photos: © Sarah Marchant

687 days without Hubert von Goisern are enough!

OÖN 22nd October 2014 | Text: Lukas Luger | Photo: © Grox

On Monday evening the 61-year-old ended his stage abstinence with a show at the Lehár Theater in Bad Ischl

HvG687 days! That's how long Hubert von Goisern's self-inflicted stage abstinence lasted. A small eternity, no question. Right at the place where he ended the successful Brenna tuat's tour with the final concert in December 2012, on Monday evening the singer-songwriter ended his concert abstinence.

Together with his four member band - Alexander Pohn (drums), Helmut Schartlmüller (bass), Severin Trogbacher (guitar) and US newcomer Steve Fishell (pedal steel) - the 61-year-old celebrated a brilliant tour start at the completely sold out Bad Ischl Léhar Theater, where the temperature was somewhat reminiscent of a Turkish steam bath.

Such a kick-off concert is "enough to make you throw up" thanks to all the accompanying nervousness, von Goisern admitted after the first number Nur alle 100 Jahre. A show like this would be much easier without an audience. Confused faces in the auditorium. Grinning addendum: "But only 10% as cool!"

Cool and deeply concentrated

It was indeed cool. With almost Zen Buddhist serenity and yet deeply concentrated, Hubert von Goisern played for nearly two and a half hours through a skilfully balanced set that wove together songs thought to be forgotten, the familiar and new.

The latter, the songs from the new studio album, recently pushed back to spring 2015, are heavily influenced by von Goisern's trips to the southern states of the US. Jambalaya, which explores the similarities between the Cajun music that originates from the area around New Orleans and local folk music, the humorous firewater anthem Schnaps and the bitter societal judgement "Truth gets no asylum" were deeply impressive. There was also a wonderfully archaic blues number, which although it sounded as though it had been directly imported from the Mississippi estuary, conformed perfectly to the broad musical horizon of the evening. Because folk music is just folk music - whether originally from the depths of the Salzkammergut or the swamps of Louisiana. It's good that Hubert's back. We missed him.

Hubert von Goisern at the Lehartheater

23rd October 2014 | Photos: © Oskar Neubauer

The Goiserer is pulled to America

Salzburger Nachrichten 21st October 2014 | Text: Bernhard Flieher | Photo: SN/Picturedesk/iStock

Hubert von Goisern was gone for two years.
Now he's back on stage again - invigorated by the spirit of American folk music.

Hubert von GoisernBAD ISCHL. Admittedly Hubert von Goisern wasn't pictured in front of a US flag. But the montage - drawing on the cover of Bruce Springsteen's album Born in the USA - goes so well: the Goiserer in front and behind him flutter grungy, rich, heavy sounds that became the international language of American folk music: blues, country, rock. In Goisern's particular case, they are often flavoured by the mixed culture that grew from it in the Mississippi delta. It smells of steak and gumbo, not chamois schnitzel and polenta.

The taste of the west is nothing new with regard to the Goiserer's musical foundation. But he has never engaged with blues and rock with such impact. It thunders in his new songs more clearly than ever before. The Goiserer is back, loud and rocking.

In Bad Ischl he rehearsed the programme for the tour, for which 20 dates are lined up over the coming weeks - not including any extensions. His Brenna tuats tour came to a close in Bad Ischl at the end of November 2012, it was the most successful tour of his career. And then he was gone - at least gone from the charts, the concert stages, from what one calls "the general public" and that audience had never been as large as it was with the hit Brenna tuats guat. "I'll take my time", he said, even a departure from the stage was possible - and then, as it turns out, he plunged into work.

He arranged the music for the film Österreich von oben und unten by Joseph Vilsmaier. He curated the music programme for the Alpenliebe exhibition, which opened in June on Franz-Josefs-Höhe on Großglockner. For this he went on a search, digging deep into his mountain primal musical cosmos. It shapes him. It sounds within him. Without forgetting or obliterating it, he turns his back on it time and again. The way he does so is demonstrated by many of the new songs too, which can only be heard live for the time being.

As with the concerts of the last tour, the Goiserer lets the audience meet the new songs "without an opportunity for preparation". His audience is as loyal as it is curious anyway. The album Federn will not be released until next spring. Two films will be coming out then too.

A film about his career has been in the works for a long time. The final filming session took place on Monday in the Salzkammergut. Marcus Rosenmüller is the director. A documentary is also being made of the forthcoming tour.

And in between, above and around all that America was in his line of sight. He's interested in the new, old tensions between new and old worlds. It wasn't a celebratory "America - ahhh!" attitude driving him, but rather an "America – uhhh!".

Next to alpine tradition, the folk music of the USA - blues, folk, rock - is a foundation on which the 61-year-old has always stood anyway. When he takes the Dylan number Corrina Corrina, the arc stretches to the earliest phase of his career. On the first album Alpine Lawine – released in 1988 – there were covers of It's All Over Now by Bobby Womack, or Cocaine. The outrageous beat sounds from the jukebox at Café Polreich in Hallstatt in the 60s accompanied him just the same as brass music and yodels. Hubert von Goisern relocated the jazz standard Georgia On My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael to the Salzkammergut without a problem. Now he's done it with Amazing Grace, from which comes So a Segn. He turns Hank Williams' Jambalaya into a treatise on lost time - "It's true, the way it was, it'll never be again" - and at the same time it's a jiving statement on how you therefore don't need to give yourself a hard time.

The early forms of approximations were mere appropriation, quasi copying of a world-shaping culture. Over the years, the form of engagement changed, the inclusion - in relation to other regions such as Africa and other genres such as soul - became more difficult. There is more room in all directions. The Goiserer adds and inserts himself. Most of the new songs are soaked with the spirit of primal American pop traditions, but do not capitulate to it unconditionally.

For this - with the proven permanent employees guitarist Severin Trogbacher, drummer Alex Pohn and bassist Helmut Schartlmüller - he got Steve Fishell, an expert on pedal steel, lap steel and dobro from Nashville. Fishell's career points to all the forms the Goiserer is now embracing: country rock, Tex-Mex notes, Cajun dance madness, classic rock, southern kick-abouts, misery blues, yearning ballads. Prototypical blues and rock motifs are capped with self-doubt, ambiguity and the infernal escape into schnapps.

Fishell played with Commander Cody, legend of southern rock, in its heyday in the late 1970s. As a producer he won the 2005 Grammy Award in the category "Traditional Folk" . For ten years he has accompanied Emmylou Harris and has dealt with classical country tradition as well as the peripheral areas of more fiddly sounds.

Past and present, beyond and on this side of the Atlantic, cultural reservations and artistic prejudices - it all dissolves when pedal steel and accordion embrace like friends who have not seen each other for a long time. They swing wildly in euphoria, excelling in storytelling. But they open up places of longing, feathers shimmering, as if revelling in memories, or weeping over unfulfilled dreams. The Goiserer can "fly again, moving through the air with the birds", as he says in a thoughtful blues.

But he can shred angry hard rock sound as a protest sound too - under the easily decipherable title Snowdown and the central line "The truth seeks asylum". The fact that ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd should be mentioned as reference for this America-and-back trip, makes power and unashamed passion clear, with which a new path is laid through eternal land of rock.

Hubert von Goisern & Band in Bad Ischl

 21st October 2014 | Photo: © Sarah Marchant
Hubert von Goisern and Band

A brilliant start! Yesterday Hubert and his musicians – Severin, Steve, Alex and Helmut – started Tour 2014 in the sold out Lehartheater in Bad Ischl. The enthusiastic audience were treated to a fantastic set of not just familiar favourites, but previously unheard material too from the forthcoming new studio album, due in the spring.