Hubert von Goisern


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A midsummer night's squeezebox dream

Schwäbische Zeitung 1st August 2015 | Text: Michael Scheyer | Photo: Andy Heinrich

Hubert von Goisern shows his bluesy side at the Salem castle concert

Hubert von Goisern

SALEM - It's a lot of squeezeboxes that Hubert von Goisern has to squeeze into his suitcase when he has a show. And he needs room for a keyboard, a guitar, a tenor horn and a harmonica too. Oh yes, not forget the alpenhorn, with which Hubert von Goisern blows goosebumps down the spines of the 5000-strong crowd in the highlight of the show. No, they're not the band's instruments, they're just the instruments that Hubert plays himself.

Hard rock, paired with folk music, Hubert von Goisern is known for that. But on Thursday evening at the Salem castle concert he played the songs from his new album. It's called Federn and shows a new side to the Upper Austrian: the blues.

He made a trip to America, he tells the audience in Salem, a trip to Louisiana, to be precise. "In Louisiana people aren't very communicative", the musician murmurs peevishly into the microphone, "but that's okay, I grew up in Goisern, the people there are just the same." Instead he really picked up the blues. And the new record is the result of this musically-motivated trip.

In Louisiana, the musicians who played the squeezebox were so good that "I lied about my profession. I said I was an agent." No, he didn't want to play anything for them.

The amusing anecdotes may or may not be true. What's certainly true is that von Goisern brought music back with him. Really good music. Really, really good bluesy folk music. It's very emotional, it's very deep. The later the hour, the higher the full moon, the tighter the music wraps itself around the hearts of the audience.

"Blues is always a little depressive too, and depression is always completely black", says von Goisern, "But the blues is never completely black. There's still a bit of colour in the blues." That is perhaps the best description for his new record. And if this "colour" is a colour, then it's blue. Even von Goisern's yodels are blue. If Louis Armstrong had been able to yodel, this is how his music would have sounded. From a jazzy sonorous babaaadiduu promptly comes a yoooooohodeldüüüü. Only Hubert von Goisern can make such a genre break. Heyheyheyaaaaadidaadidaduuuu.

It was a strong concert in Salem. Not least thanks to the acoustics. Concerts are seldom mixed so clearly, so precisely, so well. It was a delight. Because only then can the musical potential of musicians like Hubert von Goisern and his four talented band members really unfurl. It's as if the musicians are standing right next to you and the sound of each individual string of their instrument is sounding direct into your ear.

There were certainly a number of snow-white heads sitting in the audience, who seemed not to want to let themselves bop along and nod their heads to the driving rhythms and relentless guitar riffs. And in the back rows the smell constantly drifted between chicken coop, bratwurst stand and deodorant spray. But hey, that's the way it is at an open air concert.

"You have to look the blues in the eye"

Schwäbische Zeitung 29th July 2015 | Text: Anton Fuchsloch
Hubert von Goisern

No room for "Hiatamadl" at Hubert von Goisern's concert at Kapfenburg

Lauchheim-Kapfenburg. "Servus Lauchheim, servus Kapfenburg, servus my friends, or is there anyone new out there?", Hubert von Goisern asked the crowd of 2500 at the concert in the inner courtyard of the Kapfenburg. After his concert in the same place three years ago, he was back again at the festival at Castle Kapfenburg. Twice at that. After the first date sold out in the shortest time, the tour agent organised an additional show the day before. The all round musician spanned an arc from the Alps to the American south.

Approaching 63 years old and still going strong, is one way you could describe Hubert von Goisern. The singer-songwriter from Bad Goisern took the fans with him on his musical journey through the south with numerous extracts from his new album Federn and beat a completely new path with country, Cajun, blues and rock, the way we know from the earlier era with the Alpinkatzen. The Hiatamadl (shepherdess) and her legs had to stay in the mountains.

Goisern chats about his two trips to America and about Catholic musicians who refused to play the world-famous song Amazing Grace (because it is a Protestant song). And he talks about other musicians who don't play certain songs because the composer was black. With his insightful, but also rocking songs, Goisern embraces minorities and asylum seekers, those who fear for their lives because they speak the truth. "Snowdown in China, Snowdown im Iran, Snowdown in Russia, Snowdown down in Oman nur nit da bei mir, nur nit da mitten vor meiner Tür" ("Just not here, not in my back yard").

He's also brought back the blues from the USA. "You have to look the blues in the eye - I don't always manage it either - and never turn your back on it", he philosophises and borrows the expression "chicken arse, watch out" from Ringsgwandl for his speech. "If you turn your back on the blues, it'll fall on you and you're lost".

Suddenly a huge alpenhorn appears on stage, which as an all round musician, Goisern originally had no interest at all in including in his extensive collection of instruments, "because the Swiss are a bit funny, and who invented it?" But when he discovered that it didn't originally come from Switzerland, he took it on. Bright, but foreboding sounds resound in the courtyard. Goosebumps.

An instrument made to fit

Even when he takes up the flugelhorn, or blows the aforementioned alpenhorn, elicits riffs from the electric guitar, the Styrian accordion is his instrument, it seems to made to fit. He sprints across the stage, flirts with his guitarists and plays "his" instrument with unbelievable speed.

With Weit, weit weg and Heast es net, wia de Zeit vergeht a very special atmosphere then develops in Kapfenburg's inner courtyard under the night sky. Everyone stands up and sings along, many with goosebumps, not from the cold and the light rain, but from the emotion of the sensitive songs. The candelabra cast flickering light on the castle walls and on the way home you feel "how the time flies". Nearly two and a half hours have flown by.

Hubert von Goisern & Band live in Lauchheim

Schloss Kapfenburg 29th July 2015 | Photo: Gerd Keydell / Schloss Kapfenburg
Hubert von Goisern and Helmut Schartlmüller

Hubert celebrates the blues

Gmünder Tagespost 29th July 2015 | Text: Manfred Moll

Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Kapfenburg: Hubert von Goisern, world musician from Austria

Hubert von Goisern celebrates the blues. Does he have them too? Probably not, according to the joy in playing he demonstrates in the castle courtyard of Kapfenburg. But he leaves us in no doubt: he knows how it feels to have the blues. He can certainly play them.

Actually he's called Hubert Achleitner. But he doesn't talk about that. What's important to him is that he's not called a "Styrian". Because Hubert von Goisern does not come from Styria. His stage name shows that. Goisern is a town in Upper Austria. And as far as inner Austrian rivalries are concerned: forget it!

It's no exaggeration to describe him as a "world musician". At Kapfenburg and on his current Federn tour, the 62-year-old has an almost purely Austrian band with him. The one exception: Californian Bob Bernstein on the pedal steel guitar.

A greying sky spans the castle courtyard, the stage counters with colour. The first three songs are wild, a great opening, Hubert von Goisern spins around in his lime green cargo trousers with an accordion and really gets things going. Once the pressure is released from the tank, he and the band strike up a swampy Lousiana blues. Hubert von Goisern recently travelled around the southern states of the USA. You don't just hear it, he talks about it too and reports on it in numerous lively anecdotes. Even without music, with just his sonorous voice, he is a good storyteller. And at least the south Germans understand the Austrian dialect without losing much.

The blues. "It's like a depression, only depression has no form", the Central European philosophises. And nonetheless the blues, when Hubert von Goisern plays it, isn't to be pressed into any pattern either. Just like the musician himself. They play Corinna, Corinna, and then Amazing Grace with Austrian lyrics, the steel guitar yearns in the background to the Protestant church song, while the whole thing drifts lightly in the direction of an old country song, the Tennessee Waltz. Half the world is in this little collection alone.

The musical land of the globe is traversed, at times comfortable and cosy, at times fast and dynamic. And time and again findings from beyond the world of music are revealed. "Idiots are evenly distributed across the globe. We just have to watch that they don't have too much to say", says Hubert von Goisern. And he dedicates a song to the so-called "whistle-blowers", Edward Snowden and Co., the people who put their freedom on the line, because they're speaking the truth.

The Upper Austrian proves that he is a multifaceted musician, switching from accordion to guitar, sitting at the keyboard, playing the alpenhorn to a rock song, or letting the harmonica wail. They play for nearly two hours without a break, after that there are encores to eleven. And among them the hit Weit, weit weg is to be heard. Not as the blues, but backed by the steel guitar. Now it's 14ºC and rain has started to fall.

Hubert von Goisern thrills in Wiesen

BVZ 26th July 2015 | Photo: Florian Bruckmüller
Hubert von Goisern

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And Hubert beams

Neues Volksblatt 27th July 2015 | Text: Christian Pichler

Clam: Hubert von Goisern and "5/8 in Ehr'n" thrill at the castle arena

Depression and the blues. "Actually the same thing", says Hubert von Goisern, "but the blues is better". And if the blues gets you: "Embrace it, put it in a headlock!" Sounds simple enough. But the way the Goiserer says it, it's right too. And he grabs Hank Williams and makes it Es is wahr. He creates something new from a Styrian folk song and one from Louisiana ("they're the same but for a note") and from it comes Stoansteirisch. Or he accompanies Am helllichten Tag with the harmonica, dusty heat, the Californian Bob Bernstein takes up the pedal steel guitar.

Hubert von Goisern and band on Friday at Clam, the castle arena full to bursting with 9000 people. A splendid finale to the concert series, with smooth support act from 5/8 in Ehr'n: the four guys and the oft-applauded guitarist Michaela Liebermann play Viennese soul and have cabaretist Qualtinger breathing down their neck. Whether that's the unashamed Nackabatzerl or the delightfully titillating Gengan zwa Woame auf a Hasse: intimate songs, which also work in a larger setting. Inevitable in the land of [footballer] Alaba associated anthem Yes We does. Very cool, very charming.

"Lederhosen music" in Louisiana too

After them comes Hubert, who can barely believe the cheering reception he receives ("amazing"). The musical world citizen recently went wandering about in the American south and the bluesy result can be heard on his most recent album Federn. Goisern tells of split impressions from the journey, joyful encounters and stubborn southerners, among the musicians too. He sings: "Aber i tua ma hart mit dera Lederhosn-Musi dort/ drüb'n in Louisiana singans a nit schena" ("But I have a hard time with the lederhosen music there / They sing no better over in Louisiana") (Stoansteirisch). Goosebumps rise during the forceful, rocking Snowdown. The title sounds like Edward Snowden, the one who risked his head for the truth. The otherwise so friendly Hubert distorts his face and clutches the microphone tightly. Asylum for Snowden? "N-n-n-nur nit da bei mir", ("J-j-j-just not here") followed by "weil ma z'feig san dafür?" ("Because we're too cowardly?") He's in a rage and the Goiserer also rails against the global proliferation of data collection. So it was only consistent that there was a request before the concert began to leave smartphones in pockets.

Goisern changes between accordion, electric guitar and now alpenhorn too. He has the dirty gstanzl, the whirling polka, the simple, beautiful love song. It's wonderful, to venture to sing along with Hubert to Weit, weit weg. Brenna tuats guat, his biggest hit thus far, sweeps through the arena. As the final encore comes Heast as nit, once more assisted by a choir of thousands of voices. Hubert beams, there are beaming faces in the audience too. Hubert is still "burning", it was a stunning and blissful evening.

The Goiserer has the blues – and how!

OÖN 25th July 2015 | Text: Silvia Nagl | Photo: Volker Weihbold
HvG and Band

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Yes, the Goiserer has the blues - and that's what Hubert von Goisern presents together with his excellent band at the concert, presented by the OÖN, in the incomparable open air ambience of Burg Clam. Since returning from his journey to the southern states of the USA, he has mixed the musical roots from over there with his alpine rock characteristics and specialities on his recently released CD Federn. It sounds as though the different music styles have always been inseparable twins.

It needs more alpinisation

"Griaß euch! Hello, Upper Austria!" – and a portion of Upper Austria, more than 9000 of them in any case, loudly returns the greeting. They are "all Upper Austrians on the stage", except for Bob Bernstein from California, who plays the pedal steel guitar and was a joy to hear. America, this "land of boundless opportunities", is not entirely his thing, it needs "more alpinisation!" Also because the schnapps over there tastes "like a petroleum derivative" - and it plays a large role in HvG's songs. It's great that he pays homage to his friend and last KPÖ town councillor in Linz, Franz Kain. HvG tells stories and chats away, nothing seems artificial. When he starts "Es ist wahr, jedes Jahr geht was weida" ("It's true, every year something changes") in happy sound and muses on life being over too quickly, he does it to the familiar melody of Jambalaya – and gives this Cajun song a very special note with alpine set pieces.

HvG makes no secret of his (political) convictions and aversions, but he was never as clear about it as he is on Federn. Snowdown, for example, is brilliant, a blues from the deepest southern state swamps, dedicated to those who search for the truth in the swamp of lies - and "Wahrheit, sie suacht um Asyl / aber kriagn tuat sie's nia" ("Truth seeks asylum / but never finds it"). That hits home. He becomes really deeply bluesy in Corinna, it comes from right down below. Like the yodels that he cries out with archaic force. Live he is certainly a powerful stage animal.

Yes, and his band! Helmut Schartlmüller (bass), Severin Trogbacher (guitar) and Alex Pohn (drums) show, what playing together really means: virtuoso perfection, paired with irrepressible joie de vivre. The sound aesthetic is also unbelievably good. 9000 people in the arena: impressive, but also disruptive when things get a little more contemplative, such as during the "little melodies". Or during the support act show, 5/8 in Ehren, who have a hard time with their subtle humour and chilled melodies. At 22:15 the collective feeling of happiness know no bounds: Brenna tuat's guat! – roughly 18,000 hands stretch towards the stage. At the end, the gift for the fans: Heast as nit – and the thanks for this tropical evening at 29ºC!

OÖN rating: ★★★★★★

Hubert von Goisern live at Burg Clam 2015

OÖN 27th July 2015

Rock with the squeezebox

Die Rheinpfalz 25th July 2015 | Text: bja

Hubert von Goisern at the Zeltival in Karlsruhe

The tickets were gone surprisingly quickly after the concert was announced, not much promotion was necessary. For when Hubert von Goisern comes, everywhere people are getting their lederhosen out of the wardrobe and ironing their dirndls - as was the case for his Zeltival concert in Karlsruhe too. Mind you, the artist is anything but a lederhosen party animal and that's been the case since long before his USA trip, as he proved in a spectacular way.

The atmosphere is relaxed in and around the Tollhaus. There are no screeching groups of teenagers, long queues for tickets, or over-zealous security measures to be see. But the fans are nonetheless excited, after all the "real founder of alpine rock" is going to appear and you can be quite sure they don't mean Andreas Gabalier, "this pompadour", as the fans call him.

Hubert von Goisern, born in 1952, is of the older generation, just like the audience - this is by no means detrimental to the atmosphere. The "real" alpine rocker" grabs his accordion. "Servus Karlsruhe, hello" and off we go.

For the new album Federn Goisern went on a musical search in the south of the USA. And what he brought back is harmonious. From the pounding rock numbers to swinging country songs and heavy-hearted ballads. And he manages to incorporate a yodel into almost all pieces and genres. Hubert von Goisern thrills with a great version of Amazing Grace.

Aside from rock, blues and country sounds, he also brought back pedal steel guitarist Bob Bernstein from the USA, who joins the band musicians Helmut Schartlmüller (bass), Alex Pohn (drums) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar).

Both the lyrics and Goisern's anecdotes are as usual predominantly presented in his native Austrian dialect, so barely understandable for the regional audience. But it doesn't matter, Goisern's sound comes across nonetheless and ensures a super atmosphere in the overheated Tollhaus from the first not to the last. The barefoot alpine rocker constantly changed instrument. Piano, guitar and harmonica were of course included - and he made even those rock. The alpenhorn is a particular delicacy. Goisern and his band do without a big stage show. And neither do they need a heap of effects to fill out the concert, which comes to a brilliant end with the hit Heast as nit, wia die Zeit vergeht.

Hubert von Goisern at Burg Clam

Clam live 25th July 2015 | Photo: © Robert Hinterleitner
HvG and Band

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The alpine rocker has the blues

Esslinger Zeitung 25th July 2015 | Text: Alexander Maier | Photo: Bulgin

ESSLINGEN: Hubert von Goisern discovers the sound of the southern states and with it
thrills more than 4000 fans at the castle

Severin Trogbacher & Hubert von GoisernFor many he is the alpine rocker, others see him as a world musician. Hubert von Goisern needs none of these labels, for the Upper Austrian singer and multi-instrumentalist is known for being impossible to pigeonhole. He consistently goes his own way and is always on the search for the new. And so each of his projects are surprising and innovative - as is his most recent album Federn, on which he confronts the American southern state sound with his alpine homeland. And look: it works. That's what more than 4000 people experienced during Hubert von Goisern's concert at Esslingen Castle, where alongside new songs, atmospheric classics from his repertoire, such as Weit weit weg and Heast as nit were rewarded with great applause.

Searching in the south

The south of the USA is a melting pot of musical influences: elements from Cajun, country, rock, jazz, blues and blue­grass have mingled there to make their own sound. And what does that have to do with alpine music? "A huge amount", thinks von Goisern. So he set off on a search across the pond, played with American colleagues and enjoyed a glass or two of high percentage savoir vivre. And he encountered the blues at eye level. He shared his insight with the Esslingen audience: "If you find that you're getting the blues, you can't run away. It's faster anyway. If there's no other option, simply look deep into its eyes ..."

On his expedition through the southern states, Hubert von Goisern looked the blues deep in the eyes and discovered a great deal that suited the musical credo of his Upper Austrian homeland. For the music that originally came from there has little to do with the Musikantenstadl folksy hits. Years ago the alpine rocker set about giving back to folk music the power that it once had. And he determined: music is timeless and boundless. You can feel it in every one of the songs of his new album, with which he opened the concert at Esslingen Castle. A great deal sounded pleasantly familiar. Such as the title So a Seg'n, which you readily assume has alpine origins - until you pick out the classic Amazing Grace within it. Or a Monk song, which is called I bin ganz alloan in von Goisern's version.

What he experienced, saw and heard on his expedition through the south of the USA has been transformed by the alpine rocker into a whole slew of marvellous compositions of his own, combining American ad alpine influences with virtuosity. He plumbs the entire depths of musical mood - at time he makes it really rock with his band, at other times the music comes across as sensitive ballads. It was to be felt at Esslingen Castle how Hubert von Goisern and his musicians stand with heart and soul behind their music. Bob Bernstein (pedal steel and dobro guitar), Alex Pohn (drums), Helmut Schartlmüller (bass) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar) are all first-rate instrumentalists and they harmonise perfectly with one another. But above them all stands Hubert von Goisern with his musical brilliance and his unprecedented energy and his natural stage presence. You feel that he doesn't just play music, but rather lives his songs with every fibre of his being. And in particular: he also something to say. Such as in Snowdown, a rousing blues about the courage of truth in a society in which deceit plays an ever larger role. But that it typical of him and his credo: "I'd rather do nothing at all than do something of which I am not convinced."

Hubert von Goisern embraces the blues

SWP 25th July 2015 | Text: Udo Eberl

The blues has always shaped Hubert von Goisern's music. Now at Esslingen Castle he spikes his alpine rock
with the sound of the southern states.

Without doubt: Hubert von Goisern, the cosmopolitan and charismatic maverick, was more than just talkative on this concert evening at Esslingen Castle. He chatted away endlessly. Perhaps he wanted to explain to not just the more than 4200 fans, but to himself as well, what had drawn him to the south of the USA. "There are many cool people over there, I just didn't find them", the Austrian said. He didn't necessarily want to find new best friends, but rather a part of his musical roots.

For a good number of pieces on his most recent album Federn he even "studied acoustic intoxication" and was inspired by the "hussy" that is schnapps. And so the pedal steel moaned animatedly, the accordion jumped in, for the most part the guitar got down to business with harder sounds and the art of yodelling fit like a glove in this musical environment too. Country, Cajun, alpine - the total was mostly rousing - always for his audience. He didn't want to escape from the blues either. Not in any regard: "If there's no other way, then you must look the blues deep in its eyes and embrace it."

The audience was embraced too. By the well-honed band of course. Hubert von Goisern played the flugelhorn with Louisiana-jazz gusto, later came the alpenhorn and he gave it his all on the harmonica too. With Snowdown, the rock anthem for courageous do-gooders, the dialect blur seemed to be something akin to an escape route from the tightrope walk between tradition and rock 'n' roll into the safe alpine mountain world for the fans, some of whom were wearing lederhosen. And the frontman then provided the desired light-heartedness himself: with his wonderful ballads such as Heast as nit, the well-oiled yodelling voice and the Brenna tuats guat that the well and truly exhilarated crowd had yearned for.

Hubert von Goisern - Live in Karlsruhe

Mohawk Visuals 24th July 2015 | Photo: © Paul Needham
Hubert von Goisern

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Cool feeling for the blues

Echo News 12th July 2015

The USA trips were two years ago. "I flew over there to play music with other musicians. Not many remain," Hubert von Goisern explains, casting a glance at the man at the pedal steel, Californian Bob Bernstein. The rest of his band? All Upper Austrians. The Yanks are more self-sufficient. But nonetheless it works with this mixture of country, rock, blues and alpine rhythms on Thursday evening at the Gaffenberg Festival in Heilbronn. 1700 fans are thrilled with the new Goisern.

Regina Flachsmann from Obersulm-Willsbach knew in advance that she'd like it: "He's simply brilliant - no matter what he does." That's why she gave her friend Silvia Bauditsch from Löwenstein a ticket for her birthday too, although she didn't know the Austrian at all. "But I was certain that it would be something good for her." The evening is a little journey back in time for the three guys Rainer Bender, Marcel Senghaas and Timo Keicher. The men Erlenbach came to a Hubert von Goisern concert at Gaffenberg a good twenty years ago. "It was one of the coolest concert we've ever experienced", Keicher reminisces.

If there's something that Hubert von Goisern has brought back from the land of boundless opportunity, then it is without a doubt a "cool" feeling for the blues. In the swamps with the alligators, that's where you feel really good, where you can lose yourself in the melancholy. Now he transports this sticky heat to Heilbronn - and the people groove with it.

Hubert von Goisern surprises time and time again

Main Post 12th July 2015 | Text: Alice Natter | Photo: Silvia Gralla

VOLKACH. At about minute 75 something significant happens on stage, on the Festplatz too. In Volkach am Main Hubert von Goisern has been playing the blues for a good hour, has told stories from his disillusioning USA trip and presented songs from Federn, the new album. He has just sung - hard and metal - the most political song of the evening, "for Chelseas and Eddie" and "everyone else who risk their lives for the truth". Snowdown on the "flood of soup of data" and the truth that asylum seeks but is never granted. Loud, glistening ... and not a breath later – humpa, humpa – the rhythm rolls on with the current most popular von Goisern melody. The backdrop is now washed with reddish yellow, the stage burns - and yes: "Everyone knows, it burns well." The concert hall - festival tent - radio-compatible chart-topping number, which catapulted the Upper Austrian into the charts three years ago, changes the mood. It lets loose with the bouncing, wriggle-on-your-chair numbers!

Hubert von Goisern

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The security fences that have separated those standing and those sitting in the 2500-strong crowd now longer count for anything. In bold steps the empty area in front of the stage is conquered. The man at the microphone puts aside his harmonica and smiles. "You're here? Fine, then you'll have to dance!" Hubert von Goisern, passport name Achleitner, is known as a multi-faceted singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist on everything from the alpenhorn and trumpet to the accordion and is a globetrotting world traveller too.

In the 90s he went to Paris, Texas and New York with the Alpinkatzen, then he followed Jane Goodall to the chimpanzees, searched for sounds in Tibet and in the desert, played his accordion in Senegal and sailed a musical concert ship along the Danube for two summers. Two years ago he was drawn to the USA, because: "Mentally speaking they had eluded me, I never understand how they tick." He wanted to deconstruct prejudices, "but in the two months they were multiplied".

But he wouldn't be von Goisern if he hadn't made the best of it. He brought a chic red accordion back from Louisiana, as well as Robert Bernstein on the pedal steel guitar - and many classics of southern blues. Cajun and bluegrass – "not so different from alpine folk music," the 62-year-old believes. The same harmonies, just a bit of a different spin on it.

So he has dabbled in the dirty, muggy rock and now sings and plays classics like Jambalaya and Oh, Susanna with his four-member band as if they were ancient alpine folk tunes. Whining, yodelling, whimpering and whining, mewing and grouching, he conjures up the pure fruit in Schnops and drunkenly sings Corinna, Corinna. But the idea that the Catholic southern musicians didn't want to play his version of the (Protestant) Amazing Grace at all ... outrageous.

Final round in Volkach! The alpenhorn comes into play, tender ballads follow, during which a little group can finally light their sparklers under Volkach's trees. Von Goisern reprimands someone obtrusively filming on their mobile phone with an eye roll – "I don't want to play anything for mobiles, I want to play for people!". And with Weit, weit weg von dir and Heast as nit a wonderful concert evening with an enduring musician, who surprises time and time again, draws to a close on this warm summer evening.

Voodoo from the Alps

Wiesbadener Kurier 13th July 2015 | Text: Fred Balz | Photo: hbz/Kristina Schäfer

CONCERT Hubert von Goisern impresses at the Zitadelle

HvGMAINZ - Fantastic weather and the Mainz Zitadelle well-filled with the older generations: the devilish folk music from Hubert from Goisern, born at the foot of the Dachstein, is rather scary for the under-30s. At least on his current foray into the Louisiana swamps, voodoo priests, drunken house-blazers and raucous Krampus spirits appear and there's bartering with the Lord and his eternity.

Music career at the age of 35

But otherwise it's all sweetness and light, this time even with sun protection factor and hip sunglasses if you disregard the short playing time and lack of old hits and own compositions. When you think that Hubert von Goisern's music career didn't start until he was 35, it has developed a remarkable dynamic with numerous breaks along the way.

In the beginning there was work and musical studies in South Africa and Canada. Having learned to play the trumpet in the brass band and taught himself to play guitar, he didn't lay his hands on his grandfather's Styrian accordion until drunk on schnapps in his mid-30s, and he hasn't let it go since. 1986: duo with Wolfgang Staribacher, 1988: Alpinkatzen with Ambros on the Watzmann Tour, 1991: his own band with Sabine Kapfinger, who introduced him to yodelling, 1994 collaboration with filmmaker Joseph Vilsmaier on Schlafes Bruder and his concert film Wia die Zeit vergeht.

After that a total of 25 CDs and just as many tours. 1996 Tibet (CD: InExil), 1998 with primatologist Jane Goodall (CD: Gombe), jazz, world music and finally hard rock sounds (CDs: Fön, Trad 1, 2 & 3, Iwasig, Ausland, Steilklänge) and in 2015 the album now being presented, Federn, with American folk music from Nashville to New Orleans to the Mississippi delta.

With his darkly humorous dialect Hubert and his compact rock band (slide and rhythm guitar, bass and drums) play a distinctive style mix: Jambalaya (Onward, no smarter) as a country ear worm, the frivolous Corinna, Corinna (Singa gang guat) as a sleepwalking dulcimer blues, Amazing Grace (So a Segn) playful and relaxed folk. He plays his own old pieces as country waltzes, rock'n'roll tear jerkers or Cajun/Zydeco dances.

In contrast, there's the contemporary anthem to Snowden, the NSA and the eavesdropping delusion as a gloomy heavy metal and schnapps (... straight - free fall into hell) is described as medicine in speech song, enumerating various spirits and fruit brandies and their effect as a truth serum and firestarters.

A man who reinvents himself

Further covers such as the acoustic Can't find my way home by Blind Faith fall outside this concept, which towards the end gives way to Hubert's hits Weit, weit weg, alpine dance music and the melancholy Wie die Zeit vergeht.

Nonetheless, the Goiserer is not one who rest on his laurels, but rather reinvents himself with each tour.

Never put all your cards on the table

Stimme 11th July 2015 | Text: Claudia Ihlefeld

Hubert von Goisern has the blues: the alpine rocker and world musician at the Gaffenberg Festival

Hubert von Goisernalpenhorn and Cajun accordion, throaty yodels and dark blues: that's no contradiction in terms for Hubert von Goisern, the musical pathfinder from the Salzkammergut, who began as an alpine rocker and has been back to play at the Gaffenberg again as a world musician. A familiar "servus Heilbronn" on Thursday evening to the 1700 fans in the Audi tent and outside in the festival beer garden - then von Goisern shows the evidence that musically speaking, Louisiana and Upper Austria are not so far away from each other. Federn is the name of his new album: a crossover of ballads, rock numbers, country and blues - and all crossed with alpine rhythms, blending the boundaries. Is he still yodelling, or is he now in the blues? Is that nasally mumbled Austrian, or swallowed southern state slang? He had "ummi gflog'n", that is, flown over to America twice, to find inspiration and musicians for his project. But the Americans didn't want him. "They're self-sufficient, like the Swiss. They don't need us."

Rough sound

Nonetheless: he brought a few things back with him: the blues from New Orleans, which as gloomy as it is, always sparkles so colourfully with von Goisern. The rough sound from Nashville. And Bob Bernstein on the pedal steel from Santa Monica, the only Californian among the other musicians from Upper Austria in the band.

Hubert Achleitner has travelled South Africa, Canada, the Philippines, Africa And Tibet and his stage name is a reference to his home town of Goisern. The most recent cultural encounter with the USA didn't come off without annoyances and there are enormous differences in mentality between the Americans and Austrians, as Hubert von Goisern relates during the concert, which lasts two-and-a-half hours without a break. And leads the faithful fans to standing ovations with encores to make you melt with Weit weit weg and Heast as nit.

It's like a multi-generation house at the Gaffenberg. Those who have grown older with Hubert von Goisern are the majority, they like the charming, ironic critique of America by the world musician, who has a studio in Salzburg and makes no secret of where his roots lie.

"Never put your cards on the table. Wait", they say in the Salzkammergut. The "yes, we can" posturing, so sure of success, is not von Goisern's thing. "In the beginning there was the desire to understand America better. And so I thought I'll go over there, to where the pain is - to the southern states, but if I do, it'll be where a lot of music is played", Hubert von Goisern explains in the booklet of his new CD how Federn came about, the bridge-building between the styles of folk music, which by no means sound folksy when it's down to him.


With Snowdown von Goisern roars a homage to courageous whistleblowers, plays a punchy anthem to Austrian distillates in Schnaps and a moving ballad to life with I kann wieder fliegen (I Can Fly Again). "Huidjehuididi", he cries into the July night.

Accordion, harmonica, alpenhorn or tuba, time and time again a friendly helper hurries from stage right and hands the master of ceremonies from Goisern another shining instrument. Then follow a number of encores, unplugged, or with the electric guitar and at the keyboard: great atmosphere at Gaffenberg, until Hubert von Goisern, Bob Bernstein, Alex Pohn, Helmut Schartlmüller and Severin Trogbacher disappear from the stage one final time.

Hubert von Goisern has the blues

Stimme 10th July2015 | Photo: Andreas Veigel
HvG & Band

More photos at

Alpine rock and southern blues

Baden Online 10th July 2015 | Text & Photo: Jürgen Haberer

Hubert von Goisern has drawn inspiration in the USA / Rousing concert

Hubert von GoisernHubert von Goisern, the father of alpine rock, took a look around the American South for his new album Federn and assimilated country, blues and Cajun within his music. But it was above all his joy in playing and authenticity that was impressive at his show at the ZMF in Freiburg on Wednesday evening.

Hubert Achleitner – as the man from Bad Goisern is really called – has represented a balancing act between the traditional and the modern for almost three decades. He has powerfully mixed up alpine folklore and expanded rock music to a down-to-earth but always hearty, crashing variant. He has been around the world and integrated exotic influences into his music. It's no wonder that he's now landed in the USA and is happily experimenting with country and bluegrass, the blues of the southern states, and Cajun, the music of the French-rooted population of Louisiana.

At the beginning and end of the roughly two-hour show the alpenhorn comes into play though, the instrument that Hubert von Goisern had for a long time not dared to play. It's simply too rooted in Switzerland, he explained his concern. He only dared to do it when he discovered that a monk from Salzburg had written for the instrument back in the 13th century.

Just the thoughts shared in the musical breaks alone are worth the entrance fee for a concert with Hubert von Goisern. He sings and tells stories, such as how his brought musicians from Louisiana to Austria, in order to give his forays in to the world of Cajun something authentic. But they didn't come together, because the guys were busy stewing in their own juices. A cosmopolitan approach was not exactly their strength - while it is quite certainly Hubert von Goisern's.

That is not least to be heard in songs such as Snowdown as well, the opener to the album released in May, Federn. Hubert von Goisern simply doesn't like bigots and stick-in-the-muds. The stand is against intolerance and everything going on on the far right. That's why sitting at the lapsteel is Californian, Bob Bernstein, who blends in wonderfully with the quartet of Hubert von Goisern (accordion, guitar, harmonica, alpenhorn, vocals), Helmut Schartmüller (bass, vocals), Severin Trogbacher (guitar, vocals) and Alexander Pohn (drums, vocals).

The alpenhorn sets the first course, then the guys get going valiantly on the strings. Hubert von Goisern simply knows how to hot up the audience. A few dauntless rock riffs that give the Austrian folk the necessary pep, a powerful voice, that is impressive yodelling too.

Then bit by bit the American sounds creep in. To start off, a mish-mash of Styrian folk music and Cajun. "The two aren't all that far off from one another", says the master. In Freiburg Hubert von Goisern indulges surprisingly often in the blues and country, serving up wonderfully smooth ballads. Es ist wahr is based on Hank Williams' Jambalaya. Later he then puts forward his own version of Amazing Grace, now called So a Segn.

For two hours the pendulum swings to and fro, folk, rock and lots of Americana, cracking, swinging barnstormers and touching ballads. In addition a powerful pinch of humour and the impressive stage presence of a pedigree musician, who time and time again electrifies his fellow musicians and the audience in the sold out circus tent.

Hubert von Goisern and his band in the Rheinaue

Bonner Rundschau 7th July 2015 | Text: Bernward Althoff | Photo: Böschemeyer

Hubert von Goisern is a musical globetrotter.
On Monday the musician and his band played tasters of his most recent album "Federn".

Bonn. The USA seems to exert a magical pull on Styrian guys. "Terminator" and California's former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is one, as is Hubert von Goisern (sic). The creator of "alpine rock" succeeds time and time again in forming an incredible bridge: dirty, dialect lyrics – "I wüll koan Bier, na da mag i liaba so a stamperl von was brennt'" ("I don't want a beer, I want a shot of something distilled) it goes in the song Schnaps – mixed with the Cajun sound of the Mississippi deltas, then the dark world of the blues is explored, and finally the pivot to oriental Sufi music is made.

No surprise: Hubert von Goisern is and always has been a musical globetrotter and can't be pigeonholed, reggae and soul come into their own too.

On Monday the multi-faceted musician (accordion, pedal steel guitar, trumpet) and his accompanying band played taster from his most recent album Federn at the "Kunst!Rasen" concert in the Rheinaue, in front of (unfortunately) only 1100 fans. Listening in: the sentimental classic Corinna, Corinna is reframed in Austrian: "Wo bist'n so lang g'wesen, i schwör dir's, i wart jetzt schon drei Stunden da ..." ("Where have you been gone, I swear to you, I've been waiting here for three hours long") and Hank Williams' age-old hit Jambalaya is performed with little fatalism: "c'est si bon, hey, mann kann halt nit allweil g'winna, sag lieber c'est la vie, aber fang jetzt nit an zum spinna ..." ("c'est si bon, you can't win all the time, say instead c'est la vie, but don't go crazy").

Lyrics with a political note

The Austrian (almost) always manages to circumnavigate the rocks of sentimentality, in contrast: many of his lyrics have a political note, early in his career Hubert von Goisern declared war on the late Austrian rat catcher from the right wing, Jörg Haider.

The jack-of-all-trades knows just how to entertain his audience. He tells his fans that the sentimental Amazing Grace has no chance in the Mississippi delta. "The delta is like the Salzkammergut: Catholic through and through, we won't play this Protestant hymn!" A Bonn fan of the musician is wearing typical von Goisern Tracht: batik shirt, lederhosen and Adilette slides on their otherwise bare feet: nothing goes together and yet: it works!

The Styrian and his blues

Badische Neueste Nachrichten 3rd July 2015 | Text: Felix Mescoli | Photo: Bastian
Hubert von Goisern and Helmut Schartlmüller

Hubert von Goisern and his band give a concert at the Tollhaus in Karlsruhe

Austrians are rumoured to have a certain disposition to fatalism, to morbid melancholy. "If the Lord does not desire it, then there is no point", is a line in a popular song this year. One could also state: faced with the inevitable blows dealt by fate, Austrians occasionally get the blues. So it can come as no surprise that a Styrian alpine rocker such as Hubert von Goisern feels drawn to the genre, his songs so often centring on resignation, unrequited love, loneliness and betrayal (although often with a humorous twist). And country is but a whiskey bottle's throw from the blues. On his new album Federn von Goisern has tried his hand at a transatlantic transfer of traditions. In the sold-out Tollhaus in Karlsruhe, he celebrated a rustic jambalaya of roots music.

One sees at a glance that the melange of the music of the southern states and alpine sounds is not just contrived around cow horns: country star Jimmy Rodgers was known in the 20s as "America's Blue Yodeler", the accordion is the definitive instrument of Cajun music, "Juhuhui!" echoes through the Alps, "Yeehaw!" over the blue slopes of the Appalachians.

So it doesn't sound at all strange when von Goisern sings Hank William's Jambalaya (on the Bayou), in its time based on the Cajun song Grand Texas. Von Goisern has also quite unpretentiously made other traditionals his own: for example Corrina, Corrina staggers in after an intoxicating night as Des kann's nit sein. "Corrina, wo warstn so lang?", ("Corrina, where have you been all this time?") asks the typical blues protagonist, sensing betrayal. And von Goisern doesn't shy away from gospel (Amazing Grace) or flat out hillbilly (Oh, Susanna) either - without the banjo on his knee.

The fact that von Goisern gets away with the sometimes unconventional interpretations, shaped on the one hand by legendary performers and on the other by countless traditional bonfire songs is also down to his passionate, accompanying musicians ("all Upper Austrians", as the singer says, except for the Californian Robert Bernstein on the pedal steel). They effortlessly jump here and there between country, Cajun, blues, Tex Mex and brass music, without making it laughable. And of course there is the down-to-earth performance from Mr von Goisern himself. When the Styrian sings about schnapps in a boozy shuffle, it sounds not a whit less authentic than John Lee Hooker humming One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer with Canned Heat firing on all cylinders in the background.

"It was wonderful" from beginning to end

Thüringische Landeszeitung 4th July 2015 | Text & Photo: Wieland Fischer

Hubert von Goisern at the Gotha Stadthalle

Hubert von Goisern and Band

Gotha. "It was wonderful" Hubert von Goisern calls to the audience in the Gotha Stadthalle and leaves the stage. That's how several hundred listeners felt about the Austrian singer-songwriter's show too. Despite the muggy summer weather, which passed into the inner realm of the Stadthalle too, they demand two encores from the bard. He closes an exhilarating concert evening with Weit, weit weg, one of his greatest songs.

Hubert von Goisern is on an anniversary tour. He has been thrilling the masses with his alpine rock for 25 years, melding different musical influences with alpenhorn and accordion sounds. Now he has grown feathers, according to the title of his new album, Federn.

In Gotha Goisern gives priority to ballads, at times contemplative, at times vehement. Goisern rocks the squeezebox, making it boom. Between the alpenhorn solo as entrance and finale, he, Bob Bernstein (pedal steel), Alex Pohn (drums) Helmut Schartl­müller (bass) and Severin Trogbacher (guitar) thrill the fans.

"Everything passes, even life ..."

Traunsteiner Tagblatt 4th July 2015 | Text: Wolfgang Schweiger | Photo: M. Heel

Pure blues power with Hubert von Goisern at the Kapitelplatz in Salzburg

HvG"If you bring back the blues, bring them from Louisiana", Hubert von Goisern said of Federn, his new studio album, for which he went on a musical search in the south of the USA, from New Orleans to Nashville. And what he brought back is harmonious, intense and enthusiastic, as was to be experienced at his concert in front of 3500 fans at the Salzburg Kapitelplatz.

A few introductory words and off we go with the famous Cajun song Jambalaya (on the Bayou) with its own note: "ois geht vorbei, sogar des Leben" ("Everything passes, even life"), sings Hubert von Goisern, and we have landed in the depths of the blues, which the now 62-year-old artist celebrates so inspiringly and with such great style that you could think that he'd grown up with it, simply taking up the blues and handling it instinctively like his American role models. Pure blues power, which builds to a stunning high point with the furioso protest song Snowdown, a statement "for all those who put their freedom on the line and risk their lives".

The fantastically performing band contributes to the whole too, with Severin Trogbacher on the guitar, Helmut Schartlmüller on bass, Bob Bernstein on pedal steel and Alex Pohn on drums. Four superb musicians, who soar to excellence, congenially complementing Hubert von Goisern and ensuring a perfect sound experience. The many other pieces that Hubert von Goisern presents at the foot of the fortress on this wonderful evening are accordingly rousing, as he gives a familiar and virtuoso performance on the accordion, as well as turning to the electric guitar or keyboard at times.

So we listen almost reverentially as he sends his version of Amazing Grace over the square as So a Segen, we are enraptured by the sensational drive he brings to the stage with his classic Brenna tuats guat and wallow in nostalgia as he sings Can't Find My Way Home, the blues ballad by Steve Winwood from his Blind Faith era and interprets it here in a moving personal way with Neama vü Zeit – there's nothing more beautiful. Not to forget the alpenhorn interlude, to which he explains that the Swiss instrument was actually invented 800 years ago somewhere entirely different, namely Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

And because those who have undertaken a journey also know how to tell a story, Hubert von Goisern also entertains us between his songs with anecdotes from his USA trip. We learn that in Nashville people are "in a completely bad mood" and that for the Americans "fundamental" and "liberal" need not be mutually exclusive - and that they probably make their schnapps from petroleum derivatives. And he talked about the musical colleague from the USA, who visited him in Salzburg and having seen photos of the damage that the Salzburg Cathedral suffered in the Second World War, asked how Hitler could have done it. He wouldn't have liked the answer.

The concert drew to a close with his classic Weit, weit weg, and to whomever couldn't be there, the really great, extraordinarily multifaceted album Federn is warmly recommended, for the blues can come at any point and it's no use running away.