Hubert von Goisern


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Farewell Trad Tour

10th December 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Everything happens at the very top

Donau Kurier 2004 | Text: Norbert Schmidl | Photo: Herbert

"HvG" in the Festsaal

HvGIngolstadt (DK) Only those who stand at the peak have the overview, the perspective, the panorama. But how arduous it is to get there is surmised by the heavily wheezing squeezebox on the still dark stage. The fact that the audience in the sold out Festsaal of the Theater Ingolstadt is nevertheless allowed to be there are the peak is, on the one hand, down to the large screen with the projected panorama towards the end of the concert and, on the other hand and above all, down to Hubert von Goisern, who takes the listeners with him on his musical conquering of the summit. And because you "can imagine anything" on the mountain, from the "crazy idea" of playing a pure folk music programme, "znagst" came a tour.

"Znagst" (for Prussians: unlängst (recently)) is just one example of lyrics which many perhaps won't understand, but which doesn't make a difference. For, in HvG's opinion, everybody could understand everything and it would often nevertheless make no sense. There's the "coded message" of the semolina dumpling that doesn't like the liver dumpling and so on. They're not the only secrets of folk music, but Hubert von Goisern unravels some mysteries in his lessons. Mind you: some. Because "in the normal state of consciousness, you don't think of such lyrics at all".

There is also a bit of coming to terms with the past of the folk musician. Only long stays abroad would have brought him to playing the folk music with which he grew up. Because in far-off lands, he recognised that "in Senegal too, you have to hit the drum in the same place as you would elsewhere, if the same sound is to come out". And another important realisation led to the Ingolstadt audience experiencing a musical highlight with a band cheered with standing ovations: "It wasn't the songs that I didn't want to play. I just didn't become like those who had sung the songs."

Hubert von Goisern has hitherto succeeded. Nevertheless, the traditional - "trad" - is of the highest importance to him. But only with the excellent band at the back are the new arrangements heard to their best advantage. An acoustic guitar duo is enhanced by cow bells, a tinny country guitar plays next to countless drums from all over the world, including simple wooden boxes and a milk churn integrated into the drum set. HvG celebrates the unification of squeezebox, bagpipes and bottleneck. Sounds of the Far East are replaced with a heart rending yodel, which is followed by a bloodcurdling cry. Hubert von Goisern (accordion, harmonica, "blowing machines") has, with his band - Monika Drasch (violin, vocals), Arnulf Lindner (bass), Bernd Bechtloff (various drums) and Max Lässer ("almost all guitars and other stringed instruments" - arrived at the very top in folk music. At the moment, nobody contests his place at top so easily. And he will probably defend it for the long run. Because he knows: "Everything happens at the very top. There is namely nothing there. And where else do you find that?"

By the way: when was the last time the Ingolstadt audience yodelled (or at least tried)? A collective hollareiduljö swung through the Festsaal, so even HvG had to admit he thought Ingolstadt lay north of Munich. But here it sounds like Rosenheim or similar.

Furioso finale in Gersthofen

Augsburger Allgemeine 7th December 2004 | Text: Martin Deibl | Photo: AZ-Archiv

Hubert von Goisern delights in the Stadthalle at the end of the Trad Tour 2004

Hubert von Goisern and Arnulf LindnerSold out. No wonder, Hubert von Goisern has filled bigger halls than the one in Gersthofen. This is his last concert in Germany on this year's Trad Tour 2004. The next day, only Basel in Switzerland stood on the programme.

"Griaß eich." Hubert von Goisern, 52 years old since 17th November, greets his fans. They, like he, have grown older. Perhaps because of that, but perhaps also because of the so-called Stadthalle audience, it is a difficult business for a noble thoroughbred musician like him to lure the listeners from their reserve. "You're the best", shouts one woman.

The heart throb of (almost?) all women has returned once more to the mountain world, to his homeland, to Bad Goisern, where he was born as Hubert von Goisern and played the trumpet as a five year old. This musical instrument is one of many that he masters as brilliantly as the claviature of alpine language. Hubert von Goisern has an animated past behind him. This goes for the musicians who accompany him too. In the course of the years, the band has changed again and again. Now Monika Drasch is there. She sang and played before with the Bairisch Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn. Trademarks: Red hair, green violin. The band is completed by Bernd Bechtloff, Max Lässer and Arnulf Lindner.

Cow bells sound, the bass guitar plays, the lyrics are also as difficult for the Altbaiers to understand as the echo at Lake Hallstatt. It's good that you know most of the pieces. But the listeners don't need to sing along; yodelling from time to time is enough.

"Now we'll see whether you're the best." Well, the yodelling wasn't so top-notch, but the artist gave the audience their explanation (excuse?) himself, because they lived "on the friction surface between Bavaria and Swabia". Who can yodel here?

Time and again, Hubert von Goisern weaves in elements from his first pieces, with which he stormed the peak (of not just the Watzmann). "Music is a drug, folk music is too" he confesses and buckles on his accordion again. He philosophises and slanders the Bavarian chamois tufts, there's the still current Haider (Iawaramoi) and as encore, his Koa Hiatamadl, which he sang from 1992 with Sabine Kapfinger, before she started a solo career as Zabine. Hubert von Goisern now sings it in duet with Monika Drasch and she clamps bagpipes under her arm too.

It's over: that goes for the tour as well as the concert. It's now half past eleven. Wia die Zeit vergeht (how the time flies). Hubert von Goisern wrote this wonderful song and that is what Joseph Vilsmaier called his film about the 1994 concert in the Circus Krone in Munich. It was the only piece that we really missed on this wonderful evening.

Hubert von Goisern in Mannheim 28th November 2004 | Text: Carmen Reiss

"Folk songs are the musical ABC" and tell of true life. Of the poacher's war against the hunter, about schmaltz and courtship dances. Stories of anarchy against law, and sex and love songs. Hip hop and black music say hello when the alps glow.

Hubert von Goisern has taken the alpine traditionals of his homeland and filled them with new life. A homage to his homeland, to the mountain world and the dairymaids. With it he earns astounding recognition all over the world.

The Musensaal in the Rosengarten in Mannheim was almost completely sold out too. The audience - which Hubert doesn't just affectionately remember from his 1991 Watzmann tour - was with him from the beginning despite the seats and partly veritably advanced ages.

Yes, he has remembered Mannheim. At that time he sang and yodelled in the Mozartsaal and how when the part with the spoon came up, the audience proved themselves to be as prepared as with the Rocky Horror Show. Since then, friends, acquaintances and colleagues from Hubert's social circle all over Austria have been in possession of Mannheim spoons!

Lovers of folksy schunkel schlager leave the hall incensed at Hubert von Goisern's Trad. Lovers of intelligently-made music for heart and mind experience an unforgettable evening. Hubert, who sounds abounding in strength on CD is a rather filigree self-promoter on stage. And an excellent accordion player and talented yodeller.

When Abend spat sounds out with its scattered sounds, you ask yourself whether you've ever heard such a beautiful song before. And who's singing this here at last!

Apart from that, there's still a load of unusual instruments, from udu drums, a kind of tubular metal stone, to mandolin, steel guitar, tin whistle and bagpipes.

All that as on the CD, and yet so different and even better, more celestial, more powerful or melodic. With the back of the Matterhorn on the big backdrop...

World music, which makes it clear that Austria is a part of the world and yodelling is the singing of the native primitive people.

And not just that. After a short lesson, the audience yodels too and it becomes clear: yodelling is lyrics, yodelling is magic. And yodelling is in truth the true way to enlightenment! Cult!

The Bavarian diatonic yodel madness

Rhein-Zeitung 2nd December 2004 | Text: Lenard Hanson

A totally normal concert: The Austrian Hubert von Goisern makes a stop with his band in the Mainz Phönixhalle for a 3sat broadcast

Cow bells, violins and an accordion on a stage? Yodelling to crashing electric guitar chords? No problem for Hubert von Goisern. the Austrian made a guest appearance in the Phönixhalle.

Mainz. The groaning isn't coming from the throat of a dying reindeer. It's coming from the accordion. And then there's yodelling. No, we're not actually at a Folksy Music Grand Prix. Even if common roots are evident. The hero of the evening is to be seen in silhouette before his appearance, then Hubert von Goisern receives thunderous applause in the Phönixhalle.

With his four member band, the man to whom the stigma of "alpine rocker" will always be stuck is currently on his Trad Tour and made a stop in Mainz for a 3sat recording. It was quite obvious that not everybody knew exactly what to expect there. But the "Goiserer" trembled for nothing. "Make it a totally normal concert please," he beseeched his audience in the face of rolling cameras. Love to - but was is a totally normal concert where you lose count of the number of instruments? Where electric guitar roars, cow bells, violins and double basses enter into a strangely harmonious cooperation? Where there's yodelling, dancing and rocking as if there's no tomorrow?

The thoroughbred five musicians stamp across the stage in cracking three time, unstoppable and without mercy. Hubert von Goisern elicits sounds from the accordion which you would never have expected. It blares and honks, screams and laughs, giggles and rages. Bernd Bechtloff challengingly drums the beat, driving his colleagues smartly before him, giving them a surface sound of cow bells and other everyday alpine sounds. Initially almost shyly plucking at the zither, Max Lässer emerges as a rebellious dervish on the other stringed instruments. The duels he runs with his frontman could go on for ever, the balladesque interludes too.

Arnulf Lindner dictates the rhythm magnificently above all on the double bass. And then Monika Drasch. The lady from Bairisch Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn with the green violin has already been credited with the art of "erotic yodelling" many times. And in fact: it comes to a courtship dance with von Goisern, who meanwhile also explains that each yodel has lyrics. Yodel diploma? Both stood the test with distinction.

Monika Drasch is also good to listen to as a true multi-talent with bagpipes and clarinet, and fortunately loses the fight against standing still often enough and capers about to the beat as if stung. What's it all about? Whoever could has taken an Austrian translator to the concert with them, but even that does not always lead to insight. Then the solution: Hubert von Goisern himself gives away that you often don't get to the sense of the lyrics at all. Phew! It's great that he sometimes tries to explain, but the war between the liver and semolina dumplings is simply not to be understood.

Instead, the music speaks for itself. Markedly elaborate arrangements convey so much more than just the nurture of customs. Here, the music is developed. The globetrotter actually wanted to make "wicked folk music", but he has not been successful. With his music, he is really doing the best service to a frowned upon genre. Far from awful blissfulness, but not with the crowbar either, he contemplates traditional musical forms of expression so that everyone can see: Hubert von Goisern, born as Achleitner, led his patriotism debate a long time ago.

Thanks Elli

Singing is gold...

Erlanger Nachrichten 4th December 2004 | Text: Stefan Mösller-Rademacher | Photo: Harald Hofmann

Hubert von Goisern plays in the Stadthalle

Monika Drasch and Hubert von GoisernWhoever sees this panorama that is projected onto the stage backdrop can understand why Hubert von Goisern is at peace. Because whenever stress approaches, then he looks at this picture, has a beer and smokes a bit of "shit". That is what he says at his concert in the almost sold-out Heinrich-Lades-Halle anyway - and nobody is completely sure whether they should just accept the trust in the relaxing power of a view from the mountain hotel in which the current CD Trad II was recorded...

The good Hubert talks a lot on this long evening. Sometimes too much. He explains for example, why it is necessary to blow the phlegm out of the sinuses at the beginning of the concert. Some harmonica interludes are to follow anyway. Oh yes. We also discover that yodelling is healthy. So then: when the flu virus grabs us - Hollarduliööööööö...

He then even tells the story of the injured American tourists, missing in the mountains, who were not discovered although a helicopter together with witch for the filming of Bibi Blocksberg flew close over their heads twenty times. Yes, yes: talking is silver, singing is gold ... ok, there are also other moments in the small talk. For example, when Hubert Achleitner, alias Hubert von Goisern, has to stand by a song that he discovered after the recording of the album had been Adolf Hitler's favourite song. He then talks of the nonsense that traditionalists often come out with when they are not singing beautiful songs. No matter whether in Austria, Germany or the other countries of this world.

World music variations

But Achleitner, the multi-culture spirit, kicks against exactly this apparent law of nature. He weaves the most different styles around the folk music of Austria. Then sounds from Tibet, Africa, the clubs in Liverpool or from the Mississippi delta whirl through the air. From it comes a mixture which was once called alpine rock, but which really rather represents an exciting world music dalliance.

But Achleitner can rely completely on an excellently rehearsed band. Max Lässer sometime even replaces the zither voice with mandolin or slide guitar, and the brilliant violinist Monika Drasch (known in the past through the Baierisch Diatonische Jodelwahnsinn) takes hold of the bagpipes from time to time. And when the Roadie, who otherwise tunes the guitars well and hands them out on stage, dances between the musicians like a rabid Holzmichl, nobody thinks of Musikantenstadl. Hubert Achleitner alias Hubert von Goisern just knows exactly how he can really annoy true and false protectors of folk music. And that's good!

Of ski-jumpers, "shit" and "chick"

Erlanger Nachrichten 11th December 2004 | Text: Stefan Mössler-Rademacher

[...] an approaching middle ear inflammation is often not just a threat for the one concerned, but for total innocents too. Above all, when listening. At the concert in the Stadtgalle, the author of these lines believed he was finally on the scent of the real reasons for Hubert von Goisern's equilibrium - even if he assumed that the alpine world musician joked rather ironically in one of his speeches about the use of branded intoxicants. But no, the good Hubert of course does not look into the alpine panorama with a "shit" to smoke, but rather enjoys a "chick". His management promptly communicated amusedly that "in Austrian colloquial jargon", it's "nothing more than a completely normal, non-psychoactive filter cigarette". Attentive EN readers also pointed out the critic's temporary insanity and recommended - probably not wrongly - a language holiday in the Salzkammergut. So then: Sackcloth and ashes. There's no sin on the mountain pasture. And no "shit".

Alpine pain of parting

Nürnberger Zeitung 4th December 2004 | Text: Clemens Helldörfer

Hubert von Goisern in Erlangen

Hubert von Goisern is a man of feeling. During a slow, soulful piece of music, he seems to positively creep into his instrument and looks completely engrossed, during rousing melodies he sweeps across the stage like a will-o'-the-wisp. But you never get the impression that he is posing for the sake of the show, but you are always seeing a person who is completely carried away by his music.

It's clear that an upcoming departure from his beautifully well rehearsed music troupe, with whom he even retired to the solitude of the Austrian mountain world for the CD production, is difficult.

They are "lots of little deaths", explained the "Goiserer" at his concert in Erlangen on Thursday. The day after tomorrow, he is playing with the band in Basel, then it's over and done with his Trad 2 tour. As has been heard, another long absence from the stage should follow, like after the end of the Alpinkatzen.

This visibly affects Hubert von Goisern: he muses for longer than usual between the individual songs and philosophises about questions of meaning and traditions after the motto "it doesn't matter today". And because he is simply a man of feeling, he doesn't just say goodbye on stage to all his excellent musical colleagues, but also to his Franconian bus driver, which moves him almost to tears.

Other than this of course, music is played which has traditional roots and is nevertheless 100% typical of Hubert von Goisern. Yodels and steel guitar, mandolin and storms of drumming: in this cosmos, everything is possible. And you understand the pain of parting felt by the band if you own the songs on CD too: it is simply a world of difference from the live performance, you must just see these musicians playing their unbelievable variety of instruments, including bagpipes, cymbals and Jews' harp, in order to be able to dive into this crazy mixture of alpine tradition and worldwide music currents.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Lucerne - 25th November 2004

2nd December 2004 | Photos: © Dragan Tasic

War of the dumplings

Allgemeine Zeitung 2nd December 2004 | Text: Michael Jacobs | Photo: hbz / Kristina Schäfer

Hubert von Goisern in the Phönix-Halle

Hubert von Goisern"Do you understand it all? I don't." On the one hand, you really want to agree with Hubert von Goisern, because someone who burns icicles at night in songs seems a bit fishy. Something similar could be maintained by the war of the dumplings, which the band serves up as a cracking polka. But on the other hand, the explanations from von Goisern also stray rather disoriented in the Teutonic middle ear. One should have attended the "Upper Austrian for Beginners" course beforehand.

But the music, which the world-travelled man from the Alps conjures from the wheezing cracks of the accordion bellows for the thrilled audience on 3sat's 20th birthday in the Phönix-Halle, Mainz, is unmistakeable. They are songs of his homeland, gnarled, boisterous folk songs of archaic power, handed down over generations, innocent in their nature, but always imprisoned by reactionary thought.

In his beginnings, von Goisern wickedly punked this narrow-minded backwards world of oak leaves and deer horn buttons with his Alpinkatzen. Now he is giving back the country dances, polkas and yodels their pure dignity. And there's not little yodelling between the rock guitar riffs, acoustic bass, violin-playing and crashing drumming of his four member band.

Von Goisern once perfected the high holladihö art on a busy motorway bridge. So the highly-pitched alpine spiral staircase of syllables in Kohler can grow into a sparkling mountain humming. Down-to-earth ballads, like D'Schwoagrin race across the stage with West Coast drive, then a dance to the harmonica, up to De Gamserln with bell spots and guitar pickings. Ironic breaks are provided not only by song titles like Hoalt, oder I schieß di zsamen (Stop, or I'll shoot), but also by country, reggae and world music quotations, which go far beyond the peak of the Krippenstein massif, where von Goisern recorded some of the traditionals.

Then very tenderly, almost unreally resounding, a wistful piece with trumpet shimmers, ghostlike flapping of wings and yodel sighs. "That was Hitler's favourite song," says von Goisern, "Before he switched to marches." Folk music carries its load with difficulty and you need a happy hand to give it relief beyond the terrible state of affairs that is Musikantenstadl. Through the buttons of von Goisern's squeezebox for example.

Back to the musical deer-stalking

Schwäbische Post 30th November 2004 | Text: Markus Lehmann | Photo: Gaida

Hubert was at the Greuthalle ten years ago. A lot has happened since then and Mr von Goisern is now also available as a stamp. It was not the world musician who returned to Aalen, but rather the "old" Styrian on his Trad II tour.

Hubert von GoisernShortly after he gave his frenetically celebrated concert in Aalen in 1994, he disbanded the Alpinkatzen. Went to Nepal and India. And brought back enormous musical impressions from there. Oh yes, and he never wanted to do Hiatamadl again.

"Zum Hirzkarsee" is written on the sign in front of the stage. On it, a mountain shoe which actually demarcates a footpath. But the robust mountain footwear is also a kind of trademark of von Goisern. So a clear sign that the 52 year old has returned to the roots. Or is again taking a creative break after his "Best of" tour. He enters the stage unspectacularly, greets everyone with a witty "Griaß eich". And "blows" sounds on his squeezebox like an enormous dragon breathing deeply. The accordion was the main instrument next to the harmonica, for example for the song Benni from the album Aufgeigen stått niederschiassn. The former revolutionary of folk music talks about the sane, or philosophises about existence, nature and the flight characteristics of dumplings. Rustic, ingenious and funny. The 700 strong audience likes it.

The subject of dumplings was of course only a transition to the song Goassbeitl-Bauernbuam, in which "a Griasknedel und a Leberknedel gornit vertragn" ("a semolina dumpling and a liver dumpling can't stand each other"). Then he presents his dramatis personae of the "musical deer-stalking". The results of the hunt are the quiet sounds and the driving country dances of the albums before Goisern's musical world journey. But they are enriched with acoustic effects and details.

As encore: Hiatamadl, which he had still strictly refused in the summer at Schloss Kapfenburg. Mind you, enriched with double bass and bagpipe sounds.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Germering - 26th November 2004

27th November 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl