Hubert von Goisern


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Alpine rock nobility in Hamelin

Stadtsparkasse Hameln 2004
Max Lässer, Monika Drasch and Hubert von Goisern

"Homeland?!" was the theme of the 18th Lower Saxony Music Days, which are organised by the Lower Saxony Sparkasse foundation and the Sparkasse banks. A complex term, which has increasing relevance again today.

International soloists and ensembles, from the National Symphony Orchestra to Viktor Laszlo, presented their view of homeland in around 70 concerts. The bandwidth of Lower Saxony's biggest festival reached from Smetana's Moldau and Turkish rock to "folk music".

He powerfully made the alpine republic rock: Hubert von Goisern is, next to Mozart and Falco, one of the greats of Austrian music, only very different. He brings the music of his homeland into the present, according to the motto: "if folk music didn't change, then it would be dead music."

In the past years, collaboration with the music greats of other continents was the focus of HvG's work. After an exciting and much-observed phase of world music wandering, his music has once more arrived where he became famous: in the Alps. The accordionist and singer manages like no other to absolutely authentically combine folk music with rock and everything that lies in between with his band. Only one manages that! HvG made a stop at the festival with his Trad 2 tour.

The audience enjoyed the two hour concert to the full. The enthusiasm, the fascination was palpable and at the end there were, rightly, standing ovations.

Hats off to HvG, he was one of the high points of the 18th Lower Saxony Music Days.

Max Lässer, Monika Drasch, Bernd Bechtloff, Hubert von Goisern and Arnulf Lindner

Burning icicles 15th October 2004 | Text: Wolfgang Nickl

"Unterschleißheim, that is freedom!" Such a sentence! And it comes from someone whose homeland is the wide mountain world of Upper Austria. Hubert von Goisern is giving an open air concert in the rather musty tightness of the Unterschleißheim Rathausplatz, with the Legoland charm typical of the 80s.

But he is establishing himself comfortably on stage in an alpine winter landscape from the projector. And with the light of a warm ceiling lamp, an almost mountain hut-like atmosphere arises. Which also suits his programme.

It's called Trad II, and it brings forth traditional songs and yodels of the Salzkammergut, which Goisern puts into a different, world music context. His new band conjure up a wonderful atmosphere with economic musical means and perfect sound. The five musicians weave the old songs new clothes from ska and reggae, country, rock, Tibetan percussion music and alpine folk.

And it suits them well. There's no Egerländer-like TV clown's dress: Goisern takes the tradition, its melodies and stories, seriously. He feels, tastes, listens to them, sees the joy and suffering that must lead to the yodel, to the dance or blues.

In the folk tunes, he says, you find the wisdom of the people. The songs tell meditative little stories of farm life: of love, hunting, the beauty of nature or of someone who burns icicles the whole night as if they were candles.

But this occasionally very thought-provoking programme doesn't work as a soundtrack for beer tent excess. So the fans must wait until the encore for Hiatamadl, Goisern's greatest firecracker, but with which the last icicle is really ablaze.

Exorcist and thoroughbred musician - driving the devil from folk music

Deister-Weserzeitung 13th September 2004 | Text & Photo: Thorsten Sienk

Hubert von Goisern makes a guest appearance with his new band in the Rattenfänger-Halle

Hubert von GoisernHamelin. The man is an exotic foreigner in what is generally called folk music. However, the instrumentation would have fit in: accordion, mouth organ, trumpet. That was it, but then also - the rest is a mixture of yodelling and at times hard-core rock. Hubert von Goisern, who disappeared into the Alps for years, is back again. On Saturday, the man born in 1952 as Hubert Achleitner played in the Hamelin. Rattenfängerhalle during the Lower Saxony Musiktage. The concert was breathtaking, but unfortunately not sold-out. Nevertheless: super atmosphere.

Seven brass bands in Bad Goisern

"To yodel, you need to either have been born to it, or to have had a bad accident," joked Hubert from the 7000 inhabitant town of Goisern. It's in the Salzkammergut - and you can be very funny there. But he really doesn't find folk music so funny. In his town there are seven brass bands, a load of choirs and there's singing everywhere. The town has had to fight with the songs of the brown past. Then coming to terms with the past was over - "and then along came Moik".

Hubert von Goisern has nothing against music, but more against the scene. There he rose up "in order to flush the dirt out of this folksy scene" as an exorcist, with the accordion in front. Achleitner adopts his musical legacy in his two CDs Trad I and II and from it makes a homage to the countless men and women who gave the world these simple but masterly songs. "Trad" - in music it stands mostly in brackets and means traditional songs.

Hubert von Goisern has helped them into the 21st century. With electric guitar, bass, first class musicians and percussion he plays his homeland the blues, making highly individual alpine pop mixtures from his Trads. It's great that with Monika Drasch, Max Lässer, Arnulf Lindner and Bernd Bechtloff, Hubert von Goisern has once more found a band, which in the situation is to be linked to the times of the legendary Alpinkatzen.

Thanks Iris

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Schwangau - 4th September 2004

17th September 2004 | Photos: © Peter Ernzst


Landeszeitung 13th September 2004 | Photo: t&w

Alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern celebrated in the sold-out Vamos

Hubert von Goisernff Lüneburg. Pop stars who like playing the rebel on stage are usually vain: many only let themselves be photographed during the first minutes of the concert, that's when they're still in good form. It doesn't matter to Hubert von Goisern, as long as the audience isn't disturbed. The Austrian alpine rock star was in good form in the sold-out Vamos until the very end. For almost three hours Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern thrilled the audience with his band. As a sideline, the audience of around 800 were also able to do their yodelling diploma; Hubert von Goisern has a message, which goes roughly: "Hollahihuirididudeliö".

Hubert von Goisern, born 1952, is both provincial and cosmopolitan at the same time: the artistic curiosity of the singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer united him with the Dalai Lama for example, as well as the chimpanzee research scientist Jane Goodall, in their countries of course. Aside from that, time and again he dedicates himself to folk music at home, the songs of the Goiserer valley for example, which he powerfully rocks, liberating them from any stuffy folksiness. The programme with which the artist - who now lives in Salzburg - is appearing with in the Lower Saxony Music Days is simply called Trad II (like the CD from 2003).

The music days stand under the title Heimat?! - with a question mark and exclamation mark. Hubert von Goisern looks after the ironic distance with the best will in the world: a good many lyrics, he says, seem "to have arisen under the influence of drugs". For example, the line "Znagst han i die ganze Nacht Eiszapfen brennt" ("Recently I burned icicles the whole night). It doesn't matter, probably barely anybody understood the Goiserer dialect straightaway, it's the same with the Cologne rock band BAP. For example, the song In's Birig, quotation: "I steig voran steigts ma nacha schen/ sads ma nit z'laut lasst' koan schoas abgehn" ("I climb ahead, you follow me well/ don't be too loud and don't fart"). Pieces like his legendary (and now being played again) Koa Hiatamadl, which also managed with two chords at times, reach the audience in this way. And then there are the yodels, which, the alpine rocker convincingly explains, is a "collective exhaling" that promotes health.

Hubert von Goisern has long been an institution, in the north German flatlands too. So, after one song in which he also mixed in Indian sounds as well as rock elements, he can explain without prejudice that this piece "was Hitler's favourite song". Mind you, he only discovered this after the recording, and didn't want to get rid of it. And because this music series is about homeland, he also speaks on his view of the subject: homeland is simply the place where you grow up - no matter whether it offered good or bad conditions.

Hubert von Goisern doesn't want to rest on his laurels: he has given notice to his - first class - band for the end of the year. At the end of November, beginning of December are another eight concerts to complete in quick succession, then he wants to do something new for two years. But what? Travel, compose, "there are no plans". Onwards and upwards.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Rothenburg ob der Tauber - 5th September 2004

13th September 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Blossoms on the stony path

Kieler Nachrichten September 2004 | Text: Christoph Munk

Hubert von Goisern conquers the lowlands with Trad II in the Kieler Schloss

At the end, it was as if Christmas and New Year were both being celebrated at once. The shouts and cheers had faded and Hubert von Goisern had gathered his fans devoutly around him. "Holla reiduli reidulio aho" crooned, sang, yodelled the whole hall, dedicated, intimately and somehow blessedly. Candles would have been nice, here on the red plush in the Kieler Schloss.

The instinctive musician Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern in the Salzburg province, right on the border with Styria, called for his audience to take a stony path. For his most recent CD productions are called Trad and Trad II, like his tour, with which he even ventures in the lowlands. "The main thing is he makes an impression" is the general expectation of the lyricist and composer, who has coupled the alpine sounds with rocky rhythms so exquisitely. But Trad first means "Traditional - folk tunes" and for long stretches of his concert, Hubert von Goisern remains in native fields. For the listener, that means a march through a scree of strange nuggets of dialect, where they certainly come across wonderfully precious finds like "znagst han I die ganze Nacht Eiszapfen brennt, koan Mensch hats nit kennt, dass koane Wachskerzen send" ("Recently I burned icicles the whole night, nobody realised they weren't candles"). And Hubert explains and comes to the conclusion: "It's just German".

Hubert von Goisern also sets out musically from the material handed down, from sweet verses, from bobbing country dances and widely swinging yodels. But he wouldn't be the insubordinate innovator that he is if he left it with the schrumm-schrumm and judeldö. Instead of this, he fires up the dry wood with the hot, rhythmically accented breath of his accordion, the violinist Monika Drasch supplies the ironic line and the plucker Max Lässer serves everything, just not the zither, but rather the lap steel and dobro along with the mandolin and guitars and supplies metal riffs and resounding loops. But when bass player Arnulf Lindner and drummer Bernd Bechtloff really let rip, the groove, the drive, the thrust that everyone has expected sets in.

There the range of foreign lands and foreign sounds blows into the alpine mountain valley, there what Hubert von Goisern has earned on his journeys to Tibet and Africa becomes audible. He spins just such a sweet and simple song as Abend spat into world music in order to then tell everyone that it was Adolf Hitler's favourite song. "Should I have therefore got rid of it? What can the song do about it?" he asks and then it becomes clear that he had long surrounded the innocent piece with a colonial force from the United Music Nations. With it, Hubert von Goisern is in the middle of his love-hate of the music of his homeland. He would rather tear it up than leave it to the Karl Moiks. At best, he has provisionally picked it pieces in order to let it blossom newly and imaginatively again in an act of cool, rascally, pleasurable music making.

Thanks Iris

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Schwangau - 4th September 2004

8th September 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Upstanding yodel with liberating "groove"

Fränkischer Anzeiger 6th September 2004 | Photo: diba

Altstadt open air with Hubert von Goisern

Hubert von Goisern

Rothenburg - One knows these people well enough: these mood makers with the affected permanent grin, those concentrations of declared happy minstrels, who blend schlager and now rock poses with folksy sounds. It seems difficult in such times to keep real folk music in line, to save its honour. The Austrian Hubert von Goisern has managed it, yes, he's even become quite famous for it in the meantime. Rightly: because what and how the 51 year old plays with his band, is the refreshing, radical counter draft to the Moikish Stadl.

Almost everything is refreshing at this first open air concert in the Schrannenplatz: the warm evening, the relaxed atmosphere, the crisp, transparent sound, which shows that blessings can also be endowed with modern acoustic technology, and certainly the music which residents follow with obvious pleasure from their windows - their view unhindered by generously low barriers.

So congenial was the atmosphere, and so congenial the man from Bad Goisern, who distinguished himself as a master of the grooving yodel and upstanding folk music refreshment, as well as a multi-instrumentalist and team worker. On accordion, harmonica, guitar and as a singer, he lets native country dances, gstanzls go within touching distance of Zydeco and hillbilly, suitably accompanied by Arnulf Lindner with his earthy bass, by the stylistically experienced Max Lässer on guitar, by the inspired drummer Bernd Bechtloff as well the atmospheric sound magician Monika Drasch (violin and bagpipes).

Von Goisern (civil name Hubert Achleitner) takes nothing from the originality of the songs of his Upper Austrian homeland. But he does indeed liberate it from the formal stubbornness of wrongly understood loyalty to tradition. The dialect songs about the natural beauty of the mountain world (the girls included) are - even for a south German - not always easy to understand.

However the magic of the liberating, the touching, the poetic, which music always possesses when it is good - this magic breathes this unmistakeable modern alpine sound; in excellent dance rhythms and sometimes in long, contemplative lines, when the widely-travelled (to America and the Far East) bandleader and his combo create really delicate world music with muted jazz trumpet and exotic percussion in the mild stage blue.

The audience dearly appreciated the concert. The enthusiasm, the fascination is palpable, and finally there are standing ovations. In two hours of pure playing time, including a good many encore, Hubert von Goisern and his troupe showed themselves to be in the best of moods, and they also made the best advert for the new Altstadt open air, which could have a future after this all-round successful debut.

Yodelling as a help in every situation

Allgäuer Zeitung 6th September 2004 | Text: Andreas Ellinger

Hubert von Goisern thrills 3000 people beneath the King's castles

Schwangau - At his show beneath Schloss Hohenschwangau Hubert von Goisern sometimes gives the impression that he's travelling as a kind of advocate. His product: yodelling. He constantly praises the advantages of this activity. It's appropriate as a test of partnership, it's healthy and in addition it's fun. And the 3000 visitors at the Königswinkel Open Air had that too. Because Goisern didn't only show his highly musical abilities. More important, and not always to be taken for granted with him: the man from the Salzkammergut was in a good mood, spoke to the audience and so created an open and at the same time intimate atmosphere. The enormous musical development which the 52 year has made in the last ten years certainly also contributed. Pop-like and rousing folk music, without be reminiscent of Karl Moik and his consorts, Hubert could already do that with his Alpinkatzen.

But it's the quiet sounds in between that make his music so worth listening to - at times with a jazzy touch, at times with Caribbean influences. They ensure that the concert stood out pleasantly against those in which traditional folk music is only quickly pepped up with an electric guitar. But of course Goisern has that too. But guitarist Max Lässer had to fight for and share musical room with a double bass played in an ingeniously relaxed manner by Arnulf Lindner and Bernd Bechtloff, a percussionist in best form. It's just a shame that Monika Drasch was sold below value by the sound technician. She and her violin could have by all means taken on Hubert Achleitner - Goisern's civil name - and his diatonic accordions, the jazz trumpet or harmonica.

That was one of the outstanding experiences of the concert: it almost gave the impression that you can give Goisern any instrument and a few moments later he can play it, feel it, yes, melt into it. It's clear that his main instrument was the diatonic, on which he played many songs - from the frenetically cheered Koa Hiatamadl to the song about the burning icicles. His second most important instrument: the yodel voice. There he really came up when he could yodel, no matter whether for Kohler or Krippensteiner. Goisern perhaps got some couples in the audience into trouble with his enthusiasm for this special form of alpine singing: "Because if he wants to yodel and she doesn't let him, the relationship doesn't last long," he said, full of studied conviction.

Good for the soul, good for the mind

Saarland Online 3rd September 2004 | Photo: Vetter

Trier: Hubert von Goisern and the high art of yodelling

Hubert von GoisernTrier. Patient fans: Due to the power cut, the alpine rocker couldn't send out his first yodel in the Kaiserthermen until 9pm. But the 1100 strong audience were more than reimbursed for their endurance. The whole of Trier stands silently, and it also looks quite dark in the time-honoured Kaiserthermen at 7pm for the concert from Hubert from Goisern (small Austrian village in the northern shadow of the Dachstein massif). Even organiser Ingo Popp no longer believed that the curtain would go up on this sunny evening. Even though a power set from Mannheim had been promised to him ... shortly before midnight his mood was noticeably improved. A few minutes before Hubert and his band had emphatically thanked the "great" audience for their perseverance with deep bows.

The unit that arrived was not necessary - right on time, electricity came out of the socket again. Pop and gstanzl, blues and country dance, rock and doubles - for more than twenty years now, Hubert von Goisern and his fellow combatants in changing formations have been breaking every musical taboo. It was worth an attempt to get the Trier audience to yodel, at the least the foundation of the alpine primal scream. "Dare to do it, let it out," because yodelling helps in many situations, it's good for the soul, good for the mind, good for blowing off steam and unbeatable in an emergency. "Because when your boss is flaming you, just yodel back." Yodelling as life help, not bad either. If only it was a bit easier. Something Hubert should please bear in mind, because after all, he didn't come into the world with a yodel either. Instead he learned the high art from the wonderful "Alpine" Sabine Kapfinger, who was part of his band on his first CDs and who has remained unforgettable to the fans since Hubert's first appearance in the region ten years ago in the Freudenburg Ducsaal.

Music to dance to was played, a country dance too. Most people in the Kaiserthermen had come to listen, not to dance. So it was no shortcoming that 750 of them sat on the chairs in the middle in front of the stage. Hubert von Goisern plays (preferably on the Styrian) and sings folk music, not folksily, that's the difference. A yodel supported by the slide guitar serves as the start to the programme of the Trad II tour, for which he has put together Arnulf Lindner (bass), Max Lässer (guitar), Bernd Bechtloff (drums) and Monika Drasch (violin, clarinet and bagpipes!) as the band. The name is programme, besides current pieces Hubert von Goisern also plays oldies like Benni, the Scottish Ausseer, or Iawaramoi from the CD Omunduntn.

And as encore there was even Koa Hiatamadl, his most popular song, which he didn't want to play any more out of irritation, because at that time the radio stations only went for this title. Nothing's for ever. It's good that Hubert von Goisern has changed his mind.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Vienna - 31st August 2004 2nd September 2004

Folk music freed from the barn

Kurier 2nd September 2004 | Text: Guitar

Hubert von Goisern in the Vienna Museumsquartier

Everyone I know has a mother. And each of these mothers could sing the sad song Wann i durchgeh durchs Tal in such a way that the children would have tears in their eyes.

HOLLA REIDULI Evidently the audience at Hubert von Goisern's concert in the Vienna Museumsquartier consisted mainly of these mothers. Because as Goisern struck up this song alone at the end, the audience formed a perfect three-voiced choir. Kitsch? Not at all. Kitsch is when Karl Moik makes a spectacle of himself next to plastic fir trees, accompanied by the Fidelen Somethingtalers. What Hubert von Goisern did was simply beautiful.

REIDULI REIDULIO Our folk music is stuck inoperably within us. Abandoning our folk music to Musikantenstadl, means accepting the plastification of a part of our own soul. Or learning to hate this part of our soul. Both are unhealthy.

But Hubert von Goisern goes a step further. His natural disgust for boundaries familiar, he plays the yodels, dances and gstanzls from the Salzkammergut - to be heard on the albums Trad and Trad II - as he hears them.

HOLLA REIDULI And there accordion, violin, bagpipes meet to dance, the double bass roasts the trumpet, everything that has strings or can be beaten rhythmically can speak. From yodelling comes the blues and vice versa, and everything wins.

REIDULI0 AHO Supported by a magnificent band, Hubert von Goisern played his interpretations of traditional pieces in the MQ - and also Hiatamadl, unbearable to Hubert for a long time, at heart also a folk song. Of course it's a shame about rocky souled Hubert von Goisern, about hits like Weit, weit weg or Heast as net. But they will probably be back again sometime. What is important: Goisern seemed happy with what he did (and his audience were too).

By the way, in his moderation, Goisern was much more entertaining than Moik will ever be.