Hubert von Goisern


TRAD II TOUR 2004 >> Concert Reviews: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Folk in jazzy clothes at the castle

Aachener Zeitung 4th August 2004 | Text: Ralph Allgaier

Hubert von GoisernWürselen. Loriot's yodel school came to life again on the Burg Wilhelmstein stage. But, oh, the Rhine audience didn't manage when alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern prepared to bring the Westzipflers closer to the old communicative sounds of their homeland. Only a meagre echo came back from his witty "holeradiridiridirida".

But despite this "flop", a wonderful evening lay before the sold-out house. You don't have to understand everything that comes from the Austrian.

When the Goiserer tells his stories is his inimitably casual manner, you sometimes wish you had subtitles, and you only understand a little of the lyrics - which isn't a bad thing, as, according to Hubert, often enough they don't really make sense "because the author was probably under the influence of drugs at the time of writing".

With such ironic distance, but quite respectfully, von Goisern approaches the old folk songs of the Salzkammergut on his current tour Trad II. His interpretations certainly have nothing to do with the stupid droning of any Musikantenstadl.

Striking turn

The pieces begin very traditionally, almost like the in the alpine huts. But then they take a striking turn, the "hunter mocking song" or the 84 year old yodel melody flows into a tearing guitar solo, a powerful groove, supported by turbulently jazzy drums.

It's brilliant how the old folk songs, in which von Goisern recognises an important core for all music, merges with elements of rock, with a breath of Afro pop or oriental motifs.

Multi-instrumentalist von Goisern impresses above all on the "Styrian", an accordion, from which he elicits the greatest rhythms and sounds in a sometimes crazy tempo and still leaps wildly about the stage. But his arts would only be worth half as much without his consistently excellent fellow combatants.

Remarkable above all is discreetly anarchic-looking the Monika Drasch, a talented violinist, clarinetist, bagpipe player and singer with fire-red hair, who once cause a sensation with Bairisch-Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn. It's sensational, how she starts a wild yodel duet with von Goisern with shifting voices and they both look deep into each other's eyes.

Max Lässer on a variety of guitars and Arnulf Lindner as the sensitive bass guitar and double bass player were also top class. Not to forget Bernd Bechtloff as the singing drummer who is never at a loss for a new idea and even lets his hands fly across biscuit tins and wooden boxes. At the end came the eternally young Hiatamadl. The standing applauding auditorium barely wanted to let its stars leave the stage.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Weissenburg - 31st July 2004

6th August 2004 | Photos: © Michael Bamberger

Prime substance of musical expression

Passauer Neue Presse 3rd August 2004 | Text: Stefan Rammer | Photo: Thomas Jaeger

Folk music as world music - 4500 people at two Hubert von Goisern concerts in Passau

Hubert von Goisern"Znachst hon i de ganze Nochd Eiszapfn brennt" ("Recently I burned icicles the whole night), he sings and says it's probably quite a mad story he's telling. But it suits the history of Hubert von Goisern's music, he knows where he has come from and therefore singlemindedly goes his musical way into the future. He comes from Goisern at the foot of the Dachstein and so calls himself Hubert von Goisern, and like his famous compatriot Gustav Mahler, he has spiritualised: "Tradition is the passing on of fire, not the worship of ashes". And like the composer, Hubert von Goisern draws strength from Austrian folk music. And from the ashes rises the phoenix of folk music, which become world music.

The good 2700 people at the open air at the Passau Domplatz on Sunday evening (it was 1800 yesterday) were offered something absolutely breathtaking. The world was visiting in its best sense. From the Alps, it went into the Himalayas, into the Scottish highlands, into the Australian bush. The country dance becomes entwined with rap, yodelling marries the blues, and the Steirer even searches for the closeness of funk. The Mississippi is as near as the Tibetan highlands and the Irish pub. And in the stories Goisern tells in between, the woodcutter Kohler comes alive, the hunter and the jumping chamois, it becomes clear how deeply the musician from the Salzkammergut is rooted in his homeland.

"Oans, zwoa, drei, hob di stad, dass di ned obidraht" ("one, two, three, hold still, so you don't fall"). The lyrics that are easy to understand in Lower Bavaria meanwhile grow into Esperanto, which all fans of the best music understand. And "anyone falls" off their chair. The yodel is lamentations and lovers' oaths, it's an attitude to life in any case. "A yodel a day keeps the doctor away" it means jokingly and Goisern says seriously that you can cast out Beelzebub with yodelling. And so he rushes about the stage with Monika Drasch with tongue-snapping rising vocal mountains 8000 metres high.

What is handed down is taken seriously and changed as respectfully as it is passionately. He can be coarse, sentimental, erotic too and also socially critical, and like his musicians he is a genius at originality, spontaneity and joy of experimentation. The electric guitar cries out, rocking drums enter the country dance and all the instruments nearly become hypnotists, kidnapping you into the meditative world of sound.

Hubert von Goisern sings, plays the accordion, harmonica, Jews' harp, guitar and trumpet. Max Lässer shines on guitars, lap steel and dobro, Bernd Bechtloff does all the drum work and conjures up Eastern flair. Arnulf Lindner plays the double bass and bass guitar and Monika Drasch from Deggendorf reaches top form with violin and voice as well as bagpipes and a variety of flutes. Each actor has a master and nevertheless they fit together under Goisern's direction. And again he lets each have their space. The scenery of the Krippenstein, the high plateau in the Dachstein massif, as a slide projection in the large stage was not necessarily needed. The imposing lit cathedral would have been scenery enough. Oh what the hell, the audience between 3 and 83 enjoyed the guest appearance by the musical globetrotter to the full. So beautiful open airs can be, so beautiful folk music can be. There should be more such events at the Domplatz. If music is the switching of spiritual life to the sensual, then there's nothing more uniting than the prime substance of the musical expression of Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Augsburg - 26th July 2004

5th August 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

World music in front of impressive scenery

Passauer Neue Presse 2nd August 2004 | Text: Hans-Peter Hoeren | Photo: Thomas Jaeger

2000 people cheer Hubert von Goisern and his band at the Domplatz

Monika Drasch and Hubert von Goisern

Excellent world music on a lukewarm summer evening, in front of a wonderful backdrop: there was all that yesterday evening at the appearance by Hubert von Goisern and his four member band at the Domplatz. Around 2000 people clapped, moved in time and danced enthusiastically with the first big nonclassical concert in front of the cathedral. It was the mixture of down-to-earth, traditional folk music with pop rhythms, with rhythm and blues and also with a bit of Africa, which really amounted to the attraction of the evening. Goisern's long drawn out joyful yodels are sent out interweaved with the sounds of trumpet, blues harp, an unleashed accordion, electric guitar, percussion or violin - folk music with a modern sound. "Sure, it's hard to understand, if you can't get it, make up your own story," the musician advised the audience after half an hour, but the rousing rhythms were enough for them anyway.

Moving together for Hubert von Goisern

Marktplatz Oberbayern 25th July 2004 | Text : mf

Rathausplatz crowded on both concert evenings

Unterschleißheim - Sold-out twice: When Hubert von Goisern yodels, sings and mixes folk with modern in the open air, then the Rathausplatz in Unterschleißheim is also full on both evenings. 1500 seats and 1200 standing room tickets - the tickets went like never before, and that was also down to the weather; the alpine rocker brought the sun with him in his rucksack. Which surprised him too: "After such a long time, another day where it's not raining and cold - Unterschleißheim will be remembered well." Because it was so beautifully warm, the audience had equipped themselves with water bottles - and promptly met with resistance from the stewards. They took the water bottles from the audience at the entrance, and the organiser then put right the disagreement: Karlheinz Zierold, manager of Forum GmbH praised the security, but he also quite clearly recognised: "You lot don't look like an audience who smash bottles." Finally the stewards came out with the collected bottles again, and also for the few guests who were searching for the seats they had paid for, Zierold went to the microphone and asked the people on the benches: "move together a bit on the field, then it'll work."

Yodelling to the sound of the silver-green sparkling squeezebox, percussion, violin, zither and cello - it goes to your ears and everybody understands it too. It's more difficult with the lyrics: "yeah, it's difficult to understand," Hubert von Goisern admitted. "But it's not down to the dialect, but rather the content and the inner alpine poetry," he said and remarked in a relaxed manner: "If you don't understand what it's about, simply find your own story."

And so he sings about the Schwaigerin - no, that's not a Schwägerin (sister-in-law), but a Sennerin (dairymaid) -, mocks "an appalling umbrella", combines folk music with the sounds of the South Seas and lets the melody of his impossible to miss hit A Hiatamadl mog i net resonate. With elements of rock and a breath of the Caribbean or a pinch of Africa, Hubert von Goisern also makes folksy music attractive to young people again. Jews' harp, electric bass, mouth organ and drums are combined and give the traditional a modern and typical Goisern sound. This music creates atmosphere and goes right through you.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Benediktbeuern - 23rd & 24th July 2004

31st July 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

"Yodelling is healthy"

Tölzer Kurier 26th July 2004 | Text: Ines Gokus

Hubert von Goisern delights twice in the Maierhof

Benediktbeuern. "Hubert, you're the best", a female voice calls from one of the front rows. But von Goisern modestly says: "I'm only as good as we all are." Hubert von Goisern's concert on Friday in the Maierhof of the Benediktbeuern cloister was a real pleasure - simply because everything worked. Great music, lukewarm summer evening and dancing glow worms, the view of the crescent moon between the two onion domes of the monastery church and an artist who is harmonious with himself and his music. He has travelled far in his life and he has collected musical souvenirs everywhere. So it's not simply just old Austrian tunes or traditional yodels he sings, a little something different always resonates. A little wanderlust, a bit of humility, but the message that "home" is above all in the heart and is something very special is overriding. Von Goisern is now 51, but in the fashionably casual creased look, his nature boy attractiveness is brought fully to bear. That is possibly also the reason behind his mark of favour with women.

Always in close contact with his musicians Bernd Bechtloff (drums/percussion), Monika Drasch (violin, vocals), Max Lässer (guitar) and Arnulf Lindner (bass), he covers the range between earthy folk music and music which is at home anywhere in the world. Bass solo and electric guitar are deployed as are the accordion, tender sounds from the violin or mystical percussion jingles, everything interweaved in such a way with the traditional sounds that a sound full of depth, but also full of grace arises.

"Do you understand what I'm saying?" he asks his audience and warns: "Time and again there are passages which will remain cryptic to you." Which isn't just down to the singer's dialect, but above all the primitive content of the old lyrics, whose sense is not always totally opened up. So with lyrics like "znagst han i die ganze Nacht Eiszapfen brennt, und koa Mensch hat's ned kennt, dass koane Wachskerzen send" ("recently I burned icicles the whole night, and nobody realised that they weren't candles") you can enjoy them totally cluelessly - if you understand them.

The roughly 2500 people in the Maierhof listened raptly but relatively still, which seemed to confuse Goisern: "Is it down to the monastery that you're all so quiet?" But the "Doigen" are also almost a mountain folk and as such, they wait first. And then there's a thing with the seats at a concert. You would like to join in, but you can't really and it can be a moment before the band and audience are one. "Now we'll do a joint yodel. Now the time has come," Goisern decided after three quarters of an hour of concert - and whoever didn't know it, knows it now: yodelling is healthy and nothing can happen to you if you let out a yodel once a day.

Finally, he let himself be carried away with Hiatamadl, although he once said that he would never play the song live again. You really can't reduce him to this popular melody. But you must nevertheless sing along.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Pforzheim - 18th July 2004

29th July 2004 | Photos: © Winfried Reinhardt |

Crisis management uses yodelling

Hanauer Anzeiger 23rd July 2004 | Text: Esther George (HA/jp) | Photo: Paul

Against lederhosen stink: Hubert von Goisern and his dusted-off folk music in the sold-out Amphietheater - enthralled listeners

Hubert von GoisernHubert von Goisern has a very special relationship with yodels and folk songs. The fact that he completely dusts off folk music and removes it from the lederhosen stink is connected with the varied arrangements and interpretations that Goisern takes from this traditional genre. He was to be seen in the sold-out Amphietheater during the Hanau Kultursommer, where he presented his newest programme Trad II with his four member band.

In varied, original and never vulgar ways, he sounds the depths of the musical possibilities which are hidden in these songs and despite many dialect barriers, he thrills the Hessian fans. After his analysis of exotic musical cultures, with which the Austrian globetrotter from the Salzkammergut excited people at his last appearance in Hanau, he now returns to the handed down folk songs as the source of his musical inspiration.

And the rediscovery, or rather more the revitalisation of these songs was a success with a great deal of vitality during his appearance. Certainly: folk music can be ribald, but it can, as shown in Goisern's interpretations, reveal bursting zest for life or also sentimental components through this untouched nature.

The two signs "Zur Mittelstation Schönbergalpe" and "Zum Hirzkarsee" on the stage of the Amphietheater show how serious homeland is for Goisern - but only as serious as folk music itself lets it be, and it can also sometimes be really funny to bizarre in its statements. You don't need to worry about understanding the lyrics, Goisern reassures the audience. Even if you understand the lyrics, they don't always make sense.

Together with his band, Hubert von Goisern dresses the primitive songs in an imaginative, never cloying instrumentation with accordion, violin, double bass and guitar, but also with Jews' harp, tin cans and cow bells and blurs virtual musical boundaries.

The intros to the songs were reminiscent of ballads and in reality turned out to be folk themes, or they transform into a fantastic country dance via pop beats, which don't let you sit still any more. As cheerfully as deeply, Goisern made the folksy tunes understandable in their musical effect and apt trivial clips went around them.

Because yodelling is the very healthiest thing and is used in crisis management, joked Goisern, time and again he also incited the audience to join in - although it proved to not be very simple for the Hessian mouths.

Yodelling, letting out juchitzers, singing and playing versatile music, Hubert von Goisern and his band showed how multifaceted folk music can be if you avail yourself of the musical possibilities that keeps it open.

A dream of the alpine cultural area

Fürstenfeldbrucker Tagblatt 25th July 2004 | Text: Andreas Daschner

Hubert von Goisern guests in the Stadtsaalinnenhof in Fürstenfeld

Fürstenfeldbruck - He is considered to be the founder of alpine rock, his single Koa Hiatamadl enjoys cult status. Meanwhile, Hubert von Goisern has disbanded his former group, the Alpinkatzen. During the Fürstenfelder Kultursommer in front of 1500 people in the Stadtsaalhof, he proved that he still knows how to enthrall his audience without these comrades in arms.

In his Trad tour, the musical genius particularly gets into handed down pieces of folk music, and, in his own words, fulfils a dream. Nevertheless, he had to admit "that after the second song I realised that we are outside the alpine cultural area."

So the Austrian briefly doubted that the Fürstenfeldbruck audience would also fully understand the dialect lyrics of his songs. But the laughter that Hubert von Goisern got on his side with his inimitable humour showed that there was no lack of understanding.

He sang through rockily breathed on pearls of folk music like Hinter der Stadltür, Halt, oder I schiaß Di z'sam or D'Schwoagarin.

The instrumental multitalent proved that he mastered the rocky rhythms as well as the quieter sounds on harmonica, accordion and guitar. The audience in the sold-out Stadtsaalhof soaked up every piece with great enthusiasm. It made no difference whether the listeners were young or old, von Goisern knew how to thrill everyone and in doing so delivered one of the high points of this year's Kultursommer in Fürstenfeldbruck.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Unterschleissheim - 16th July 2004

23rd July 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Alpenglow and sheet lightning

Süddeutsche Zeitung 22nd July 2004 | Text: Christoph Leibold | Photo: Ortwin Scheider

Hubert von Goisern between love of his homeland and homesickness - and Tuesday evening in the sold out Stadtsaalhof

HvG and MoniFürstenfeldbruck. At 22.34 there is bacon. I have nothing against bacon, Hubert von Goisern once said in an interview, but when there's bacon for breakfast every day, "then you want muesli sometime." It's been about like that with Hiatamadl, since he's played it a hundred, no probably a thousand times.

So punctually at 22.24 on this wonderful evening in the Brucker Stadtsaalhof, Hubert von Goisern unpacked Hiatamadl. Before it he put all his money on traditional folk music - without a single hit - for a remarkable two and a half hours, certainly in arrangements typical of him, in which waltzes go off like "rhythm and blues" and country dances sound like they are particularly danced in the Mississippi Delta.

Now Hubert von Goisern is of course not the only one who mixes alpine folk music with influences from the four corners of the earth. Blues harp, dobro, exotic drum work and steel guitar, chord on chord with double bass and accordion have long been the custom of the alpine rock scene. But barely any other of its protagonists has followed this way as consistently as Hubert von Goisern.

With his "crazy idea" of providing for a tour along with a CD exclusively with workings of traditional folk music, he found a captivating purity with every variety of sound. It seems as if von Goisern (with whom you must always worry that he could be torn between love of his homeland and homesickness) has found what he likes with this pure and yet different folk music. The astonishing result: a sophisticated concert, precise not only in its presentation, but also in dramaturgy. It begins raised like an alpenglow, peacefully, calmly, a floating sound, sensitively grooving, until the music finally takes off into breathtaking sheet lightning.

Of course Hubert von Goisern's fantastic four member band has a large share, among the members is recently also Moni Drasch, previously of the meanwhile disbanded Bairisch-Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn, easy to recognise again with her grass-green violin. Moni Drasch is also a congenial partner for Hubert von Goisern with yodelling. Again and again the pair set yodels of almost ethereal beauty and clarity against the rocky rhythms. And when Monika Drasch and von Goisern finally yodel in duet without instrumental accompaniment, it has a rousing power of expression which makes a good many hip-hoppers look stupid.

Yodelling, Hubert von Goisern says, is healthy. Like muesli. With bacon however, you can overeat. It's okay when you're served it. But the musical treat could not rise any more before the Hiatamadl either.

Folk music given a new soul

Pforzheimer Zeitung 20th July 2004 | Text: Ralf Recklies

1200 people enthusiastically cheer Hubert von Goisern and band in the Pforzheimer Kulturhaus Osterfeld courtyard

Pforzheim. Hubert von Goisern is a musician with a lot of feeling, a healthy dose of humour and a strong connection to the roots of his own history. This was clear at the Upper Austrian's most recent concert in the Pforzheimer Kulturhaus Osterfeld courtyard, where von Goisern captivated more than 1200 music lovers for around two and a half hours. The current project with which Hubert von Goisern throws an equally humorous and interesting look at the folk music of his homeland and gives it a new imprint through modern revision is called Trad II.

The 51 year old has collected old tunes and traditional yodels, often handed down over many centuries, from the Salzkammergut and has knitted a programme just as exciting as enjoyable from them, which is capable of uniting fans of folk music, of experimental sounds, as well as lovers of the often unconventional Goisern compositions.

Von Goisern has carefully approached the venerable melodies and lyrics, which are controlled in their original form by moving game romance and crude dialect. But von Goisern would not be von Goisern if he had, as he says himself, only subordinated "the basic substance of my musical expression, my ABC in notes" to the spirit of the time. So he does not simply the work with driving basses or powerful beats, but instead creates new, sensitive pieces, far from all homeland nonsense.

Both musically and with content, they refer consciously to their origin, nevertheless they let the creative potential of the Upper Austrian stand clear, he who manages to give folk music a new soul. Together with his musicians, von Goisern creates fascinating pictures of sound, above all through his mostly careful interpretations - atmospheric, close and full music of emotions. It is magnificent, how the quintet manage to enthuse the listeners with the excitingly arranged and yet simply instrumented pieces. At times von Goisern (vocals, accordion, trumpet, flugelhorn and guitar), Max Lässer (stringed instruments), Bernd Bechtloff (drums and percussion), Arnulf Lindner (bass) and Monika Drasch (violin and vocals) carry you off into fascinating spherical sound worlds, at times they provide for eager listening with driving rhythms and running basses. The fact that you often don't understand the text barely disturbs you either, but rather at least offers the opportunity to unabashedly let yourself in on the wonderful instrumentation, with which von Goisern and his fellow combatants successfully strive to return folk music its honour.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Zell am See - 11th July 2004

18th July 2004: Photos: © Elli Christl