Hubert von Goisern


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

Hubert von Goisern's world-embracing harmony in the CCW

Mainpost 3rd May 2004 | Text: Wolfgang Jung

People should make up their own rhyme

Würzburg. That was a wonderful evening! Hubert von Goisern was in the Würzburg Congress Centrum, four exquisite musicians with him. To be heard was at least approximately Styrian folk music: sometimes it was deadly beautiful, a blessed dream, a spell of world-embracing harmony. Guitar, percussion, double bass, a violin, an accordion floated in timeless spheres, a dreamy yodel too - man, the Styrian mountains must be beautiful to make such music grow there. There is no harm, nothing hurts there, it's pure poetry. After one of these wonderful pieces - you've just noticed that you're only sitting in the CCW - Goisern, a master of ceremonies, explains that the piece you just heard was a favourite of Adi's. Adi? Adolf Hitler. Every rose has thorns, those from Styria too, unfortunately.

Hubert von Goisern has adapted traditional lyrics and melodies from his Styrian homeland in a contemporary fashion. He reports that the fans of pure folk music teaching there are horrified with what he does. You can imagine it well. The strict forms remain in the distance with him; his music leaves the narrowness of the province. With him, the old stuff gets new strength and vitality. When he is not travelling in completely celestial areas, he lets the songs rock. The man is widely travelled, you hear that. Sometimes a piece reaches the ecstasy of Pakistani Sufi singing, at times you hear African, sometimes Indian influences, the guitars in particular must have an extensive relationship in the Mississippi delta, but the roots always remain recognisable, this alpine complexity with changing rhythms, tricky multi-voiced parts and larynx singing; the Franconian and Styrian cultures affect each other in their simplicity.

But otherwise? What was to be heard was so strange that it could also come from a forgotten corner of Africa. And not just in musical conversion: "Znagst (zunächst) 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 that they weren't candles"), he sings. What does that mean? Hubert von Goisern thinks it improbable, he says, that the audience understands what it's about. People should simply make up their own rhyme. Like with this piece, praise for the chamois: "Die Gamserln schwarz und braun / die san so lieb zum schaun / und wenns das schießen willst / dann muaßt die aufi traun" ("The chamois black and brown / they're so nice to look at / and when you want to shoot them / then you must venture upwards"). The last verse, huidiridulie: "Die Gamserln rosa-lilla / die tragn a Sonnenbrilla / san süß wia Marzipan / und schmecken nach Vanilla" ("The chamois pink-purple / they wear sunglasses / they're sweet like marzipan / and taste of vanilla").

The stage: at little expenditure, but very impressively bathed in warm light; occasionally a projection in the background, an enormous mountain landscape for example. The audience diverse in age and appearance: out of their minds with excitement. At the end, after a good three hours of music: standing ovations for Hubert von Goisern, Arnulf Lindner, Bernd Bechtloff, Max Lässer and the extraordinary multi-instrumentalist Monika Drasch.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Würzburg - 1st May 2004

6th May 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

"Do you understand it all?" - "Holarei-dudi-dudi-dudirei-dudijo"

Schwäbische Zeitung Online 4th May 2004 | Photo: Donner

Hubert von GoisernHe's home again. After he travelled the world musically and for years, homesickness probably seized him. Hubert von Goisern, musically landed back at his roots again, let his fans share in his reunion joy in the sold-out Friedrichshafen Graf-Zeppelin-Haus on Sunday.

They celebrate him with standing ovations and are rewarded with two and a half hours of intensive concert, which goes via your ears to your heart, into your blood and to your legs. Some would like to dance to the faster pieces, but you are satisfied with singing along, yodelling and clapping until your fingers are sore.

Hubert is yodelling again. A breathtaking experience for his fans, who also accompanied him during his expeditions into very different musical and style directions and are now excited about his return to his roots. This is how they got to know and love him. Because it also sounds very homelike and beautiful to hear him sing the old gstanzls.

In between he gives away where he has collected these songs from in amusing stories. In innocent white, he celebrates his music, much from the new Trad II album, where "trad" stands for "traditional". Logical. But that doesn't mean he always abides by tradition. He sings and plays as he likes.

Trad II arose on the 2100m high Krippenstein in the Dachstein massif. The musicians hauled all their equipment up the mountain in cable cars for this successful musical experiment. Hubert's earthy, ethnic charm, his movements to the powerful rhythms of the sometimes melancholy folk tunes or rocky folk dances have something sexy that fascinates your eyes. "Do you understand it all?" he asks his fans. "You probably understand it all, but there's no sense. That's because the lyrics are so funny. It's not down to my dictum!" he lets them know.

He believes that the songwriters back then must have probably had "some funny mushrooms", because "schnapps alone doesn't lead to such nonsense!" It is certain: The "nonsense" is great fun for everybody. You hear, you see and that is perfectly sufficient.

Sometimes erotic, sometimes funny

The content of the songs is simple and forthright, at times cryptically erotic, at time openly funny. So De Gamserln (The Chamois) very slowly transform from the familiar "black and brown" to "pink-purple", and in the middle of the yodel, drums begin as if they'd always been there.

Abend spat or Schönberger sound soft and silken. The musicians close their eyes, enjoying, celebrating their very own music. The audience dreams, enjoys and celebrates with them, letting the music deeply affect them.

Percussion artist Bernd Bechtloff meanwhile lets cow bells and crickets, birds and the wind sound out. Hubert von Goisern changes between accordion, guitar, trumpet, flute and harmonica. And when he lets his audience yodel along, he spurs them on with: "It doesn't matter how it sounds, you must just let it out!"

As encore, he completely spoils the enraptured listeners with Hiatamadl. After the applause that did not want to end, he puts forth a sensitive departing yodel. And with a soft "Holarei-dudi-dudi-dudirei-dudijo" on their lips and a "thank you Hubert" in their hearts, the fans happily leave the GZH.

Cows grazing in time

RZ-Online 29th April 2004 | Text: Timo Müller | Photo: Thomas Frey

As the silhouette of the man appears behind the curtain, life comes into the Rhein-Mosel-Halle - yodels in new garb
Alpine rock and pop: Hubert von Goisern's concert

Hubert von GoisernKoblenz. "No winter road clearance": so says a sign on the right. On the left a sign "to the Hirzkarsee". The band is already on stage and provides the scene with celestial sounds: the curtain opens a little. Onto a white backdrop falls an unmistakable shadow: the accordion breathes heavily in the hands of the silhouette. And suddenly the hall is alive. Calls of "Hubert" are loud. Hubert von Goisern enters the stage with lightly rocking steps. The show begins.

"Hello everybody" - as if among friends. Then there's the music from the new album Trad II - traditional alpine yodels in new garb. Illuminated by just a small light below, Goisern presents his versions of the folk songs. Even an old kitchen lamp swings down from the ceiling for some songs and gives a mountain hut atmosphere. The eccentric Austrian is accompanied by first-class multi-instrumentalists - violin, clarinet, mouth organ, bagpipes, accordion, drums, of course the obligatory cow bells aren't missing.

In quieter passages, you might think that in the distance a couple of working animals are in fact grazing in the sunlight on a green alpine pasture. With the bottleneck on his ring finger and the electric guitar in his hand, guitarist Max Lässer embellishes the songs with slide solos and gives a breath of country music here and there. The bass player often only strokes the bow softly over the strings and produces a deep snugly-warm sound, which beautifully underscores the singing harmonies.

The musical repertoire reaches from reggae and blues to a cappella yodel interludes. And time and time again amazes the audience, just how well these different styles suit dialect and traditional songs. Most of the songs in this evening are performed very softly and to a large extent acoustically. Unfortunately the typical alpine rock songs come across a little too briefly. But after an entertaining two and a half hours, Goisern then really steps on the gas with his biggest hit Koa Hiatamadl. Encores follow, then Goisern says goodbye: "That was great." Three hours of pure alpine feeling. In the middle of Koblenz.

The soul and eroticism of the yodel

Traunsteiner Tagblatt 29th April 2004 | Text & Photo: Wolfgang Schweiger

Hubert von Goisern makes a guest appearance in the Salzburg Festspielhaus

Hubert von GoisernIn earlier years, when asked what sort of music I listened to, I always answered: everything really, except folk music. Folk music was simply not entertainment for me, not anything that I could identify with. A foreign body in the immediate vicinity, if you like. Yes, sometimes even a concept of the enemy. The music itself may not have been bad, but it was in the wrong hands, nothing came across that touched me or carried me away. Congealed material, interpreted, mismanaged and conserved by people who were simply not my thing. To say nothing of the joke characters on TV, who - with me in any case - only released aggression.

Until a little wonder took place. Suddenly there was someone who broke out of these decrepit structures, ignored venerable traditions and poured new wine into the old bottles. And promptly made them explode. But see, suddenly we all had something to drink, the teetotallers and opponents too, the foreign ones and the unacquainted ones. We finally saw clearly and recognised what potential the treasure that lay before us had. Thoroughly dusted off, worked on with great imagination and modernly electrified, folk music was finally mutated to really popular music. To pop music even. And with Hubert Achleitner alias Hubert von Goisern, its first star was born at the same time.

Von Goisern has now been on tour since Ash Wednesday, with a new band and under a new sign. His Trad II album is above all on the programme, instead of his own compositions, so traditional songs which have accompanied him his whole life, as he says. Lovingly restored and unconventionally transformed, but perhaps not so as catchily as many think. But all worries are unfounded, the audience in the sold-out Salzburg Festspielhaus is immediately on his side and will not be disappointed.

Far from all star allure and as energetic as ever, he lets rip and immediately creates an atmosphere of tense expectation. And shows us in the following two hours how dynamic and varied, how fresh and bright these diverse country dances, gstanzl and yodels can be, provided that the arrangements are accordingly complex and enriched with rock elements, carried by an almost uncountable number of instruments and held together by a voice which exudes sex, warmth and lust for life. Then even alpenglow and poacher kitsch become art, giving mountain romance and homesickness new sense and finding the soul and eroticism of yodelling together at last.

The support von Goisern receives from his band is exemplary. Four young musicians from four different countries, among them Monika Drasch (violin, bagpipes) from Lower Bavaria, who spread a flying, just as compact as transparent carpet of sound so that the yodelling tones can only ride it in such a way. At times stormy and with full steam ahead, then acoustically held back again and intensely quiet, but always precise, exciting and with all their hearts. Lived music, not just demonstrated technology.

Communication also works in the best way, von Goisern occasionally explains what some pieces or expressions mean, where they come from, whom they have already inspired. For example, he only found out afterwards that one of the recorded songs was coincidentally Hitler's favourite song. And he then immediately newly arranged it in such a way that the Big Chief would certainly not have liked.

Three encores are necessary, among them even Koa Hiatamadl, before the audience finally let von Goisern go, reluctant and with the hope to see him again as soon as possible.

Thanks Marietta

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Memmingen - 24th April 2004

28th April 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Feeling instead of design

Allgäuer Zeitung 26th April 2004 | Text: Markus Noichl

Hubert von Goisern takes the alpine heritage seriously

Memmingen. Yodelling, explains Hubert von Goisern, yodelling he learned when he was 37. After he heard the cassette recording of a twelve year old girl, it suddenly came upon him. He took himself to a motorway bridge in Regensburg and yodelled for hours. "It's important at the beginning to yodel where nobody can hear you, because at the start it sounds terrible."

In the meantime, in his early fifties, it sounds as if he hasn't done anything else his whole life. Hubert von Goisern proved that something very personal, creative can be cut from the gnarled roots grown in the alpine region with his Trad II tour in the Memmingen Stadthalle. He couldn't think that the tradition in West Africa or Tibet was great and ignore what had grown on his doorstep, Goisern reasoned logically.

And so the yodel-framed verses about chamois and hunters and dairymaids are carefully moved and lured into the musical connections of the present. Like urging a stubborn cow over a steep piece of land. Country and Caribbean, as well as a blue note here and there provide for getting the thing grooving. No question: this band gives the pieces their dignity. No brainlessly brutal gene manipulation like in the folksy industry. Here, the heritage is taken seriously and affectionately, slyly crossed, couple, experimented through.

Homeland? That is where I play a part, says Hubert von Goisern. Where I keep myself out of it is not my homeland. They played a part for three hours: Max Lässer with the guitars, Arnulf Lindner on bass, Bernd Bechtloff with the drum work. And Monika Drasch, the Pumuckl (red-haired imp) from the Bayerisch-Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn with her bilious green violin, who is nothing inferior to Hubert with her yodelling arts and smoothly comes in here and there.

Hubert von Goisern is a reason for hope between all the synthetic superstars and virtual art products of the entertainment industry. Genuine feelings and desires instead of designer commodity. Thank you very much.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Salzburg - 23rd April 2004

26th April 2004 | Photos : © Elli Christl

Sing me a song of the mountains

Salzburger Nachrichten 26th April 2004 | Text: Bernhard Flieher | Photos: © Martin Schalk | Wild und Team

Standing ovations for the quintessence of a long journey: Hubert von Goisern made a guest appearance on his Trad tour in the sold-out Festspielhaus on Friday

Salzburg (SN). Nobody asks if he is allowed to please! To put himself in the Festspielhaus and even play Hitler's favourite folk song. What can the song do about that? Hubert von Goisern isn't just allowed to - he must. Who else, if not such a maladjusted person, should do it? It's clear from the first bar that he drives out every little folk song stupidity, although he moves closer towards the original then ever before in his career.

Because truthfulness and dignity prevail, the familiar tunes save a homelike feeling of well-being as much as subversive strength. Goisern loves the valley in which he was born, but decamped and became a far-sighted intellectual "outside". It must be this combination of heart and mind that so convincingly rediscovers, analyses, protects, renews and saves the traditional potential - and indeed as a living part of the present.

But the Goiserer took a far way. Sometimes during the musical translation of his journeys he saw himself to be exposed to the reproach of the plundering and superficial utilisation of the local music scenes of the world. No wonder, in a neo-liberal world in which art has also long been understood as an international circulation of goods.

As wrong as such an estimation of the Goiserer was, is impressively shown on the albums Trad and Trad II. The current live tour - around 80 concerts will be played this year - makes it certain. It is now clear where the multi-instrumentalist's journeys were leading. He has arrived home on the Trad tour.

On the left of the stage it goes to the Mittelstation. On the right, the sign shows the way to Hirzkarsee. In between, the Goiserer lets his accordion take a deep breath in order to blow away the dust that has been applied to these songs, which have "accompanied him all his life", with the essence of all the musical worlds he has roamed across. He was too far away to just believe in an agreed, narrow valley sound. He also does not believe in just one way of playing music. He believes in music as a part of life, no matter whether it comes from Tibet or Africa, from Goisern or Aussee.

At the centre of the show stand the recordings of the CD Trad II. He recorded these old folk songs in the abandonment of the mountain hotel on Krippenstein. Therefore, and because the Goiserer leads an inexorable fight about being boxed in and pigeon-holed, these songs breathe two liberties equally: musical and historical. Goisern returns them to their place. They belong among the people. Sung to sing along to. Performed with a highly subjective approach, which means: you do not have to understand every word of these country dances, gstanzl and yodels, but you simply invent your own story for them.

Poacher and hunter, dairymaid, the black and brown chamois, the saint and the hypocrite - they populate these songs from a time long before our world. They have fewer harmonies and rarely varying time schemes. That is not much, possibly also much too vapid for a whole evening, if the Goiserer did not have a precise conception of how the kitsch of alpine glow, the clichés of the mountain world that had become songs, could be wrested from each transfiguration. That would also not be much, were it not down to him to lift the regionally obstinate, submerged in blood and trodden into the floor folk songs into the present, significant in the homeland, but not longer having to be defined by ideological boundary lines. Breaks and suggestions from distant lands, surprising style changes, sometimes only briefly suggested - in this way the traditional gains a new importance. Companions who share his ideas travel with him for the refined arrangements. They do not play, they live with the Goiserer on stage and share their ideal that if not described, the world at least lets itself be felt with music.

Monika Drasch (violin, bagpipes), Bernd Bechtloff (drummer on everything that makes a noise), bass player Arnulf Lindner and Max Lässer on every guitar possible, play in such a way that everything that peppers this home cooking remains comprehensible: delicate international ingredients. It becomes recognisable in every detail, because sound master Wolfgang Spannberger puts a sound of the highest clarity into the hall. Each influence - from the Arab prayer singing, Buddhist mantras and African rhythms to the slide guitar from the Mississippi delta - remains audible and nevertheless serves the whole: the deeply personal version of alpine folk music, which - because Goisern, in attitude and appearance, corresponds more with a pop star than a classical folk musician - fulfils the demands of the modern trend and so can exist in the present, but never modernistically chums up.

Alpine folk music for the world village

In umpteen colours, in smells from a quaint pub to the eastern bazaar sounds the quintessence of Goisern's creation. That applies to each song, but also to the dramaturgy of the whole evening. The drive is increased in the right places. The tempo cuts in at the right moment. For a good two and a half hours tense concentration and sung along admiration remain in an ideal relationship (and flow into long standing ovations). Just like mountain climbing: the experience over the correct speed, the organisation of strengths decides the pleasure at the end of being able to enjoy an endlessly open view into the world. In the booklet for Trad II, Hubert von Goisern wrote to the folk protectors and people who lock up tradition: "the only thing you can do wrong is to say: it's right this way." That must be vehemently contradicted: in the Festspielhaus, everything was right, everything was art, as it could be more alive and not closer to reality, in a world which has become a village.

Back to the roots: Hubert von Goisern in the Salzburg Festspielhaus

Tiroler Tageszeitung 24th April 2004

Trad II is authentic and, at the same time, up-to-date folk music - a professional relaxed way with a top band

Salzburg (APA) - Folk music has him again and the audience is happy. Hubert von Goisern put together a new band and recorded the CD Trad II. Yesterday evening, Friday, he played a concert in the Salzburg Festspielhaus, which was bursting at the seams. Austria's most successful representative of new folk music returned to his original musical style with these traditional, but impressive and rousingly interpreted songs, without reproducing himself.

Yodels mixed with musical improvisation, folk music with electroband which has "groove", charming, professional and, at the same time, coolly-relaxed stories in dialect - that seems to be the quintessence of this musician. After the hit Koa Hiatamadl, and the star status - not just south of the white sausage equator - connected with it, Hubert von Goisern carried out a number of experiments which earned him respect in music circles, but did not nearly bring the hoped for success with the public. But with Trad II, the Goiserer has returned to his core strength and obviously hit the mark.

Of the course the simple songs sometimes border on alpine sentimentality despite the partly quite refined arrangements. The musical mountain romanticism in three-four time is often not far from the alpine herdsman's drinking song for the enlightened. But Hubert von Goisern's idyll, even in its kitsch moments, has nothing to do with the allegedly healing boozed-up nature of folksy music playing. Also, or exactly because he does not shy away from giving his best with one of Hitler's favourite songs in Im Abend z'spat.

The Goiserer "carried" Andreas Vollenweider guitarist Max Lässer, Bernd Bechtloff, the drummer with the "rock-punch", and the clever Arnulf Lindner on bass through the arrangements, in which not everything went smoothly at the beginning of this 50 date tour through the whole of Germany and Austria as well as Switzerland. Only Monika Drasch on the violin does not seem to have found her place in the band yet, except in a singing duo with Hubert von Goisern, in which the pair have excellently arranged the echo effect of a ravine.

At the end was Hiatamadl, but even that sounded more comfortable and folky than in the hit version of 1992, not just because the distorted electric guitar solo was replaced by mandolin and the keyboards by double bass and bagpipes. World music ethno elements add themselves seamlessly to the "alpine sound" and enrich a pretty good thing. Today Hubert von Goisern might be better grounded and at the same time at home everywhere.

Von Goisern makes the Stadthalle go wild 29th March 2004 | Text: Andrea Lindner

The audience "may" even yodel along - Folk music interpreted in a very individual way

Deggendorf. On Friday the full-blooded Austrian musician Hubert von Goisern visited the Deggendorf Stadthalle. He gave the best of his songs in a hall that had been sold out for weeks and elicited a storm of excitement from the large audience.

It is certainly difficult in these times to make headlines with folk music. Punk, techno, rock and metal are the music of today. Yet on Friday evening in the Stadthalle, Hubert von Goisern proved that folk music will not be extinct for a long time yet.

In the booklet for his CD Trad, he writes, "Folk songs are common property and only survive if they are newly "discovered" each time. And so he interprets folk songs from Austria in his way. With singing and yodelling, accompanying himself on the guitar, accordion or Jews' harp. He is supported vocally and instrumentally by four musicians. The songs really have unused character. Which certainly explains the resonance of the audience.

Goisern says so beautifully: "You certainly understand a word of my lyrics, but you only believe that you don't understand them, because is reality you understand them!" This sentence explains everything that is sung in his songs, because usually the lyrics don't nearly make any sense.

The atmosphere was very good, you could not the define average age of the audience, because young or old, all came to hear him sing.

Witty interludes

He filled the time between his songs with witty interludes and explanations of words. Who knows what a "Schwoagarin" is? In Bavaria, everyone would mean it as a "Schwägerin" (sister-in-law), yet in Goisern, the "Schwoagarin" is a mountain dairymaid, who drives the cattle among others onto the pasture.

During the mocking yodel, Goisern even asks the audience to yodel along, after all, as he says, it does not "have to be beautiful", otherwise he would not ask them to yodel. Nobody must be ashamed either, because after all the audience is sitting in the dark, nobody would hear where the off notes were coming from. Even for a true Bavarian audience, it was difficult to understand his lyrics.

His style of folk music is shaped by his journeys abroad. So it also happens that a cello, a Jews' harp, a violin or bagpipes come into play, which has a very positive effect on the melody. One teen star or the other could take a leaf out of his book. Because Hubert von Goisern has managed it without Deutschland sucht den Superstar or similar. And still everyone knows him in the music business.

Well-received: Hubert von Goisern in the Hegelsaal

Stuttgarter Zeitung 5th April 2004 | Text: wer | Photo: Heiss

Hubert von Goisern"Dahoam is koa Bleibn nit für mi", ("There's no staying at home for me"), sings Hubert von Goisern. The old folk song from the Salzkammergut, which is about the departure to the mountain pasture, is called Wiederum dahin, and Hubert von Goisern recorded it along with 13 other old folk songs at 2100m in the abandoned Krippenstein mountain hotel. The album from on high is called Trad II, and as the singer brings it into the valley with his musicians, into the sold-out Hegelsaal, you notice straightaway that good folk music and excellent musicians combine to a deep truth that is seldom found in the valley.

Hubert von Goisern, who, as a musician, names himself after his hometown of Bad Goisern, has stayed, although there was no staying for him. So, he moved around the world with his accordion, most recently through Africa. With his current tour, which as far as possible does without his own compositions and instead pays homage to the melodies of his homeland, he arrives yodelling, singing, motionlessly dancing and movingly playing back home. Folk music has never grooved so wonderfully before.

Max Lässer (guitar), Monika Drasch (violin), Arnulf Lindner (basses), Bernd Bechtloff (drums) and Hubert von Goisern (accordion and more) devotedly unleash an orgy of virtuosity. Sounds hook themselves together, provoke and coo to each other, catapulting the old songs passionately into the epicentre of sublime timeless pop music. He had problems with folk music, Hubert von Goisern says, until he decided: "I don't give a shit about the scene - play the songs!" And so he snatches the yodel In Kohler seiner from the folksy television grossness and returns it to the woodcutter. A rare pleasure!

Thanks Mauritius