Hubert von Goisern


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

Fighting depression with lively alpine rock

Mittelbayerische Zeitung 3rd April 2004 | Text: Ralf Strasser | Photo: Kober

Hubert von Goisern in the Audimax with his traditional programme: nobody else yodels as beautifully

Hubert von GoisernRegensburg. "Hello," Hubert Achleitner alias Hubert von Goisern says into the darkness of the Regensburg Audimax, and lays the foundation for two and a half hours of alpine-rock-folk-gstanzl-country-music with the first wordless "Hiatamadl yodel". "Do you understand what I'm saying?" Hubert von Goisern asks suggestively after the fifth song. "But it's not important - only the music counts," he continues, taking hold of his squeezebox again and entertaining with a rocky country dance.

Hubert von Goisern is on the road again. With Trad II in his bags, he also made a stop in Regensburg. After his (not just musical) journeys to Asia and Africa, the Austrian returns to his way of adapting traditional folk music: "back to the roots" in typical "Goisern sound". And the audience in the sold-out hall thanks him for it, after the second song at the latest, your feet go off on their own and tap along happily - a feeling of happiness quickly spreads.

The former "alpine punk" has become more peaceful, introspective, earthy, rooted. He smiles softly, his calmness is impressive. He does not say much. He doesn't have to either, Goisern lets his music and above all his Styrian accordion speak. His individual versions of alpine traditional music are reflected in the choice of instruments: harmonica and accordion in combination with violin, bagpipes, guitar, bass, horn and drums. In addition, poacher themes - you imagine yourself to be on the peaks of mountains, while the bass replaces the alphorn and drummer Bernd Bechtloff astonishingly genuinely rings cow bells.

The band, who also followed him into the solitude of the Dachstein mountains for the recording of the current CD, is also with him on the Trad II tour: Monika Drasch (red hair, green violin, bagpipes), once Bayerisch-Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn, replaces Alpine Sabine not just outwardly. In addition, Bernd Bechtloff, who magics acoustic sounds from everything and it is the biscuit tin from the Aldi shelf. Max Lässer (cool on the guitars) and Arnulf Lindner (excellent on bass) complete the band quartet.

"It doesn't do anything - harms nothing," Goisern says on the subject of traditional music. "Folk music, you don't know if perhaps it does harm after all," he adds ironically. "But before depression appears, I would rather play something lively."

The encores reflect the course of the concert: first he really lets rip again with Koa Hiatamadl, before he lets the audience go home with two lyrical and peaceful pieces. "The boys and girl sang and played beautifully," says a member of the audience on her way home. Nobody yodels as beautifully as Hubert von Goisern.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Ingolstadt - 4th April 2004

11th April 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Hubert von Goisern in Wuppertal

Soundbase Online 8th April 2004 | Text: SB

With his new Trad II in his luggage, Hubert von Goisern honoured the Rex in Wuppertal with a visit on 11th March - a sold out house. Atmosphere in the hall: dignified, serious. The red wine in the reception hall which is being sipped everywhere is already a sign of the rather distinguished stylish character of the auditorium.

An idyllic nature backdrop plays the part of the scenery, which is provided with the peaceful background music of bird twittering.

Hubert von GoisernThe Goiserer walks on stage in a lumberjack shirt - "hello" - and lets rip with, in a highly positive sense, a blood-curdling and bone-breaking yodel. Completely delighted I then listen to my beloved Stadltür, this time presented in an unfamiliar way, which is once more proof of the versatility of the musician - slurping happily at my little brown beer, skipping and dancing inwardly, outwardly steadied by good Hopfen-Tropfen and by the reflection in advance that this will be a peaceful seated concert. So I had already exchanged the dance shoes for hut shoes - because today the hut feeling is announce - and now I lean comfortably and meekly in my seat, like just before the beginning of a flight.

Tender-bitter melancholy often governs the atmosphere, which is dominated by, apart from mandatory squeezebox, not least Max Lässer's employment of the most varied stringed instruments, which create unique sounds islands (the Hawaiian kind among others) in the middle of the mountain imagination. A good many Mupos (music police) would probably insult this style of crossover as the "curse of Caribbean", however barely half of that matters to the sly music pirate HvG, because he has the need to board the morbid wreck of the traditional folk tunes of his homeland, to bring in a fresh wind with unorthodox instruments like Jews' harp and bagpipes or mandolin and it is quite clear to him that he thereby whirls up quite a lot of dust, which is necessary for the 200% folk musicians to quite mercilessly swallow down.

Goisern unashamedly challenges the tradition of the simple songs, making them naked and letting them be wrapped in a new unusual garb. A mixed brew of Trad I and II as well as pieces from the Alpinkatzen time is offered, and HvG makes no secret of the fact that the songs occasionally have a very high depressive potential, however in the form of a pleasantly yieldable melancholy, against which you don't have to struggle from time to time in view of the erring and confusions of our bright, loud world of fun, which sometimes sometimes forces you to breathe in deeply. So it is with pleasure that you let yourself be bewitched by the stylishly placed wah wah trumpet and mentally kidnapped into an old smoky jazz local.

Monika Drasch's singing and instrumental interludes also lend the songs a very special note. The redhead with the most squeaky green violin could be the wonderful prototype of a cheeky Playmobil woman - catchy theme: "red haired violinist with green fiddle". She impresses with a crystal clear yodelling voice which certainly reaches over three octaves and skilfully plays various instruments, like the bagpipes and clarinet. The high point is an exciting yodel-duel between Hubert and Monika, which impressively stages the whole vocal potential of the pair.

The evening owes its amusement to the well-proportioned mixture of the most diverse instruments, used in flying rotation, like the accordion, blues harp, pipes, double bass, steel guitar and an inexhaustible, or rather indefinable fund of rhythm, noise and clattering instruments. The pieces are garnished with entertaining anecdotes and ironic comments from the true phrase forger Goisern, like for example, about the lightly sneering, but not at all harshly described customs at a native Schützenfest, where the referee boldly puts his bare arse into the "elustre Runde" and, with his trousers around his ankles, officially acknowledges the shot of a high honour of quality from his preceding crossbow shot.

Fortunately HvG only found out that Abend Spat was supposed to have been of the Führer's favourite songs after the record production, otherwise it would possibly have remained denied to us on Trad II, which, especially in view of the live version, would have been a harsh deprivation. For me, this interpretation is a highlight of the evening - who the hell of you lot has ever enjoyed a yodelled blue note sequence, I don't get it - if only the Führer knew...

In contrast to the CD, the live music is familiarly unbeatable. They play excellently and with experience, in the meantime you want to comfortably grunt and would feel almost lulled to sleep, if thrillers like Halt oder and Iawaramoi did not come in here and there. On the canvas, suddenly the Krippenstein scenery is conjured up in the background and you can run your own film to the uniquely interpreted folk music with trips into the jazz, swing, blues or rock genres. Rating: absolutely worth seeing and hearing!

Alpenglow in the concert hall

Nürnberger Nachrichten 6th April 2004 | Text: radl | Photo: Wilhelm Bauer

Monika Drasch and Hubert von Goisern"Folk music import and export": Hubert von Goisern makes a guest appearance in the Nuremberg Meistersingerhalle

At times he travels through Africa and plays alpine country dances and yodels on the accordion there, at times he retires to the Alps and lives off his world music journeys: Hubert von Goisern goes his own way undeterred and with that bumps into open ears everywhere. "Folk music import and export" wouldn't be a bad company name for Hubert von Goisern's undertaking. The sound collector presented the results of his search for evidence in the sold-out Nuremberg Meistersingerhalle: back to the roots is the motto of the current CD Trad II.

The album came to life in the solitude of the Dachstein mountains. With Hubert von Goisern, the traditional alpine music sounds cosmopolitan, but not desperately trendy. The dialect songs and mountain tunes seem exciting, because the musicians aren't museum attendants: the accordion pairs off with the slide guitar, the violin with the double bass and Indian percussion. The result is a curious folk music, which has more to do with blues feeling than the nurture tradition. The alpine blues remains serious, even if a yodel juchitzer breaks out from time to time.

The folk songs mainly tell of girls, of mowing and milking and are guaranteed not to contain any hidden comment on contemporary issues or social criticism. Hubert von Goisern is by all means conscious of the fact that tradition can be a two-edged sword. But is a folk tune dodgy because Adolf Hitler allegedly loved it? You don't have to leave tradition to the stick-in-the-muds, thinks Hubert von Goisern and he casts a magical musical alpenglow in the concert hall that really has an effect.

"Play the songs!"

Eßlinger Zeitung 6th April 2004 | Inge Bäuerle

Hubert von Goisern makes a guest appearance in the Liederhalle

Stuttgart - Mist has come up. It goes left "to the Mittelstation Schönbergalpe", the sign on the right hand side of the stage shows "to Hirzkarersee". And in the middle, in jeans and T-shirt, Hubert von Goisern wanders along the line between folk art and folksy kitsch. Beneath him: the sold-out Hegelsaal of the Stuttgart Liederhalle. "Trad" is there, where otherwise the composer or lyricist would be. The Upper Austrian from Bad Goisern, who is called Hubert Achleitner in normal life, has not just christened two of his albums Trad I and Trad II, Trad is the tour programme. It is still strange, but in the middle of the 90s, the composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist announced the separation of his band the Alpinkatzen, the end of the "dicken Wadeln" ("thick calves") and of the snappy-beautiful alpine rock epoch. He travelled Africa and Tibet, became a wanderer between the music worlds, who however returned with an angry record commentary in view of Haider's political success and continued to make dialect music. So now, pure folk from Goisern. The musical root searcher has dug up country dances, gstanzl and yodels from his homeland and newly interpreted them. Probably only the "strangers" Bajuwarians (6th century Bavarians) and Austriaken understand the lyrics beyond the white sausage meridian, but the music gets there. Just as well with the cheeky Halt oder i schiaß di zamm as with the nonsense song Eiszapfen.

Cow bells and bagpipes

All the musicians play several instruments: Goisern himself sings, plays guitar, trumpet, harmonica and many accordions. Monika Drasch sings with him and also abandons her grass green violin for bagpipes. Bernd Bechtloff, percussionist and drummer lets cow bells tinkle and rivulets of water splash. Arnulf Lindner swings between electric and double bass (which he often plays with the bow), while Max Lässer handles a whole arsenal of stringed instruments and takes hold of the lap steel guitar or mandolin. Goisern comments on the enthusiastic applause: "Go on, we haven't played that well." On the contrary, because they are wary of the shallow humtata German drinking song waters and so cautiously let country, blues and oriental elements flow in. Suddenly the simple folk tunes are at home everywhere. Goisern often handles the customs roughly. He raps and yodels past cliché in a seemingly Dadaistic style. Though sometimes the well-tempered archaeology would endure more grumpiness as back in the Alpinkatzen time, than the "alpine avalanche" on which the fans are descending. You believe him when he overcame his problems with the folk music scene: "Man, these are such cool songs," he said to himself, "I don't give a shit about the scene, play the songs!"

Barn atmosphere

But when in a mountain environment someone picks up their zither in the evening, that's if possible their own expression. Also when someone, like Goisern for his most recent album, takes his musicians with him into the deserted Krippenstein hotel on the Dachstein, in order to work away at a record at 2100m above sea level, authentic music can arise. But on stage? There the quietness suffers and the audience miss it. So the Musikantenstadl atmosphere comes up, because someone leaps across the stage like "Hias", animating the audience to shout "hey!". They cheerfully join in with the song about the brawl between semolina and liver dumplings, the sarcasm it transports is ignored like the criticism in Iawaramoi, because everyone there is already waiting to sing along to Koa Hiatamadl. But fortunately there are finely chased collages of sound, like "dahoam is koa Bleim nit für mi" ("there's no staying home for me") (Wiederum dahin), and one leads back into the music of the world time and time again. The unfamiliar sharpens your view of what is your own it means. That applies to Hubert von Goisern. But in the meantime his sound also reaches those who are looking for their spiritual home in the Moik-like barn baroque. Sometimes you arrive where you never wanted to go. Out into the world, home again quickly. Otherwise you land in the fog.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Nuremberg - 2nd April 2004

7th April 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Flying visit to the Himalayas

Stuttgarter Nachrichten 5th April 2004 | Text: Michael Riediger

Hubert von Goisern made a guest appearance in the Liederhalle on his Trad tour

A slide on the stage background shows the alpine panorama of the Krippenstein in Styria, where Hubert von Goisern recorded his most recent album Trad 2, a collection of alpine folk songs.

In front of the tourist advertising photo however, the alpine rocker, who on Friday completely changed into a folk musician in the Hegelsaal of the Liederhalle, and his band undertook a musical flying visit to the Himalayas.

Drummer Bernd Bechtloff beats melodic reverberating sounds on a metal tabla, von Goisern blows elegant melodies on the trumpet, which only distantly carry alpine features, guitarist Max Lässer's lap steel is reminiscent of Hawaii, bass play Arnulf Lindner works his electric bass like an alternative rocker, and Monika Drasch too, unusual woman with red hair and poisonous green violin, who leaves purely outward mountain style far behind her.

The piece for the photo, a ballad of purest world music calibre, sounds, in the arrangement of the Goisern band, much less like Styria than anything else in the programme anyway. Its melody is from Hitler's favourite songs, Goisern admits. When he discovered this, he already thought the song was "really cool" and had long since recorded it for his album of traditional tunes from his homeland.

And a good many people ask themselves: is he allowed to do that? A man, who publicly sympathises with the Greens in Austria, received his honorary citizenship under controversy - and now strikes up with the Führer's folk music favourites?

We think: he's exactly the one to do so - or better: only him. A man, who does not represent delimitation and exclusion. Who brings ways of playing and melodies with him from his journeys through Asia and Africa and integrates them into his open for all concept. A concept which only leans on the alpine through a liking for two four or three four time, yodels in every shade, lyrics in deepest alpine dialect, as well as his main instrument, the accordion, but otherwise seems much closer to the instrumentation and ideology of rock than any lederhosen romanticism.

The special thing and also the especially beautiful thing in von Goisern's current programme may well have caused the break from rock. Indeed Hubert Achleitner, Hubert from Goisern, still creeps across the stage with bent knees in Chuck Berry's duck walk when he gets chords from his squeezebox which, like rock riffs, strengthen the rhythm rather than the melody playing. And sometimes drummer Bechtloff also straightens the waltz or polka time with briskly chopped quarters, which could speed up any hard rock song, while bass player and guitar remind you of rock more visually than musically.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Regensburg - 1st April 2004

6th April 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

The woodcutter's

Nürnberger Zeitung 5th April 2004 | Text: Clemens Helldörfer | Photo: Sippel

Music nomad Hubert von Goisern yodels in Nuremberg

Hubert von GoisernAt the beginning there is nothing to be heard but heavy breaths, nothing to be seen but the silhouette of a musician with an accordion. Then it gets going and there's yodelling, a slide guitar sounds, a toxic green violin starts to play, harmonica, bagpipes and Jews' harp mix themselves together in the course of the evening. Where have we got to? To a folk music, world music or pop concert? You never know exactly with Hubert von Goisern, after all, the Austrian was always a consummate music nomad.


The audience does not show a clear line either: naturally it's not a teen evening, but it's also not a senior evening by any means, and there's also nothing like a dress code. Hubert von Goisern and band - that's nonconformity personified anyhow. Garish stage costumes, a complex light show and irritating clapping rituals are missing at his appearance in the full Meistersingerhalle.

Instead, Hubert von Goisern plays folk music, and as he understands it in the sense of his Trad CDs: they yodel for all they're worth, lyrics and melodies are traditional, the zeitgeist has a break. In order to be able to catch the aura of traditional folk tunes, Hubert von Goisern even retired to an empty hotel on the 2100m high Krippenstein for the recording of his last CD. You need waste no thought of the folksy, thigh-slapping merriment brand of Musikantenstadl: the "Goiserer" and his band manage to reproduce the traditional tunes in such a way that first of all you enjoy the successful performance and do not have to ask yourself where on Earth you should pigeonhole this show.

Here the alpine folk music meets guitar feeling à la Ry Cooder above all through the lap steel interludes from Max Lässer. Between the songs, the former boss of the Alpinkatzen has ample opportunity to impress his special style of folklore upon the audience. In this way you discover that a "Schwoagrin" (dairymaid) is something very similar to, yet strictly speaking something very different from a "Sennerin" (sister-in-law), which piece of folk music was allegedly Hitler's favourite love song, and what it has to do with the expression of different yodels. Earlier there was just Oan, or Woassd scho eh. And because a highly musical woodcutter called Kohler always wanted Woassd scho eh, this is now called Dem Kohler seiner. For those for whom the theory was too much, they could also complete the initial exercises of their own yodel diploma under the guidance of the master.

At the end of the concert, the band plays hits like Hiatamadl, and Hubert von Goisern is pleased with the audience, that despite the, in his opinion, "terrifying" hall, they no longer remain sitting.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Ulm - 31st March 2004

5th April 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

"I play music the way I like it"

Oberpfalznetz 3rd April 2004 | Text & Photo: Stefan Voit

Folk music of a special kind: standing ovations for Hubert von Goisern

Hubert von GoisernRegensburg. In order to explain certain terms, it is sometimes necessary to consult the dictionary. For the term "folk music", the Brockhaus writes "The totality, which in contrast to music which is handed down in written form, is the musical tradition of a people or country which is passed on from memory." Actually a clear thing. But people differ over no other musical term as they do here.

Hubert von Goisern, who rediscovered folk music for himself since his album Trad (2001) at the latest, has no problem with that. And "Trad" does not stand for weak metal in dialect, but just for every musical tradition. He proves once more how very rooted he is in it during his sold out concert on Thursday in the Regensburg Audimax. The stage had a studio atmosphere: little technical equipment, little lighting. With him, von Goisern had the continuation of Trad. But the second part is in no way a cheap rehash, but rather a still deeper reach into the treasure chest.

As he says in the concert, for him it is "about the music. There is no message in the lyrics. Or it is encoded in such a manner that there is a different meaning for everybody." In any case, you feel that Hubert von Goisern has become more mature and more balanced with this music. Of course there are still rocky elements present, but it is more about the sound for him, the feeling of these old songs.

With the help of his excellent band - Max Lässer (guitar), Arnulf Lindner (basses), Bernd Bechtloff (drums/noises) - he also consistently translates his concept of this tradition on stage - yes, the songs even seem more intense, more full-bodied, they're more coherent. Of course not to forget Monika Drasch (ex-Bairisch Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn), who presents an impressive equilibrium to Hubert von Goisern with her green violin, the purple bagpipes and with her facet-rich voice.

He objects to his critics in the booklet of his CD: "I simply sing and play music as I like." And it's good that way. De Gamserln, Abend Spat or Eiszapfen show the simplicity of the people who wrote them - Hubert von Goisern interprets them as he feels them. With a lot of feeling, enthusiasm and sensitivity, he tells his little stories, leading you safe and sound through the evening - with him you feel safe, secure.

It became almost an intimate evening which Hubert von Goisern offered the delighted audience - with almost all of the songs from Trad II, where the instrumental songs often stood in the foreground, the yodels were performed with considerable vocal control and Hiatamadl, which he had not played for a long time, did not feel disruptive by any means. He said thank you for the standing ovations with three encores!

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Deggendorf - 26th March 2004

31st March 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl