Hubert von Goisern


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

Mountain and valley view

Frankfurter Rundschau 9th March 2004 | Text: Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich

Musician from the Alps - Hubert von Goisern in Frankfurt

Hubert von Goisern (for the first time) in the Großen Saal of the Alten Oper with four musicians: you can approach this phenomenon from two very different sides.

From the mountains: Folk music is already rather ruined or completely finished. Like dialects, it stands under the suspicion of general ideology and social disadvantage. Where would the original idiom still be, the folk music of the north Hessian Schwalm? The alpine people, than more rugged than other ethnicities, do not see the verdict and hold tenaciously onto their ancestral musical "national wealth". Hubert von Goisern (not aristocracy, but a stage name alluding to his hometown near the Hallstatt lake in the Salzkammergut) is an alpine stubborn guy and a wide awake intellectual at the same time. Perhaps only in this combination does the folklore potential let itself - with heart and mind - convincingly preserve, discover, save and renew. Not as scientific preparation for scholarly collections and museums. But as living present day culture.

Singing to the cows

When a mountain guesthouse or hut landlord puts on the accordion in a cheerful mood and yodels too; still more, when a dairyman or dairymaid on the mountain pasture sings to their cows or to each other, this music is close to its original context. The informed society furthers connections and realises others. Alpine music also looks different as an event in a large auditorium. Instead of the humble magic of the hut, there is the shrewd theatre of a pop show with Hubert von Goisern. Folk music as a pop attraction. And why not?

From the valley: The ventriloquism from the inside of the pop machine could also tell of how it seized the alpine national wealth and drove it onto the course of success and into the charts. Thanks to a figure like Hubert von Goisern, who lets himself be perceived as a gentle pop star. He does not require a special mimicry for that. Naturally he produces fans who admire him and who know and can hum along to all his pieces. He sings, he tells stories on stage (in which the meaningful pauses, which the listeners develop further, are the best). He plays several accordions, the guitar, the trumpet, the ocarina, the harmonica. The musicians besides the primus inter pares (first among equals) also handle several instruments; Monika Drasch, apart from her bilious green violin, mainly the bagpipes, Bernd Bechtloff various percussion and sound instruments, Arnulf Lindner electric bass besides double bass.

Semolina dumpling or liver dumpling

The arrangements are often so delicate that violent folklore-alienation is barely noticeable; even a jazzy drum thunderstorm fits to aggressive gstanzls as if it could be no other way. And the electric bass commentates wonderfully naggingly on the Dadaist farmer poetry about the fight between the semolina dumpling or liver dumpling. Only at the end of the long evening does the music dissipate and comes closer in the last, almost meditative piece to the north Indian-Himalayan high mountain sphere, which the globetrotter Hubert von Goisern also opened, without losing his Upper Austrian road holding along the way. It also expressed itself (in the title Ausseer Schottische) with quite ironic pub-resentment of the nearby Styrians. Without defamation and hounding of no real enjoyment. (A couple of political topicalities held back their demonstrative effect through the near disappearance of the dialect in the music.)

Beyond folk and pop, the special thing of a Goisern appearance reveals itself in a fulfilment and multicoloured nature of the lecture, which lets the songs appear fresh by spurring them on with new sound fantasies. They are not draped in a fashionable way, fitted out, inflated - rather the "ingredients" serve to let their essence, truth, dignity (but also their subversive energy) come to light. Thus the high-grade professionalism and perfection of this performance (which however also loses itself sometimes in the very long story about the successful production time in the Krippenstein mountain hotel underneath the high Dachstein) does not seem to be just a routine pop accessory, much rather more a component of that lucid intensity, that alpine intensity which is the characteristic of living art.

From Styrian country dance to bluesy percussion

Wiesbadener Kurier 9th March 2004 | Text: Peter Müller

Hubert von Goisern in the Frankfurt Alten Oper / Alpine rock star with boundless vocal acrobatics

"Jahutrolieeriöhhdiliööhdiähh," Hubert Achleitner on the Trad 2 mission - in all things vocally acrobatic and a yodel diploma for the advanced. Meaning: a load of Styrian country dances, which grooves or bluesy percussion cross, melancholy tunes, gstanzls with powerful rhythm and rocked Bavarian folk dances from the depths of alpine folk music, and in addition, whimsical anecdotes, for example how "the Scottish came to Goisern" or what a "Gschwoagerin" is? That and more peculiarities came out, when the music-maniac freeman of an Upper Austrian place called Bad Goisern was in cloister. Hubert von Goisern summoned his musicians from five different countries together with a mobile production studio onto the 2100m high Krippenstein, in order to play those songs into the here and now in the almost cloister-like intensity of a deserted hotel, which would probably otherwise only aged people would play on the native dulcimer and zither.

The notorious member of the Resistance will once more frighten off the purists, tradition custodians and the global genre police with it, but you know that. The drawing up of boundaries and pigeon hole thinking doesn't matter to von Goisern, he plays everything and everywhere in his way. He brought the squeezebox to the Bedouins, the bongos to the mountain farmers and years ago he mutated from the "alpine rock" star he never wanted to be anyway, to the world musician of folk, without ever being folksy. The only rule to which the Goiserer's country dance update bows down to.

The fan community also thanks him for that. No matter whether 50 people in a mountain hut or a sold out Alte Oper - the music pirate Hubert von Goisern has audible fun crossing Styrian schrammel oldies with jazz, rock and pop, drilling a hole in what is time-honoured, to tune it or put it in a new dressing. And despite slide guitar, electric violin and exotic percussion instruments, the whole thing seems very organic, even borne by respect for what has been handed down.

Trad 2, the continuation of the first expedition of the same name into the parlour of native folk music, is, after the rather groovy extroverted work Iwasig, once more a step in the direction of "new traditionalism": yodels, exclusively in deep Styrian dialect, which nevertheless sounds suspicious, also needs instructions from time to time this far north of the Alps, which von Goisern takes time out for, from lively chatting to being heavily ironic. He dug up his musical roots neither for museum protection, nor for simple dusting off, he wants to breathe new life into the whole thing. And he succeeds excellently, beyond all flat schunkel philosophy, which the "philanderer" and Co. preach with such commercial success. In pieces like Meraner or Kohler, jazzy percussion or bass elements meet with traditional structures, there is a sweeping blues in Stadltür, then rhythmic drum loops meet cow bell rings or Monika Drasch's violin sounds meet dialect anecdotes about dairymaids and mountain farmers. At times breezy, virtuoso, then reduced to clear simplicity again, whether pulled, hummed, or squeezed, whether rough and sentimental or downright funny - the yodel experimentarium of Hubert von Goisern and his band of Arnulf Lindner (bass), Bernd Bechtloff (drums/percussion) and Max Lässer (guitar/mandolin) is a unique thing. It is without a doubt also a rare fun for all the Krauts, who can enthusiastically cheer and sing along for the good two hours - without understanding a word. But it sounds terribly good.

Yodeller on the highest level

Neue Westfälische 8th March 2004 | Text: Ute van der Sanden

Hubert von Goisern rocked in the Altenbeken Eggelandhalle

Altenbeken. Some of the almost one thousand visitors, who poured into the once again sold out Eggelandhalle, really had a long journey behind them: the fans of the alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern had come to Altenbeken from Berlin, even from Holland, from Bavaria of course and who knows where else.

True fans, thank you very much, to be recognised by the fact that they had already scanned approval before even one microphone had been rocked on stage. They knew what they were expecting: "Songs" - as befit a WDR Liedernacht, whose tenth edition went on stage in Altenbeken for once as part of the celebrations for "Zehn Jahre im Museum". So, folk music from Austria, simple singing which von Goisern packs in pithy summit rock or wraps in avant garde unusual sound meditations, as if in thick white mountain fog.

"There is simply a terrific blues in folk songs," revealed the musician - and he and his fascinating band brought them out well. His new programme is called Trad II, with which he tells of the mountain pasture, the stars, the cows and of what the people do in between. Romping around on the stage, illustrated with an alpine panorama and sign to the Schönberg mountain, he depicted, in difficult to understand Austrian, pastoral idylls, "very archaic rituals" of the native shooting fairs and how badly a "semolina dumpling and a liver dumpling" get on. In addition, he paid homage to the triad melodics of the alpine region, celebrated polkas, country dances and Bavarian folk dances with full basses, crowning the whole thing passionately with juchitzers and yodels.

How he does it all and with him his four member band, is captivating and enough for the highest demands. An alpine dream of folk rock with five madly playing multi-instrumentalists. Von Goisern himself handles accordions in various sizes, one smarter than the other. No less masterly he plays the trumpet and flugelhorn, flute and guitar, harmonica and Jews' Harp.

Monika, with her red hair, fiddles on the green violin, blasts clarinet, pipe and bagpipes and gives a good many laconic retorts. The guitarist controls an impressive arsenal of plucked instruments, and at the drummer's magic table pretty much everything that rattles, bangs or clatters awaits their employment. Including the obligatory cow bell.

In short, the variety is enormous, the music expert, the entertainment value huge. "That was great," remarked von Goisern just as he dismissed his audience into the ice cold night after three and a half solid hours. It was. Thanks very much!

Cabaret menu with liver dumplings

Westfälisches Volksblatt 8th March 2004 | Text: Manfred Stienecke and Thorsten Böhner

Alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern makes a guest appearance in the Eggelandhalle

Altenbeken (WV) [...] On Saturday, around 1000 people, some who had travelled from far away, stormed to the Eggelandhalle to experience Hubert von Goisern: the musical tramp, who, in the course of his career, has been cast away to Africa, Canada, the Philippines, even to far-off Tibet. After the separation of his group the Alpinkatzen and excursions into the film business, he is returning to his roots with his current programme Trad II.

Von Goisern and his four member band presented the listeners with the successful combination of elements of folk music, as well as rock and pop. The most diverse instruments were deployed in the process: violin, drums, double bass, acoustic and electric guitar, yes, even bagpipes were there. A cookie jar was converted to a tambourine on the spot. But von Goisern's indispensable accordion and his powerful and striking voice formed the essential element. The programme was also great. The palette of sparkling and melancholic titles (the mood even changed within a song at times) was rich. It was not really tragic that, as someone not from the alpine region, you barely understood the song lyrics - the music spoke for itself and the instrumental interludes were the icing on the cake. Equally the diverse yodel parts, which von Goisern - like everything else - delivered with the whole of his body and thereby challenged his head voice, to finally lay down another solo with the trumpet - simply top class! Just as impressive, as he acted as a harmonica virtuoso during the title Ausseer Schottische and changed the instrument twice during the piece without breaking his playing. During A Griesknödl und a Leberknödl (A semolina dumpling and a liver dumpling), who didn't like each other so much, the atmosphere was at its high point in the auditorium. The protagonist and his fellow combatants played with absolute devotion and showed the ears how much power is stuck in an instrument when it is controlled. The only thing was that the fact that individual pieces resembled each other too much in arrangement, was noticed somewhat negatively.

In between, von Goisern chatted astutely with the audience. He explained why the shooters in his Austrian homeland let their trousers down after firing, warned, with a wink, against the partly depressive touch of his songs and delivered a humorous verbal exchange with violinist Monika Drasch, who acted as second vocalist. With their respective instruments, these two in particular musically fed each other lines in the best sense. They also formed a great team with their a capella yodel at the end of the concert. After three full hours of true hand-made music, standing ovations and three encores, Mr von Goisern said goodbye: "That was great! Thank you very much!". Same to you, Hubert!

Thanks Petra

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Liezen - 26th February 2004

2nd March 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

Back to the folk song

Bad Ischler Rundschau February 2004 | Text: Josef H. Handlechner

Hubert von Goisern with new band and completely new programme

Of course it is not chance that Hubert von Goisern started a new tour in the Lehàrtheater; it is tradition, like so much in the next few days: Trad II is the name of the new CD, which was recorded last autumn on the Krippenstein. And Trad II is the name of the current tour which will go through Austria, Germany and Switzerland in the following months. Tradition is also written large for the musician who was recently named a freeman of his hometown Bad Goisern, who has brought in exclusively old folk tunes for his new programme.

Superficially that sounds rather simple; and a good many - were he not called Hubert von Goisern - could do it very simply. But far from it: Here the return to the roots is hard work, it's risk. "When you occupy yourself intensively with folk music for a long time, you see: it all has a high depressive potential." He says. And consoles his audience: "Don't let yourselves be pulled down - we have mixed it through well." He has studied more than 30 (folk) songs with his band, in which there is an old friend with Bernd Bechtloff (percussion). Arnulf Lindner (bass) was also on tour with Hubert once before, the "newcomers" are Max Lässer (guitar) and Monika Drasch, who, with her green violin, was an indispensable component of the Jodelwahnsinn for many years.

On Trad II she additionally contributes vocals and bagpipe sounds and a bon mot or two. "Our Swiss guy", she plays on the origins of Max Lässer, still has a few problems with the Salzkammergut dialect and therefore he also didn't understand the song title Goiserer Jaga (Goiserer hunter) properly and replaced it with Goisern jagen (Goisern hunting): "And so it is like that now on our bit of paper!" But of course "Goisern jagen" has a bit of a double-meaning, because what is meant: Hubert or the spa town?

Respect, but no obsequiousness

Defoliating tradition, peeling it from its sentimental coverings, is already a delicate venture in the area of folk music. But Hubert treats it with respect and in the certainty that he doesn't have to prove anything to anyone any more. "There is a death through recognition," he quotes Qualtinger; failing to notice this may have also played a role in Trad II. And it is probably not chance that Hubert has also fetched Hiatamadl back from exile again. The audience was astonished, took a deep breath and remained as in the three hours before, "really grooving".

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Bad Ischl - 25th February 2004

1st March 2004 | Photos: © Elli Christl

The Goiserer plays powerfully

Tiroler Tageszeitung 29th February 2004 | Text & Photo: Klaus Erler

On Friday Hubert von Goisern visited Zillertal on his Trad 2 tour.
Hundreds of fans experienced a concert full of enthusiasm and power.

Hubert von Goisern and Arnulf Lindner

Mayrhofen. His Mayrhofen fans love him and are already on his side before he has sung a song. And right from the beginning Hubert von Goisern gives his fans what they want: traditional folk music with modern elements. A powerful yodel served as the lead-in number, then came Hinter unser Stadltür, unfamiliar in tempo and emphasis, but still clearly recognisable.

Fascinating band

After this musical introduction it was time for Hubert von Goisern to give the instructions for the evening. You will only hear folk songs, yodels, totally committed to tradition.

Whoever is now terrified of being overcharged by this tradition, is quickly taught better. Yodels meet country harmonica, an exact drum gives the pieces strength and intensity.

The violin, played mostly as on rural dance floors, again and again gives surprising rhythmic and tonal accents. Guitar and mandolin play a central musical role, used lying down, similar to the zither, sighing like in Hawaii songs and yet capable of completely merging into Styrian folk music: Hubert von Goisern's four member band give their best to support the master on the numbers from the new CD Trad 2.

Pieces like Meraner or Kohler send out an individual charm, because jazzy elements like percussion or bass solos combine with handed down structures. Time after time Hubert von Goisern changes the instrument with which he accompanies himself when yodelling. The accordion replaces the harmonica, the figurehead of "new Austrian folk music" also knows hot to handle the guitar and trumpet perfectly when he plays free interludes to the Schottischen.

Jazz and tradition

Again and again at the beginning of pieces you recognise that the musical journey could have gone in a quite different direction this evening.

Sound worlds are produced with percussion and stringed instruments, which you couldn't hear better in a Paris jazz cellar. And yet: The next junction leads back to Bad Goisern again and to the musical roots of Hubert and his band.

And you concern yourself with this a lot this evening. The Trad 2 programme lasts about two hours before the big hit Hiatamadl introduces the encores to a lot of cheering.

In the sound of the wide world

Salzburger Nachrichten 27th February 2004 | Text: Clemens Panagl

Bad Ischl (SN). "Playing for the first time is always terrible," says Hubert von Goisern, after he had searched the stage in vain for the harmonica which was needed for the next song. Naturally it was not meant totally seriously. Finally the band stands on the stage of the Léhar Theatre in Bad Ischl for the start of their Trad II tour, and the premiere of the live programme is a home game at the same time.

Nevertheless: this time everything is a bit different. With the album Trad II, recorded in summer 2003 on the Krippenstein, Hubert von Goisern continued to follow the way which he had cleared in 2001 with the album Trad, and played exclusively old folk tunes with his band. Folk tunes from the Salzkammergut to be exact.

And with that, says Goisern, the audience in Ischl are probably "the only ones who can judge whether all the songs are right as we play them" within the 70 concert tour route. The judgment in the audience turns out unequivocally and extremely positively euphoric. The harmonica is also finally found in the Goiserer's trouser pocket and nothing stands in the way of further reconnaissance of native songs.

When Goisern speaks about whether songs are "right" or not, a historical authenticity is never intended, but instead the self-felt coherence. "The one thing you can do wrong is to say: it is right this way", he previously noticed in the blurb for the first Trad album.

Goisern plays the songs as he hears them, that means: with ears sharpened by expeditions into the wide musical world. Electric guitar and violin, percussion instruments and electric bass wrap the traditional in contemporary sound garments. However Goisern's interpretations have nothing to do with one-dimensional attempts at crossover, with which rock and folk music blend into a crashing "Hollaröduliyeah!".

A subtly played slide guitar associates itself unobtrusively with the accordion and emphasises the alpine blues hidden in many of the lyrics - he has dug up lots of "cool songs", Goisern says, which have one thing in common: a "certain depression potential".

Just as naturally, complex grooves link up with a rocking bass in other songs. Sometimes the transformations also come out conspicuously, then are yodelled in exotic scales. The fact that the sound osmosis between the distant music worlds works so naturally is also down to the far horizons of the band members Bernd Bechtloff (percussion), Arnulf Lindner (bass), Max Lässer (guitar) and Monika Drasch (violin). Who's surprised that Goisern states in the first half that the auditorium is "really grooving". Those who were present in Ischl, says the singer, had good luck in any case: on the first evening the band played "all the pieces" of the studied programme. And that was a lot at the almost three hour concert on Wednesday.

A girl returns

OÖN 27th February 2004 | Photo: © Josef H. Handlechner
Hubert von Goisern and Max Lässer

At the start of the Trad tour in the Bad Ischl Lehar-Theater on Ash Wednesday, Hubert von Goisern and band let out old folk music, as freshly as they had inside. With a huge surprise...

The Goiserer had not dug up his traditional roots for museum protection. The simple dusting off was also not enough. When a lively drum beat mixes into the longing Kohler yodel, the Stadltür suddenly falls into a blues, the strings of the dobro cry to vocal acrobatics, country dance gstanzl rock to the sharp accordion and the harmonica works furiously to De Gamserl - then you feel what it's about: giving life to melodies that have been handed down.

He gets the "trots", the musician admits at the outset, when he thinks about now being on tour for a year - with only folk songs. After a good two and a half hours, it is certain that nobody can bear him any ill-will, not counting the thousand per cent purists.

Whether airy, virtuoso, reduced to clear beauty, pulled, squeezed, blown, hummed or percussively enchanted - the familiar gets a fresh charm which you willingly succumb to.

Some things are carefully newly kitted out, others - like Abend spät - daring, but fascinating. The group is select: Arnulf Lindner plucks, strokes and beats a strong bass, Bernd Bechtloff is the unqualified master of the rhythmic sounds, Max Lässer the casual guitar virtuoso and Monika Drasch (formerly of Bairisch Diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn) the dynamic violinist, bagpipe player and strong second yodel voice.

There were wistful tunes, juicy grooves and an encore surprise which opened astonished (or startled?) mouths. Hubert fetched his "Hiatamadl", from whom he separated a long time ago, back on stage. In these surroundings she can confidently show her legs again.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Bad Ischl - 25th February

26th February 2004 | Photos: © Josef H. Handlechner