Hubert von Goisern - Trad
An interesting collection of traditional German and Austrian material from a man who's done a lot for yodelling and German music. Much of it relies, interestingly, on very slow polka rhythms, giving the whole a dreamlike, surreal quality, and a Norteño flavour. That's no bad thing, by any means, and von Goisern and band do wonderful things to the old pieces, reinventing a whole tradition in a true, rootsy fashion.
Hubert von Goisern: Trad
"Über d'alma, über d'alma füahrt da weg..." After his great success with the CD Fön, Hubert von Goisern has now reflected entirely upon his musical roots in the new, very quiet work Trad. Trad - the CD title comes from the English word for folk tunes: "traditional" - combines Hubert von Goisern's favourite folk songs. "These melodies are something like the basic substance of my musical output, my ABC in notes, one of the springs without which there would be no stream," says the Goiserer. That he is capable of playing these songs, which astonish again and again with their amusing and wise lyrics, in a way both free from dust and undemanding, shows musical humility. "If there can be a demand, then it is an undemanding nature" is written in the booklet. So seen, Trad is a failure: because Musikantenstadl is undemanding. Hubert von Goisern and his musicians on the other hand have succeeded in doing something very difficult on Trad, to be exact, quite simple: to be simple. Music for highest demands.
Hubert von Goisern
For the 49 year old who was more often in South Africa, Canada and New York in the last years than his Austrian homeland, the new album Trad is a return to the roots. "The best from 150 years of alpine folk music," he comments on his choice and takes his hat off to his forefathers.
Goisern's band has purified the customs: doubles and country dances with lyrics which unknown men and women made up and sang. The singer lets the simple songs shine in fresh splendour: "It now sounds really cool, but it is the same substance. Folk songs are common property and only survive if they are regularly newly invented." The melodies emerge as simple grooving songs, free of the alpine hollareidulliöh avalanche, under which they were buried. Goisern sings tenderly and fervently, as we otherwise only know from singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.
Music of the people
A "creative intoxication" has come over him, the Munich Abendzeitung recently conjectured about Hubert von Goisern, whose brilliant comeback Fön almost still lies as a new release in the music shop racks, when he presented his next album Trad in February.
However, Trad is not a direct successor. Because while Fön was a collection of very different influences from the whole world, Trad comes from one region alone: the Austrian Salzkammergut, von Goisern's homeland. He has searched for traditional songs for Trad, and the loved melodies are " something like the prime substance of my musical expression, my ABC in notes, one of the springs without which there would be no stream."
Some of the songs are more than a hundred years old. Carefully and sensitively, he has newly arranged and interpreted them. Appropriately almost only acoustic instruments go into action for the songs, the accordion naturally, guitars, brass instruments, piano, all kinds of "drum work" and a Jews' harp.
Quiet ballads and merry dances take turns as events of everyday life are sung about, but fun and ridicule are also called for: many of the songs are very mischievous. Here you can smile instead of linking arms and swaying and once more Hubert von Goisern lets us know: in contrast to what the Musikantenstadl wants us to believe, here the true, authentic folk music is playing, which you can really imagine as it was sung in the villages in earlier times and perhaps still today; at celebrations, work and other social occasions.
Hubert von Goisern is currently presenting many of the songs from Trad on his current and unbelievably successful Fön tour. His concert are completely sold out even in north Germany - and additional concerts are already planned for all those who could not get tickets or those who want to let themselves be doubly inspired.
Traditional folk songs newly invented
Since he gave the old folk song Hiatamadl an electric shock with the electric guitar with his band Die Alpinkatzen, which he founded in 1986, he has been a star and national hero in Austria (and not only there).
Hubert von Goisern, really Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern has radically changed the picture of alpine folk music through combination with punk, rap, blues and rock. But the singer was not satisfied with the so-called "alpine rock". After the dissolution of the Alpinkatzen at the zenith of their career - the band even appeared in New York and Paris - he travelled to Tibet, Africa and India, recorded two world music albums (Gombe, Inexil) and composed the film music to Schlafes Bruder. One also saw him as an actor at the side of Martina Gedeck in Hölleisengretl. The man in his late 40s just did not want to give any more concerts. For six years.
At the beginning of 2001, the Austrian returned with a new band, his Styrian accordion, a good many yodels and a new album. A different Hubert von Goisern presented Fön, one who preferred the quieter sounds between jazz and chanson instead of rock. However nobody seemed to be bothered that he omitted the old hits on his stage comeback. On the contrary: the mixture of ballads and dances, thoughtful songs and happy songs went down so well that the tour had to be continued into the autumn in order to fulfil the demand for tickets. In the meantime, the dialect singer was obviously affected by the intoxication of creativity, because within a year, with Trad he released the second album. The singer fulfilled a long cherished dream with this production of acoustically instrumented interpretations of traditional folk songs, which also stood in the centre of the coming concerts. The songs from the Austrian Salzkammergut , which were sometimes more than one hundred years old are, according to his own testimony, something like the prime substance of his musical expression, his ABC in notes. The real folk music is different from the German drinking songs of Musikantenstadl. And it is no less valuable and worth listening to than folk and country songs from Britain, Ireland and the USA.
The Goiserer sings "Trad"
Hubert von Goisern brings a new CD onto the market.
He sings old, familiar folk songs and declares his support for tradition
For a long time he hesitated "to make a sophisticated recording of folk songs which [he] had grown fond of and shaken free of dust", writes Hubert von Goisern in the text of his new CD Trad. The interpretation of 14 folk songs is proof of the deep respect that Hubert von Goisern has for the folk songs that have been handed down. The palette ranges from, among others, Über d' Alma to Schau, schau wias regna tuat and on to Landler and Wann I durchgeh durch's Tal.
These melodies are so much the prime substance of my musical expression," he writes, the songs are, "one of the springs without which there would be no stream." Certainly some of the songs sound different from usual with Hubert von Goisern, but Hubert manages with the interpretation of the songs - as well as with versatile and original handling and accompaniment - to give the folk songs new swing and sound. The Goiserer sings and plays (on guitars, accordion, Jews' Harp and other brass instruments) and thereby builds strong bridges to TRADition. Guest musicians like schoolchildren from the Montessori senior school in Salzburg join in with great zest and skill.
Hubert von Goisern: Trad
The folk musician Hubert von Goisern looks like a desirable popstar on the cover of his new CD Trad: freshly shaved and with bare shoulders, he looks profoundly at the observer.
With Trad, the musician has realised a much longed for project: folk songs which have grown in his heart "to be played simply and free of dust" as he says.
They became 14 folk songs under such titles as Über d' Alma, Hahnpfalz or Dirndl Mach Auf. On Trad von Goisern presents traditional songs in up-to-date ways. Guitar, accordion, harmonica, brass instruments and percussion swirl around the songs as well as the folk lyrics. His interpretation of folk style, which stands for the wisdom of the people, brings fresh zest to music hitherto available for older people.
Natural and expressive
The Austrian sings with a natural and expressive voice so many themes of the alpine countryside. In these new ways, von Goisern manages to interest people in Alpine folk music, who have nothing to do with Southern Germany or Austria. Hubert von Goisern develops this further on his eighth album, as Piazzolla did in Argentina with the tango or Feidman with Klezmer music. A worthwhile recording which stimulates the ears to open also once in this direction.
Hubert von Goisern - Trad
It was only a question of time until Hubert von Goisern showed his roots with an expected CD. So, on Trad, we receive the demanded classics of folk music, that have always accompanied and influenced von Goisern. It was nothing to do with folksy senility. Von Goisern also doesn't shy away from introducing an odd chord. The music tolerates, as long as there are people who continue in a new dimension. The songs are credible and von Goisern sings them as if they had just been written. The economical song accompaniment is pleasant that limits itself in the essential part and is far from any sweetness that we know from such dubious programmes. I did not grow up in this alpine misty area, nevertheless I grasp this music and I can instinctively understand it. A little, intimate CD that conveys feelings and because of that is very good.
Trad - Hubert von Goisern
First, the Austrian ethno-rocker let us wait for years for a new CD. Now only four months after Fön, another new album is on the market. And again the unconventional, thought provoking folk musician stays true to his line - and as such he has always stood: He opens musical roots, to which he always held strictly, and to which denial would never have entered his mind. Unpretentiously and very sensitively, HvG clothes old folk tunes in new garments in order to conserve them and to pass them on. He preserves originality without sacrificing new instruments and echoes of rock. His folk songs are actually such and change themselves far beyond the "folk music inflation" that the German TV channels, being just as cheeky as vain, charge the outrageous claim to be coming from folk. Goisern fans will be pleased. Admittedly, just north of Danube, the enclosed booklet will only really be understood by the initiated. But the title Trad is not a special expression from Salzkammergut: it comes from the ordinary language of rock, English and stands for "traditional" - purists may also say "traditionell".
Attractive mixture - Hubert von Goisern's Trad
On Trad (Virgin), Hubert von Goisern has immortalised folk songs that he knows "as the prime substance of my musical expression", by bowing before the unknown creator. With it he has given fourteen of the folk evolved pieces a little time to live on again. In the basic structure, he has left the melody untouched, and has only played with the arrangements and instrumentation. The voice comes from Hubert, as it is in him: simple, full of feeling, powerful.
The charm lies in the mixture. Here moving tunes Da Summa is Aussi and Wann I Durchgeh Durch's Tal, there the gamekeeper and guardian satirical song A Goiserer Jaga and the ethnic Landler Gstanzl (voiced by the Hohtraxlecker Sprungschanznmusi).
That the traditional instruments like guitar, accordion, Jews' Harp, bass and guitar are joined by a piano is only shocking at the first listening. If you have first tweaked your ears and shaken the conservative "but it wasn't like that before" out of your head, you welcome the sound of the keys as an extension. People who get involved due to the appeal of Hubert in these songs, looking again for something original, are entrusted to the care of the Braunau siblings Simböck, the Aspacher Solinger Bauernkapelle or the Urfahraner Familie Falkner.
"Folk songs are common property and survive only if each one is "invented" again," writes Hubert von Goisern in the booklet of his CD, Trad. So he interprets folk songs from Austria in his way. With singing and yodelling, accompanied by guitar, accordion or Jews' Harp. He will be supported vocally and instrumentally by more musicians and choirs. The fourteen songs are properly short, simple and almost always peaceful, but quite vibrant. It is under no circumstance the musical mass-produced article á la Musikantenstadl. Hubert von Goisern emphasised that he lays claim to no share of these songs himself. He has taken up these songs as he has a close connection to them. "These melodies are something like the prime substance of my musical expression," he says. I feel that the CD is an opportunity to approach this part of folk music unprejudiced and to look at it from a different viewpoint by way of his interpretation.