“We found a Weikertschlag” – this is how the folksmilch band welcomed visitors to the 9er house on Saturday with a wink. They were also amazed that there was an audience in Weikertschlag who came to the “folksmilch” concert. Over the next two hours, this audience experienced a high level of music, an unbridled joy in playing and a wonderful sense of humor.
What started over 20 years ago as a breakfast idea for three music students and one medical student has evolved into a musical powerhouse on the Austrian music scene. After seven CDs, many exciting projects, and over a thousand live concerts, it’s time to celebrate this anniversary with “Best of folksmilch.”
From its origins as a Styrian folk music group, to tango, world music, jazz and ballads, to cabaret cover versions of classic and stropop hits, Volks Melch has pulled out all the stops over the past 20 years. This evening the trio played again in the original line-up with clarinet and backed by the exceptional clarinetist Milos Milojević. “We originally formed as a quartet, played as a trio over and over and are now four again,” says bass player and vocalist Eddie Lewis. “We never stopped as a band just because there were three of us. The project was too good to drop. It’s always a pleasure to be on stage. We feel each other without speaking.”
The band formed in Eddie Lewis’ living room in 1999. In the next few years, they should be less concerned with their studies and more with what could and should happen musically. “It’s such a great gift when you meet musicians who got hotter from college. We played weddings, birthday parties, openings, and wine festivals until it got serious and we wanted to play somewhere everyone would listen.”
Moderation alone is worth attending a Volksmilk concert
“The comedy elements are all improvised,” Eddie Lewis explains. “I trained in the improvisational theater in Vienna for eleven years. The other members of the troupe are gifted for it. There has always been a good playing field for improvisation. Both in moderation and in music. We always specify which numbers are being played, but there is a great distance between them. I always try to understand the audience in the minutes The first few are to figure out what they need. Some need more factual information, while others need more humor or emotion. There is a difference if we play in front of an urban or a rural audience.”
All four musicians live exclusively from music. Here they make no concessions. And that’s what makes “folksmilch” so delicious, because it’s always bringing in new elements from the many other projects everyone is doing. What’s special is the chemistry in the band. Everyone has to be exactly the way they are, otherwise it won’t work out. The audience is also grateful for this, because they are doing very well.
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