Album “neier dooch” blues in franconian – wonderfully refreshing

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Stories of love, life and everyday life – always told and sung up close: This is what the Nuremberg singer Christine von Bieren and her band “A Pocketful of Blues” stand for. This winter the fifth album has come out. “Neier Dooch” it is called and is the first in Franconian dialect.

By: Tobias Fohrenbach

To say it right away, this band doesn’t have it, the Corona-Blues, at least not musically. Here it goes optimistic, cheerful and lively to the thing. No wonder, the opening title of the disc is called “Ledsder Schulldooch”.

“The mood on the last day of school is always so totally exhilarated, before the big vacations. You always did something special. And it was always a huge hustle and bustle in front of the school, because everyone always picked up their kids by car. Great atmosphere always.”

Christine von Bieren, singer

New album – recorded in private living room

Good mood also with Christine von Bieren, alias “Chrissie The Cat”, for 25 years front woman and songwriter of the formation “A Pocketful of Blues” from the metropolitan region of Nuremberg. Why so cheerful? Because her bandmates and she actually managed to record a new album, and like for so many other bands, under adverse circumstances. May, June 2021 – culture lockdown, hygiene requirements, etc. All very confusing and uncertain, so they set up a recording session in their private living room.

“It was kind of like taking a lid off a pot that’s been under pressure for a long time. That’s how I felt it, it went like this. It was like at the gig, because all this had to come out once. It has made everything so lively.”

Christine von Bieren, singer

All titles are dialect pieces

And that’s what you like to get infected with when you browse through the new album. Capturing the blues in all its diversity, always the band’s recipe for success. Snappy boogie-woogie and rock n roll numbers alternate with slow ballads, relaxed tracks, chansons, even a delightful bossa nova detour is included. So far so pleasantly routine. This time, however, the four musicians are breaking new ground in a completely different area. Because all song titles are dialect pieces.

“I had 16 pieces ready, they were in English and some of them we had already played live. And I thought, I’m going to record a CD now, but I didn’t feel like it, it was all so well-rehearsed. The spark was missing. And in the Corona time we had a lot of time and then I started to translate the pieces playfully into Franconian and then it was so much fun for me. Also singing and finding out what sounds good, what can be used. And that was then all of a sudden really exciting again.”

Christine von Bieren, singer

A special listening experience of the regional kind, also for the inclined jazz and blues lover, that much is certain. You have to listen to this album, you have to let the connection between musical style and dialect work on you. In some places it works better, in others less well. There are one or two numbers where the vocals are a bit too much in the background and you have to listen very carefully to understand everything. But most of the time the character of the songs helps you over this obstacle and if it’s supposed to go off in tutti, then it’s just allowed to go off. Cost what it may. What is positively noticeable is the inner attitude of the singer to the songs she has written. Dialect brings a completely different proximity, means singer Christine von Bieren, a beautiful experience.

“So close that you prefer not to sing some songs in the first person, but in the third person. Because you think it’s so personal. What I did not want in any case was such a Schenkelklopferfrankisch. But it goes also poetically and one has quite many facets.”

Christine von Bieren, singer

Hope for many live performances

A bit of dawdling, living the day to the full, that may sometimes apply to the private person Christine von Bieren, but not to the musician, because this album was recorded in only two days. An intense live session, where the guitarist liked to stand up when he played a solo – just like live in front of an audience. And exactly these common experiences between musicians and listeners should be possible again more often in 2022, so the hope of the band “A Pocketful of Blues”. So far you could serve this extraordinary melange of dialect and blues to your fans only once and it seems to have pleased most of them.

“One is then always, when one does something new, hesitant. Is that what you get? We had a gig last year at ‘Blues will eat’ in the beer garden of the Z-Bau. And there were all the old warhorses of the blues scene and they all sing English. And then we were just the band with Franconian lyrics, but that went down well with the audience. You could see that in the reactions, that it’s so exciting for people because they understand what the lyrics are about. I have written pieces in English that have funny and critical lyrics, but I always had the feeling that people didn’t really know what it was about.”

Christine von Bieren, singer

Blues in Franconian – wonderfully refreshing

It was the blues legend John Lee Hooker who once said: “The blues has existed since the world began”. The blues is the root of the music, everything is built around it, and everything has its origin there. Blues is the story of man and woman.”With this CD “Neier Dooch” of the formation “A Pocketful of Blues” this story is told now further, however this time in Franconian. And that is wonderfully refreshing.

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