Webmaster Rudi Vogel
For Rudi Bluegrass is love on first sight, which began when he entered a vinyl shop to finally learn what Foggy Mountain Breakdown would sound like, a piece he only knew in tabulature form the book of Pete Seeger. Purely fascinated by the speed and power of Earl Scruggs´ banjo he realized that with a banjo one can only make happy music, which opens up your heart. Actually, he foremostly loves the harmony singing until today. With time he set off from traditional Bluegrass to go for Bluegrass covers of old Rock and Pop songs, or his own songs.
Rudi was/is active in several Bluegrass bands with 5-string banjo, mandolin, guitar and vocals
and has organized uncountable scheduled Bluegrass musicians meetrings with open stage as well as several Hillbilly Heaven Bluegrass festivals. Since 1999 he and his wife Monika invite for the Oldtime Music Meeting in their home and former stringed instruments shop the
F r e s h m a n
As a child Rudi suffered from 6 years of piano lessons. When he was tired of nails rattling he learned electric guitar and entertained (holding special permission for underaged) some carneval communities with his band “Poor Devils” until late night. At the age of 18 he found his first great love and musical homeplace in Bluegrass music, which he is endorsing until today. For him everthing was just the “high lonesome sound”.
E-guitar against a Framus long neck 5-string banjo. A swap with consequences. The first picks were self-solded; the recordwas sawn by the sapphire – just direct learning from vinyl … thereby Bluegrass helped to overcome the military service in the proximity of American GI´s.
On the Bluegrass festival in Neusüdende (near Oldenburg) he finally learned that he was not alone with his passion, and found contact to the Stuttgart Bluegrass scene in the far north of Germany followed by fantastic Open Stage “sessions” in the “Laboratorium”.
S a i t e n s p i n n e r
They wrote the yeat 1981 when the group “Saitenspinner” was established in a little old penthouse. The foto shows the original instrumentation with Wolfgang Kerscher (guitar, mandolin) and Klaus Grottke (bass, guitar). Soon it turned out that Bluegrass needs the mandolin. So, Wolfgang learned mandolin and Klaus guitar. Rudi shall have tried fiddling.
D a r k • & • S c r u g g y
Dark & Scruggy play in 1984-1987 preferably ghoulish Bluegrass songs (Dark) and fast instrumentals (Scruggy), with Rudi (banjo, vocals), Wolfgang Kerscher (mandolin), Rochus Tröbs (guitar, vocals) and Hugo Vogel (stringed bass, vocals). Martha White would have loved their concert´s kick off:
Yes, we are Dark and Scruggy too,
goodness gracious good and live here for you,
for the finest Bluegrass ever was
hear Dark & Scruggy’s ringing power
– Bluegrass grew a flower –
Dark & Scruggy here for you: You’ll love it too!
H e a r t b r e a k e r • o r i g i n a l
Heartbreaker was the “breaktrough”. Founded in 1987 the band still plays today.
Already at the foundation all musicians had many years of musical experiences, not only in Bluegrass. Heartbreaker emerged upon the entry of Heinz Fink from the group Dark & Scruggy, upon the leave of Hugo Vogel who had been playing bass for 3 years. Heartbreaker plays old and new Bluegrass with cutting duetts and clear trio voices in tradition.
H e a r t b r e a k e r • t o d a y
Since 2016 Heartbreaker is mainly heared on private parties as a “revival band”. What remained is the enthusiasm for the music, which they still can submit to the audience. Typical songs are “Toy Heart”, Who’s That Knocking at My Door”, “Seeing Nellie Home” and of course “Hard Hearted Heartbreaker”.
D o u b l e T r o u b l e
Only heared in a few sessions was this group, which was specialized on harmony singing in gospels (e.g. Open up the window Noah, Where the soul never dies, He will set your fields on fire) employing scarce instrumentation with guitar and mandolin. In addition to Monika and Rudi, Claus Gstatter and Marlies Wegener were the singers.
B l u e N a
More than a Bluegrass Band! BlueNa stands for Blue (Bluegrass) and Na (Native), i.e. genuine, original Bluegrass music. Indeed, only the instrumentation is true Bluegrass. With BlueNa Beatles, Pop and namely own songs were adopted since 1998, which cultivated their own sound. That conveys a “ease of being” in songs like “Peter Got a Letter” auch eine “Leichtigkeit des Seins”, which is conserved in the first (at all?) interaktive Bluegrass CD “Last Exit”. It contains not only the (own) songs, but also the lyrics and a nowadays “historic” first version of the bluegrass.de webseite, with some gimmicks, you cann only smile at today.
The BlueNa time was also the foundation of the “BlueNa Country Club” in which Monika and Rudi invited “every first friday of the month” 50 times for open stage and session – partly with illustrious guests as Lynn Morriss or John Moore, as well as of the Buegrass Festival Hillbilly Heaven.
BlueNa rode in different line-ups, with Monika (fiddle, vocals) and Rudi (banjo, mandoline, guitar, vocals) forming the continuous center part.
- in the original line-up their only 11 year old son Sebastian played electric bass. Bernhard Schmitt (guitar, vocals) was a member of this family band
- BlueNa 2 adopted René Filous (stringed bass) replacing Sebastian and Thomas Hockemeyer (guitar, vocals) replacing Bernhard
- in BlueNa 3 Philipp Schöppe (guitar, mandolin, vocals) replaced Thomas
- BlueNa 4 was “only” a trio with Monika, Rudi und René upon Philipp´s leave
- for BlueNa 5 Rupert Schmitt (guitar,dobro, vocals) joined in
This video contains short clips of the one and only interactive BlueNa CD recorded by Mark Stoffel (Roan Pony Studios) of the original band in 1999 – possibly a must have. If you are interested please contact the webmaster for its limited availability.
S t r e i c h h o l z – S c h a c h t e l
The Streichholz-Schachtel is the home of Rudi and Monika. It is named after the former musical instruments shop, which was specialized in Bluegrass Instruments.
These days the Streichholz-Schachtel is a venue for occasional musicians meetings.