The association CFBR (Country Family Baton Rouge with chairwoman Brigitte Heybey) from Salzburg invited the Bluegrass Band "Coon Bottom Creek" from Tallahassee, Florida (USA) to the tavern Wastlwirt at Salzburg.
The band consists of founder Maria and Mischa Steurer (contrabass and mandolin) born in Austria, Chelsea Kessler (fiddle), Skip Johns (lefthand played banjo) and Red Barnes (guitar) - all from USA. Without technical help, unplugged, the band delivers an acceptable acoustic performance, where it's to distinguish that the 19 year old (!) Chelsea impresses both with her excellent voice and her fiddle-play. Every member of the band sings, but the auditor gets the impression that technical assistance is missing. Instead of small scope and room already in the 3rd row the singing is incomprehensible, because it's too quiet as long the knowledge of the english language is not as good or the songs are well known. Only Chelsea stands out because of her voice volume, the fiddle and her fantastic gesture. A threepart performance (2 pauses) and the playing time of 3 times nearly 40 minutes compensate, neutralizes the acoustic deficit and make this performance to a great experience.
Summary - well organized presentation, comfortable ambiance with good kitchen and friendly service, but only middle-class performance because of missing technic due from the band. It would have been better to disclaim "unplugged". Hidden potential is found in Chelsea Kessler. Also positive was the no-smoking-rule during the concert. Worth seeing!
seen and heard from PMG in Salzburg, Badener Presseclub
photos may be seen on the german page
It was a cold day in february when Brigitte's phone rang. On the other end Mischa Steurer from Florida piped up. Brigitte explained that she was standing on the slope at - 25 degrees and asked him to call her in the evening. Mischa himself declared, that he was wandering around in short at plus 25 degrees and surely would call back in the evening. That's how the story started which ended thereby that a band from Florida now plays in Salzburg.
The Coon Bottom Creek Band consists of Maria and Mischa Steurer (bass and mandoline), who originally hail from Vienna und live in Florida since 11 years. Besides there's Skip Johns (banjo), Red Barnes (guitar) and Chelsea Kessler (fiddle), all 3 born in America with european ancestors. All band members alternately sing solo or in the group.
After performances in Germany and Switzerland the band arrived in Salzburg on Tuesday evening, after a visit in princedom Lichtenstein and a short trip to Innsbruck. Brigitte and Giovanna received them. The evening was spent together in Wastlwirt's courtyard dining . The excited conversation was complicated inessentially by the language barrier. The common love for music bridged all difficulties.
The band spent wednesday with relaxing, shopping and sightseeing in Salzburg. The concert was announced for 8 p.m. Nearly one hour earlier all guests were still presend and curiously awaited the performance. Because of the small room, where they should play, the band abdicated technical support, played unplugged. In that case this was specially beautiful, because the audience quietly listened and didn't disturb the concert with loud speaking. Skip Johns attracts attention because of his left-handed banjo play. Unfortunately his voice went down in the music. Also Red Barnes convinces with his guitar play, but didn't give all he could while singing. Special attraction was the 19 years old Chelsea who virtuosly played her fiddle and has an excellent voice. Mischa at mandolin and Maria at the contrabass rounded the overall impression. The repertoire of CBC first and foremost includes bluegrass songs, but also some gospels and country songs where played. The audience enjoyed the 3 sets, that where played and consistently commented positive on the concert.
Thursday Brigitte and Giovanna brought the 5 musicians and their 2 companions with all their instruments and the luggage to the train station. With Westbahn they drove to Vienna, where a Jam Session in the evening and a concert on the next evening where planned. The farewell was difficult, instead of the short time that we spent together. But the whole band invited us to Florida and we still plan to accept this invitation. In every case we wish all the best to Coon Bottom Creek Band and are still glad to meet again.
reported by Giovanna
photos may be seen on the german page
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