Tales from Fragment’s reunion tour – Day 5

Fragment, one of the most popular central European bluegrass bands ever, is celebrating their 30th anniversary by doing a reunion tour. Bass player and vocalist Jana Mougin is chronicling their tour for us at Bluegrass Today.

Day 5: November 27 Kaufbeuren, Germany

Neuschwanstein castle in BavariaThe last day in Germany turned out to be a bit cold, but beautiful. We left the hotel in Langenau and drove about an hour to Kaufbeuren.

When we arrived at the hotel, our guitar player Ondra found out that we were only fifty minutes from Neuschwanstein castle, a popular tourist destination in Bavaria.

We had approximately three hours until the sound check and everybody was up for taking a little trip to the “winter wonderland.” We jumped back in the car and in about half an hour we enjoyed beautiful winter scenery driving by the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. As we were getting closer, the castle emerged between the mountains and it really looked like something from a fairy tale. We didn’t have time to take the 30 minute walk to the most famous Neuschwanstein Castle, so we decided to walk up to the Hohenschwangau Castle close by. It was definitely worth walking up the icy stairs, as the view with two lakes, Alpsee and Schwansee below, was remarkable. Despite the cold weather (15 F), I wished we could have stayed longer.

Around 5:00 p.m. our routine began with loading the sound system into Sudhaus, a restaurant type venue, with regular bluegrass concerts. Among many others Claire Lynch, Chris Jones and The Night Drivers and Monroe Crossing played there earlier this year.

Fragment performs at Sudhaus in KaufbeurenOur promoter Frank Rickal was worried about the attendance, as an important soccer match was on TV that night, but the first bluegrass fans started to show up an hour and a half before the show.

After the sound check and a lovely dinner – local specialty Kase Spatzle (dumplings with cheese and roasted onions), we were ready to start the show. We played three sets and during the intermissions we had a chance to chat with local fans/musicians at the merch table.

I have to admit, I was ready for bed when we finished the show with two encores, but yet we had to pack and load the sound system in the trailer. We got to the hotel around midnight and went straight to bed, to catch some sleep before our long trip back to Slovakia.


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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.