Attendees at the 2012 World Of Bluegrass convention in Nashville may recall seeing a showcase set from Covered Grass, a highly entertaining band from the western part of Germany who have been working together since 2006.
The group is based on the singing and songwriting of Corina Aurin, with Volker Fisher on banjo, Carsten Manz on bass, Felix Eichert on guitar, and Joon Laukamp on mandolin and fiddle. The gentlemen all support Corina with harmony vocals and Fisher shares writing credits with her.
They have released a very clever concept video for the title track of their latest CD, Toogaroo. It tells of an imaginary place that can only be reached by an embrace.
Volker tells us that, lacking major label support, he did all the animation himself.
“It was shot as stop motion video, and I want to say, I won’t do it again soon. It is my place where the puppets went through, so they have a long way to go to find Toogaroo. We wanted to show that when the puppets embrace each other, they can fly to ‘…where the sky is green and the grass is blue,’ but the song is too short and my skills as a animator a bit too low to fully realize it.
But I think the lyrics and the video itself shows where the way is to find.”
He also expressed pride in the contents of the new album.
The CD is a very ambitous thing for us. It contains 13 songs, all written in the last 18 months by our singer Corina Aurin and myself, and we’re proud to say, that Toogaroo doesn’t contain any cover songs. We love to have some of the old classics in our live show, but it is a dream come true to bring out a German bluegrass/newgrass CD with just our own stuff on it.
We’re from Germany and we all think that it is really important to bring our own culture into bluegrass music – to be authentic on our side of the ocean and bring out our own sound and feel.
There’s a song called The Fiddle where Corina tells the story of an old italian fiddle from the perspective of the instrument. It’s a beautiful song and lyric. I call it our Bohemian Rhapsody because it’s nearly 6 minutes long.
We hope that some of the great festivals, promoters and organizers will notice Covered Grass, so that we can come back to the US someday.”
Here’s one additional video, for Volker’s banjo instrumental, Greyhound, in which he imagines an old bus that has spent many years cruising the highways and byways of rural America.
We look forward to reviewing Toogaroo when we receive a copy later this month.