It all began with traditional music from Ireland and Scotland. Enchanting songs that tell of green pastures and highland moors, ballads about historical events, about the joy and pain of love and the high spirits when carousing rounded off with a repertoire of jigs and reels performed in a highly danceable manner.
The Rock 'n' Reel
As two out of five band members are musically rooted in rock music, it is not a big surprise to find traces of that in the music of Smoky Finish. With their characteristic arrangements Smoky Finish have found a unique style that blends folk and rock and distinguishes their music from that of a classical folk band:
they call it rock ‘n’ reel.
The year 2002 was a turning point for Smoky Finish: The original line up was changed. Esch, Bernhart Ruso and Andy Neumeister were joined by Klara Schiffermüller and Pauli Dangl, two fine young fiddlers from Vienna. Smoky Finish now consists of five of the best Austrian folk musicians on fiddles, flute, whistle, percussion, bass, guitars and bouzouki. With this line up and the singing in parts Smoky Finish offers something special for everbody’s taste.
Not only rock ‘n’ reel, the musical style, but also the performance is unusual: A dynamic show very much like a rock concert has taken the place of the traditional folk performance. Music and dance are inextricably bound together - Smoky Finish moves your body!
You could compare the music of Smoky Finish with good Scottish single malt whisky:
well matured over the years,
with a golden colour
and a fresh taste,
a long, smoky finish.
Best quality guaranteed!
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Paul Dangl - fiddle, e-fiddle, guitar, mandoline, voice.At the age of five Paul took up his fiddle for the first time and started his classical training. At home the main musical input was live music and folk records....and the Folkclub Waidhofen/Thaya, which for Paul was a great chance to meet renowned international folk-stars at an early age. Paul soon noticed that the boww could be held "differently" and his violin became a fiddle. His preferred style is "suffle-fiddling", he likes Balkan rhythms and he is the man for hard and mellow improvisations.
Klara Schiffermüller - fiddle, e-cello, voice.When it turned out ot be much fun to play folk and traditional music it was an easy decision for Klara: after a short break she took the fiddle out of its case again in 1995 and she hasn't stopped fiddling through the Vienna session scene ever since. She plays what she likes: Scottish, Swedish, French and Irish stuff - a lot of the latter, please! Feet start tapping all by themselves...and to be honest: what would Irish music be if it wasn't for its strong (feminine) fiddle sound?
Bernhard Ruso - flute, tin whistle, bodhrán, darbuka, cajón.Rather late in life, at the age of 19, Bernhart was infected with the bazillus musicus. Within days a strong dependency of an passion for his instruments was formed. A promising career as a basketball star was put aside and the love for acting was adjourned. Bernhart has the gift to convey his enthusiasm for the music with a lot of wit and empathy to the audience, who is thereby inevitably drawn into the pulse of the music and joins Smoky Finish on the musical journey between rock and folk.
Esch - bouzouki, guitars, mandoline, voice.Mr. Folk 'n' Roll! In another life he was an Irishman from Donegal, this time he is an Austrian somewhere between folk and rock. Esch writes songs and tunes, arranges music, loves his bouzouki, is mad about singing in parts, masterminds the band and is a very convincing 100% musician with high contents of whiskey. Has been to Ireland several times and on the occasion impressed quite a few Irish musicians (with his...abilities). In August 1996 he participated in the "aAll Ireland Fleadh" competition as accompanying musician, which has been the highland of his (folk) musical career so far.
Andy Neumester - guitar, bass, voice.100% musician, beer drinker for religious reasons, composer, poet, rover, work dodger, mystic and blatherskite - Vollgas!
Leli (Michaela Tomsich)Had she been born on the Emerald Isle and begun to dance at the age of five – she would probably be one of the much admired dancers of ‘Riverdance’. When she heard Smoky Finish for the first time about 3 years ago, she knew she wanted to work with this band. Leli loves Irish music and particularly Smoky Finish’s Rock ‘n’ Reel, otherwise she would hardly have survived the numerous gigs with the band.
Katrin GrossauerA flying dreamdancer in a mythical world full of dwarfs, leprechauns and elves – that’s what Katrin was until the turn of the millennium. Then it all changed. A passion came over her, that allows her to bring a part of her dreamworld into reality: Katrin began to learn Irish Step Dancing and hasn’t stopped ever since.
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Listener CommentsMember Name:
Welcome to Celtic Radio naepeer. I hope you will enjoy the music as well as the wonderful people that are here on the forum. I look forward to you posting.I love the sounds of Smoky Finish. I hope to hear more of them in the future Slainte
Member Name: naepeer
Date Posted: 01-Sep-2007
Sweet and lovely voice!
Member Name: Macfive
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2004
Here is an update we received from Smokey Finish. They seem like an awesome group. Wish I could see them in concert!Hi Paul!Back again from our tour in the northern part of Germany with unbelievablethings that happened. We played a gig for more than 3000 listeners which isamazing for Germany. Great! What a feeling! Our tour continued last weekendwith a fine gig at a famous celtic festival in the estern part of Austria.And next weekend we will play a gig at the very famous "Folk im SchloßhofFestival" again in Germany. As you can see we are still very busy intouring. I just wanted to thank you for promoting us on your website. I justvisited the site and feel very happy now. Thanks from me and the rest of theband!Have a good time till our next contact.Keep on rock `n´ reelin´Eric
Member Name: Macfive
Date Posted: 13-Jun-2004
While I just added Smoky Finish to the featured artist database, we have had their album playing since the beginning of 2004. A real high energy group from Vienna, Austria. Sounds like they have a very good show with even 2 Girls that Celtic dance at all of their shows. I instantly loved their album. Give it a request if you want to hear some excellent Celtic music with an Austrian flavor!
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