| Guenther Chalupa |
BERLIN (dpa) – Germany’s Country and Western music is thriving once again after a lean period. Only recently there were complaints that young people were no longer getting involved, but those concerns have been blown away.
The new stars are gathering this weekend at the International Country Music Meeting in Berlin to stake their claim alongside the established names.
“We are immensely pleased about the new generation. New and young people are very important to us,” says organiser Frank Lange.
“Out of the 70 acts from 12 countries that we will see and listen to between Friday and Sunday, almost two thirds are musicians who have never been here before,” Lange says.
“I’m really looking forward to Berlin and the opportunity to meet and listen to other artists,” says 16-year-old Jenny Bright, who hails from the Black Forest.
One of the up and coming stars, Bright has dedicated herself to the genre, much like her great idol, Taylor Swift.
“But the Taylor Swift of her early years,” she emphasises, noting that Smith has moved away from Country.
Bright has released a mini-album just in time for the Country Music Meeting, put together during her spare time after school, with titles Airplanes at Night, Our Jive and Cup of Tea.
Munich-based duo May and June joined forces last year and have already been to the home of Country & Western in Nashville, Tennessee, to seek inspiration for their new CD.
The compilation owes something to classical Country, with a bit of Bluegrass. “We live for our music. And we are madly looking forward to Berlin,” May says.
Another up-and-coming is Ann Doka, who sees her music as “more an intensive hobby.” Doka was awarded the German Rock and Pop Prize for 2014 in the category of Best Country Singer, repeating her previous success in 2012.
She also writes her own material. “I’m very choosy. I throw out a lot,” she says. The title of her new CD is Could’ve Been Mine – a mixture of the New Country and Country Pop that she is bringing to Berlin.