The Hoelderlin Express is one of Germany's most exciting new bands. Although they initially played traditional music for folk dances, the group has increasingly focused on original material that they refer to as "electric body folk." Hoelderlin Express was formed in the small town of Tubingen, near Stuttgart, as a quartet featuring Elke Rogge (front-person, hurdy-gurdy), Jorgen Lang (vocals, acoustic guitar, polysix and low whistles), Olav Krauss and Johannes Mayr. A former member of Spielleut, Rogge was initially rooted in traditional French music. Her musical direction was altered after meeting avant-garde hurdy-gurdy player Valentin Clatrier. Lang's early musical interests in Celtic music were enhanced while living in Dublin for a year and half. In 1993, the group was named "best new folk band" at the Tanz Und Folkfest in Rudolstadt. While recording their self-titled debut album, in February, 1994, Hoelderlin Express hired percussionist Rolf Gottschald, whose roots were in jazz-rock and Latin music, to play on the album. Gottschald soon became a full-fledged member of the band. With the departure of Mayr and Krauss, in the summer of 1994, and the addition of Turkey born bass player, Gury Atalay, the current line-up of Hoelderline Express was solidified.
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