The Foggy Mountain Rockers, The History

The story starts in a small yard shed in the year 1992 where five Rock ‘n‘ Roll maniacs out of the Bonn area, decided to meet to start a band. They practiced hard and discussed their direction of music, deciding right from the beginning not just to play cover tunes but to develop their own style by combining all their individual interests. Compositions based on the motifs of British Teddybody Rock ‘n' Roll with influences of Skiffle and Country Music were the result.

After a number of practices the small shed was replaced by a bigger practice facility when Jörg "Paul" Weber joined the band as the second guitar player and offered his parents' basement as an alternative place to jam. At that time the band also replaced their drummer and found an ideal successor in Sven Schürmann.

They now had: Heiko Piecha (Vocals), Mario Oehlmann (Guitar), Jörg "Paul" Weber (Guitar), Frank "Jummi" Jungbluth (Bass Guitar), Sven Schürmann (Drums) and Domenico "Duck" Todaro (Percussion).

The six then performed their first few concerts in the Cologne/Bonn area. After accomplishing a third place at the "Rock ‘n' Roll Newcomer Festival" in Bielefeld in 1993, the ambitious musicians got a name even beyond their western German stomping grounds. It was around the same time when they published their first sample recordings.

At the end of '93, Paul left the band because of personal reasons and the others were forced to find a suitable replacement. They quickly found one in the experienced Rockabilly guitarist Marko Jahnke, who had already played together with Jummie for the "Raw Bop Trio". In this setup the band recorded their first album named "Hang Him High" for Pin up Records in 1994, but unfortunately the label decided to cease production of Rock ‘n' Roll records and never published the band's hard work. Although this was the first real set-back for the guys, they didn't give up and kept performing several live gigs.

In 1995, their already very solid program was enormously reinforced, when the Sax player Thomas "Sax" Schmitz joined the band and proved his talents not only at the sax but also at the bass guitar, taking over for Jummi who was forced to take a time-out in favor of his "day-time job".

In this set-up the band now recorded the album "Dice in Flames" for Castle Records. The album which was supposed to be the second, now became the first. The success of this recording led to an increased number of bookings for the band. Not only did they get the attention from insiders but also from the neutral audience, a fact which led to performances, among others, at the American Embassy Club. It was only a matter of time until the band, up to then confined to playing within German borders, could book their first gigs outside their home base.

In the beginning of 1998 Thomas, the sax and bass player left the band, so the others knocked on Jummi's door to get him to come back. No persuasion was needed though, because Jummi had felt that itch in his fingers again for quite some time already. He dug up his bass guitar from the basement and appeared for the next practice. The band quickly realized that this original set- up was the ideal one. They felt an immense force going through them at that time and tried themselves again on some of their own compositions which they had considered as too daring in earlier times. They rehearsed these and discussed the new sound. They worked old stuff over and tried out new things. They practiced a lot and played many gigs, before they decided to go back into the studio. This time they went to a professional studio in order to achieve the best possible results. With their recordings in their pockets they once again visited Stefan Pfeifer to publish their songs under the labels Castle Records (LP) and King Ed Records (CD). They named their record "Angel Heart", and it proved to be a success, gaining favorable evaluations by the critics and selling many copies.

In the summer of '99 the band was invited for a few performances in Spain. Obviously looking forward to this event, the Rockers were shocked by the announcement of their guitar player Marco, that he would not be able to join the band because of his job. There was little time to find a suitable replacement. Their search was ended when they found Ingo Goerges, the perfect replacement, who was actually at home in the Rock and Blues scene in Bonn. What musician, especially from a different style of music, manages to learn how to play 40, to him unknown songs, within a matter of seven weeks? (Super Ingo !!!).

In spite of a, once again, chaotic and hilarious, but nevertheless downright groovy tour, Lumumba, Sangria and bad sun burns, the shows went great. Back in Germany the band received good news. The long awaited LP/CD "Hang Him High", which was obtained by Part Records from the Pin up Records' left - behinds, was finally released. But every good news is followed by bad news: Because of an intervertebral disc problem, the guitar player Marco was not going to be able to play for a long time. Since there were several shows coming up, this was about the worst thing that could happen to the band. In addition to this, Marco announced that he was going to have to put his job first in the future and ease up on his musical career. There was only one solution to this problem: Ingo. They all learned in Spain that he was not only an expert on the guitar, but that he was also crazy enough to fit into this band.

In this line-up they performed numerous live gigs and produced the single "Teddybody Rocker" in cooperation with Part Records in the spring of the year 2000. With this piece of vinyl, which was completed just in time for their show at the "Wildest Cat in Town" event at the London Tennessee Club, the band wanted to connect to the success of their "Angel Heart" album, because with a sound like that, you're gonna make friends everywhere.

By Kai "Möhre" Steffens
Courstesy of The Foggy Mountain Rockers

Also read the "Dressed In Black" CD review!

Contact information:
Kai "Möhre" Steffens
Gartenstrasse 20a
53859 Niederkassel

Tel: +49 (0)228-4337677
Mobile: +49 (0)177-4925441