Formed in spring 1970, when baroque-prog-folk was rare and unique for a German (or for that matter, European) group, Hamburg’s OUGENWEIDE were a prime example that it could work, albeit without much exposure outside their Rhineland home. Procuring the name from a song by Neidhart von Reuental (meaning “feast for the eyes”), the original septet of OUGENWEIDE comprised three main voices, Brigitte Blunck, Renee Kollmorgen and Olaf Casalich, plus adept musicians Wolfgang Von Henko, Jurgen Isenbart, Frank Wulff and his brother Stefan.
The eponymous OUGENWEIDE (1973) {*7} was well-received in their native land, although it was the final show for Brigitte and Renee who made way for fellow female chanter Minne Graw; this line-up was stable and settled for several years following sophomore set ALL DIE WEIL ICH MAG (1974) {*7}. Inspired by and/or utilising the medieval works of 12th/13th century poet Walther von der Vogelweide, the bohemian ensemble probably had their best times in the heart of the 70s supporting the likes of AMAZING BLONDEL, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, STEELEYE SPAN, PLANXTY and ALAN STIVELL.
Delivered in much the same vein, subsequent albums all had their appeal among the continental public: these were:- OHRENSCHMAUS (1976) {*7}, EULENSPIEGEL (1976) {*7}, UNGEZWUNGEN (1977) {*7}, FRYHEIT (1978) {*7}, OUSFLUG (1979) {*6}, JA-MARKT (1980) {*6} and NOCH ABER IST APRIL (1981) {*6}.
Disbanding for most of the 80s and half the 90s, OUGENWEIDE (Olaf, Stefan, Frank and Wolfgang, with additions Stefan Rager, Sven Gordon Williams, Darius Zahir and Wolfram Huschke) returned to the fore by way of SOL (1996) {*6}, a record that housed updated electric versions of `Gaudete’ (good, but STEELEYE SPAN need not worry) and `Drink Down The Moon’ (ditto). Of late, with a re-formed tour line-up for 2008, OUGENWEIDE produced another studio set, HERZSPRUNG (2010) {*6}.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS May2017

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