January 31, 2010

25 years of Tex-Mex in the province: Rowwen Hèze

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 2:47 pm

For a long time the band Normaal symbolised music from the sticks, the ZZ Top of the Achterhoek (literally: back corner) sang in their local dialect about beer, women, and any combination of the two. Then in 1985, the Limburg band Rowwen Hèze was founded, and suddenly people were speaking of a trend.

Like Normaal, Rowwen Hèze makes good party music, based oddly enough on the continental immigrant music of the United States: Tex-Mex, polka, fanfare, Irish folk. They take standards (or songs that sound like they ought to be) and add silly local texts to them: Enselma becomes Bestel Mar (order up), and Ay Te Dejo En San becomes Kroenenberg (a place name). Of course, when they sing Los Lobos’ and Flaco Jimenez’ songs, they invite these guys onto stage too.

The other side of Rowwen Hèze (named after a local tramp) is introspective:

Saint Anthony was said to know
— dear friend, he wrote, it is true —
it can be better to lose something beautiful
than to never having had it before

(Link: AD.nl)

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