With Folklorist Jim Leary and guest musicians Heinz Mattman, George Albright and Deborah Krauss Smith
*** Jim Leary received a 2019 Grammy Nomination for the notes on this CD! ***
In 1920, Ferdinand Ingold, a Swiss settler in Monroe, WI, launched one of the first American record labels established by an immigrant for his own community. Though nearly lost, the songs the Helvetia label produced were recently located and remastered in the album Alpine Dreaming. This recording recalls a bygone era and resonates with those who seek New World lives while remembering their homelands. Folklorist Jim Leary researched this music and wrote the liner notes to this cd. His talk brings this music and its importance to light.
(on the right in the photo), alphornist and accordionist, is a native of canton Solothurn in Switzerland, and immigrated to New Glarus in 1963 with his family. Semi-retired as the head Wurstmacher at Bavaria Sausage Kitchen in Fitchburg, Heinz has been an active member of the Monroe Swiss Singers, Jodlerklub New Glarus, and Männerchor New Glarus for over 40 years. He often entertains at special events and for tourists with his alphorn, accordion, and yodeling.
George Albright (on the left in the photo) was born and raised in Madison and “immigrated” to New Glarus in 2004 following his retirement from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as an Environmental Specialist. A member of the New Glarus Jodlerklub and Männerchor, and formerly the Monroe Swiss Singers, George specializes in playing alphorn as well the Büchel, another Swiss alphorn-like instrument. He and Heinz Mattmann are often called on to entertain at special events and for tourists in New Glarus.
Deborah Krauss Smith is a native of Monroe whose paternal grandmother came from canton Aargau in Switzerland. She is also a direct descendent of original colonists of New Glarus. Deb has a degree in vocal music education from UW-Eau Claire, with double applied majors in organ and voice. She worked as a church musician for over 40 years, and is still active as an organ recitalist. Since 1985, she has directed the Monroe Swiss Singers mixed choir, and directed the Männerchor New Glarus from 1996 through 2006. In addition to trying to keep George and Heinz out of trouble, she plays the Langnauerli, a small Swiss button accordion.