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Erna Schmidt biography
In the early 60s a band named R & B CORPORATION was founded near Stuttgart which was playing conventional beat music with Wolfgang Mathias at the drums. Hubert Stütz (guitar) joined in 1965 and brought up some new blues rock elements. Further on the band crossed the frontiers to improvised music oriented at Jimi Hendrix, bands like Cream or Ten Years After and soon they became known in southern Germany. Walter Laible (bass) joined in 1967 and they played as the support for Rory Gallagher, Brian Auger, Procul Harum, Alexis Korner and others.

According to the upcoming krautrock movement they started to write their own music/lyrics and decided to change the band name. In a proper sense the story of ERNA SCHMIDT was now opened in 1969. The band continuously enlarged with Rolf Schiegl as the second drummer, Sam Drake (flute, piano), hammond player Romi Schickle, also known as a member of PROF. WOLFFF, Peter Mayer (vibraphone) and a brass section.

They gigged all over Germany and could also be seen on stage at the legendary Quartier Latin in Berlin. Known for incredibly long improvisations, usually being stoned on the stage and jamming all the way, often together with guest musicians, they developed to a very popular live band in the meanwhile.

The next change occured when Schiegl and Drake left the band at the end of the year but Hartmut Mau came in as a substitute who played several wind instruments and was part of a circle around bass player Helmut Hattler, a founding member of KRAAN. Now as a quartet they had a widespreaded repertoire of selfcomposed songs consisting of improvisations and provided with variations on every gig. Due to a friend of drummer Mathias 20 hours of recordings of that time survived which were remastered by Mick Baumeister in his studio. The band decided to publish only some excerpts which are having an excellent sound quality.

The album 'Live '69 -'71' was finally released by the Garden Of Delights label in 2000 with a 32-page colour booklet. The songs are sought out very well showing the band on a high musical/technical level and avoiding endless noodling. Stütz's various guitar playing alternating between psychedelic, heavy and jazz rock is remarkable and combined with Mau's flute the songs sometimes are close to Jethro Tull.

The first TV appearance came in spring 1971 and some professional studio recordings followed for example at the wellknown studios of SWF Baden-Baden. Due to the Count of Me...
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ERNA SCHMIDT discography

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ERNA SCHMIDT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.44 | 14 ratings
Live 69-71

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 Live 69-71 by ERNA SCHMIDT album cover Live, 2000
3.44 | 14 ratings

Live 69-71
Erna Schmidt Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ERNA SCHMIDT was an active live band in Germany for many years first under the name R & B CORPORATION before changing their name and style of music, but they never did release a studio album. The drummer was an original member of R & B CORPORATION which formed in 1963 with the guitarist here joining in 1965 and the bass player in 1967, leaving the flute and horn player as the last piece of the puzzle. So the music here is live and covers 1969 to 1971.

They were a well oiled machine at this point and I would mention in particular the guitarist as being very talented. The music is led by the guitar or flute almost all of the time and I really dig their sound. Something about that flute in psychedelic music that just does it for me, then add a killer guitarist and I'm sold. A couple of the tracks here would end up on those famous Krautrock compilations from back in the day. I'm surprised at how much they mix it up when it's really a guitar, drum, bass and flute setup. The guitarist is very gifted changing styles and sound often. Love when he does the echo thing with the guitar.

A great example of that guitar echo is at the start of "Woischwiemon" one of the older tracks on here from the late summer of 1969 where he opens with that beautiful sounding guitar that echos so beautifully. He does amp it up including distortion and the bass stands out more before it settles back again. A top 3 for sure. The opener is another big highlight where the flute and guitar offer up some memorable melodies. They are on fire late.

Tough picking that third tune but man "Rulaman" is so Krautrock especially around the 5 minute mark. They really kick some large butt on "La Folie D'espagne" where the guitarist sets the soundscape ablaze after some lightweight flute led music. Love the contrast. So many highlights here but there's a couple of tracks that don't do a lot for me like the longest track at 9 1/2 minutes and the closer surprisingly. Surprising because usually I'm right into the longest tune and the closers.

This is a solid 4 star album no doubt, glad to own this one.

 Live 69-71 by ERNA SCHMIDT album cover Live, 2000
3.44 | 14 ratings

Live 69-71
Erna Schmidt Krautrock

Review by Discographia

3 stars Erna Schmidt will finally remain a live band not really krautrock music, rather a mixture of Progressive Rock and different style. The first remark was listening to the album lies in the fact that we seem to hear of improvisation, very inspired by film music, rock, a little of everything, a real mixture. Erna Schmidt is at ease, guitar wanders easily while the drums it sounds krautrock and bass very gradual, there are also many sonnorité jazz rock a little to the Kraan band from the same region. The sound of the album is not bad, especially for a team that never recorded an album studio, also somewhat surprising given the level of musicianship. The flute is quite important in their music it helps to soften the guitar sometimes a little too demonstrative. "La Folie d'Espagne"" is a title that uses just a lot of flute and really soothing music, which is found more pleasant, the breaks are the progressive with a guitar solo that makes. "Rulaman" an interesting title that offers a sound that is still mixing the kind Krautrock, Jazz Rock & Progressive Rock. If this group Stuttgart has finally been signed for this album "Live" posthumously by the excellent label Garden of Delights "is that the group once again enjoyed great success on stage. In summary titles are relatively heavy krautrock, with influence Cream And Jimi Hendrix.
 Live 69-71 by ERNA SCHMIDT album cover Live, 2000
3.44 | 14 ratings

Live 69-71
Erna Schmidt Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions

3 stars Erna is live on the stage here and doesn't sing at all ...

ERNA SCHMIDT was finally situated in Wintrup at a mansion nearby my hometown. I can't remember being aware of them since I stumbled over this album some months ago. Probably I was too young and only had noticed that KRAAN lived there later. The full truth is that ERNA SCHMIDT searched for a new bass player and in the wake of that the circle around Helmut Hattler decided to enter Wintrup. Whereas ERNA SCHMIDT disbanded soon KRAAN started its successful career at this place from now on.

The band name ERNA SCHMIDT was a funny joke used by the members to express their transition from conventional beat and rock music to krautrock. The same as for many others this was the result of typical conflicts about the musical direction whereas musicians left and came in reflecting a continously process. It was the time for experiments, so ERNA SCHMIDT saw a lot of instruments contributing inclusively hammond, piano, a brass section and vibraphone. During the band's lifetime they couldn't manage to produce an album even though they had an offer from the Ohr label. But nearly 20 hours of live recordings survived and this album is a first essence of them practically.

The completely instrumental songs are from 1970 in the majority - representing a more conventional line-up with bass, drums, guitar and flute/saxophone - progressive rock with folk, psych and jazz elements. Despite they have been a very demanded live band, known for endless improvisations, the selected recordings are compact (only one song nearly reaches the ten minute mark), well-composed and presenting them on a high level. The style is not very unique on the other hand, influenced by wellknown bands and artists in fact but also combined with meditative jamming parts. The excellent groover Woischwiemoin for example remembers me at Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys and is one of the songs faded out after some minutes.

Erna Schmidt as the band song per se contains a great part by bass player Laibel sometimes playing like John Wetton in his early years - a powerful and haunting track. Pass - Weites Luftmeer folksy/jazzy Tull drenched with great flute work, La Folie D' Espagne in a more classical Focus mood and the psychedelic Rulaman are showing other facets of the band. It only remains for me to add that Hubert Stütz (also named Stytz) is heading the recordings with his excellent varied guitar contributions stylistically oriented at Jimi Hendrix in parts.

Hopefully there are also recordings existing from ERNA SCHMIDT's earlier respectively more experimental phase and the former members decide to publish the rest of the recorded stuff sometime. Nevertheless this album, released by the Garden Of Delights label in 2000, is a very good document of their musical abilities and I recommend to check it out - 3.5 stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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