Das Ist Lustig means
Cherished and charming traditional songs from Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, American folk and variety music. Even a little modern thrown in!
Das Ist Lustig is quickly becoming one of the most requested traditional German folk bands in the southern part of the USA. They perform in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and all over Texas, sharing their energetic style with restaurant clientele, festival patrons, and party guests. They play in Europe as well. Their music has been described as "Spitze" which means "tops" by locals in Oberammergau. The Telgte newspaper describes Ross as a master accordionist. The duo plays music for their tour guests and locals while in Europe. The locals often ask where the band is from, what part of Germany, and do not believe it when they reply "Texas"!
Das Ist Lustig's show is full of energy, beer garden variety music and surprises. It's the only authentic German folk show that can be completely interactive with the audience. The musicians love and respect the folk music they play for audiences, and their enthusiasm shows in their performance. The shows are carefully crafted while reading audience's response. Guests are invited to play bells, try their hand at the Teufelsgeige (drum-set on a stick), or play various other hand held instruments. Wireless instruments and mics allow the musicians to join with the audience and lead them in the fun. Simple folk dances and at your table dances like their original audience participation creations: the Bankletanz (Bench Dance) and the Holzhacker (Wood Chopper) suitable for all ages are led on the spot.
Das Ist Lustig would love to play for your Festival, corporate function, school edutainment, restaurant, brewery, bar, private party, library, or museum. No distance is too far! Feel free to enquire about availability and pricing for your next event!
See where they've been! Visit their Past Performances page.
Accordion, vocals, yodeling, singing saw, Alphorn (Ricola!): Ross is one of the most talented and dynamic German folk accordionists in Texas. He has been described as a master accordion player by the people in Telgte Germany where the band played a concert in April 2018. His true passion for the German folk music really shows in his playing style. When Ross plays the accordion, you can be sure that every note you hear is being played with love, live at that moment without sequencers or pre-recorded tracks.
Ross is a Houstonian born from German descent who studied accordion under Lynlee Alley, Steve Habemacher, Terry Cavanagh, and Bill Palmer Sr. He majored in music (with a minor in voice) at the University of Missouri at Kansas City under Joan Cochran Sommers, graduating in 2000. He toured Europe several times with the UMKC accordion orchestra, and has sung in Carnegie Hall. He speaks some German, and when he sings, everyone listens! He plays two different accordions in the shows; An acoustic Beltuna accordion full of reeds, and Helicon bass for a truly traditional sound, and a Styrischer Harmonica, a traditional Austrian diatonic "button box". Before forming the band, Ross played solo at private parties and German club events. In his teen years, he sat in with the local German band Alpenfest, and rocked his Clements high school talent show. As mentioned earlier, Ross is an accomplished singer, performing the National Anthem at various festivals, and singing the Lord's Prayer, Ave Maria, and hymns in church, at weddings, and at solemn gatherings.
Tuned Austrian cowbells, vocals, yodeling, Autoharp, Holzernes G'lachter (Bavarian xylophone), Boombas (drum set on schtick), and a collection of other percussive toys: Valina is high energy and very enthusiastic about the folk music she sings and plays. She is a Houstonian born of Dutch / German descent, has 42 years experience performing on the stage for audiences of all types, speaks Dutch, some German, and can do a rowdy German accent. She fronts for the band, invites guests to play cowbells, sing along, and leads audiences into social folk dances and boisterous German style fun. Her vocals have been described as "effervescent" by Navy Veteran Mike in Pearland. Before forming the band, she performed with Terry Cavanagh and the Alpine Express (where she earned the nick-name "ricochet"), rabble roused at German themed corporate events, and worked as emcee for several German festivals beginning in 1998. Valina still emcees for the Addison Oktoberfest, The Tomball German Heritage Festival, Tomball German Christmas Market, and the Galveston Oktoberfest.
Drums, vocals, Waffle House, general good humor guy, Jeff Ryder of Jeff Ryder's Drum Shop is their primary drummer. He is a veteran drummer with strong, steady beats, has a nice singing voice, and enjoys visiting with guests at the various gigs. He loves to travel too, so he's wonderful for the long road trips. He owns Jeff Ryder's drum shop in San Antonio. His red signature drum sticks are the best for boomba and drum playing. Jeff has logged thousands of hours on stage with big name bands as well as several other polka bands in Texas.
Audience Participation Specialists; Need help dancing a polka? We have APS for that! Energetic dancers assist making the atmosphere of your event truly a party. Das Ist Lustig works with the talented group Das Ist Keine Kunst German Folk Dance Troupe, and Katerina. They help lead folk dances, and other interactive things. Their friendly demeanor is inviting to even the shyest of guests. Some configurations include German folk dances and Schuhplattlers as part of the entertainment package. Most of the APS speak some German.
...What is a Schuhplattler? Remember the scene in National Lampoons European Vacation when Clark joined that group of men on the dance square who were slapping their feet, knees, and each other? That's a Schuhplattler (sort of). In Texas, it is quite effective keeping the mosquitoes away.
Tuba: Kerry Jones joined Das Ist Lustig in 2011, immediately adding to the band with some great bass licks on the tuba. Kerry has been playing tuba most of his life - he played with Alpenfest in the late 1980's, and plays with various musicians at Rudy Lechners restaurant from time to time. His musical prowess and subtle sense of humor is an excellent addition to the band. When Kerry isn't available, Ray Grim from the TubaMeisters plays with them.
Drummers who work with the band are Jeff Ryder, Glen Renfro, and Michael Morris.
Glen Renfro plays as a special guest with the band. He is an amazing percussionist with a magnetic personality. When he works with the band, there are two Bavarian xylophones, two Alphorns, two singing saws, 3 yodelers, and a plethora of cowbells. Glen is playful and youthful in his presentations. Sometimes going off on a tangent that no one expects.
Michael worked with and recorded with Das Ist Lustig in 2012, and sits in from time to time. Michael also plays drums periodically with The Alex Meixner Band, The Temple Jazz Orchestra, and many others. His steady beat, wacky personality, character accents and clean vocals add a nice twist to the Das Ist Lustig experience. He can be seen with the band on the 2012 episodes of the Mollie B Polka Party, and heard drumming on the Barrel Of Lustig Album.
Eric Miculka worked with and recorded with Das Ist Lustig from 2013 through 2018. He's no longer with the band due to family and work commitments. He can be seen with the band on the 2013 and 2016 episodes of the Mollie B Polka Party, and heard drumming on the Road Trip Album.
Das Ist Lustig is fun as a duo, a 3 piece party band, or full party package with folk dancers and skilled instigators (Audience Participation Specialists). They can also offer a dance and show band complete with tuba, fiddle, guitar, drums and plenty of folk instruments. With upbeat polkas, romantic waltzes, audience interaction, controlled chaos and sassy humor, this band will charm every guest. Give them a try at your next event. You and your guests will be glad you did!
Ross is available for vocal performance. He sings the National Anthem for the opening ceremonies at the Tomball German festivals. He has performed The Lord's Prayer a'capella for numerous weddings, funerals, and formal dinners. Other songs are available by request.
For price and availability, call or e-mail: (area code 713) 598-8317