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CD Review: Jim Rommel
Prost! A German-American Celebration

Vocals, Accordion, Tuba, Euphonium: Jim Rommel
String Bass, Electric Bass: Buddy Mohmed
Drums: Joe Azcona
Military Snare Drum: Bill Freeman
Trumpet: Brian Standridge
Clarinet: Kurt DeKuehn
Guitar: Billy Crockett
Fiddle: Milo Deering
Additional Vocals: Jo Ann Stephens, Bob Gehmauer and "Die Biergarten Sanger."


The Happy Wanderer/Gruezi
Kufstein Lied
No Beer on Sunday
Lili Marleen
Schunkelwalzer Musik

Ein Prosit!
Mei Vater is an Apenzeller
Too Fat / Too Think Polka

Total Time: 42 minutes
Released in 1995

Jim Rommel Music
PO Box 152
Allen, TX 75013-0152
telephone: 214-390-1683

Review by Henry Doktorski:

Prost by Jim Rommel, is exactly what it claims to be: a German - American celebration; a joyous musical tribute to the glorious annual Oktoberfest festival. In this album great attention is paid to detail; the band arrangements are very good and the ensemble's sound is clean, crisp and musical. This comes as no surprise, since Rommel studied tuba and piano at the University of North Texas where he graduated with a degree in music. Later, he taught as a high school band director and presently performs and records on accordion regularly for commercial radio and TV.

There is a very nice contrast and balance between songs. "Happy Wanderer," sung in both German and English (with yodeling!) is up-beat and energetic. "No Beer on Sunday" and "Too Fat / Too Thin Polka" are comical. (I actually cracked up laughing the first time I heard the former!) "Lili Marleen" is sweet and sentimental and the "Schunkelwalzer Musik" effectively captures the atmosphere of a Bier Garten singalong.

If I were to find one fault with the album, it would be Rommel's German diction; occasionally his American accent is distracting. This, however, is a minor point and will not be apparent to listeners who do not understand German.

I recommend "Prost" by Jim Rommel for discriminating listeners who enjoy polka music with a touch of class.

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