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Rowwen Hèze are a band from the small village of America in the south of the Netherlands. They are one of the biggest bands singing in Limburgish. The band was founded in 1985.

The band started with the search for a new lead singer for the band The Legendary Texas Four. Jack Poels, formerly singing in the band Bad Edge, was willing to fulfill this position, on the condition he was allowed to do one song in dialect. The other band members agreed and Rowwen Hèze was born. In early years they mostly played covers in English. A lot of bands from Limburg compose a song every Carnaval, which is a big cultural event in that region. Rowwen Heze became known in all of the Netherlands with the Carnaval song 'Niks stront niks' (no crap nothing). After that they gradually sang more and more songs in dialect. In 1987 the self-released album Rowwen Hèze comes out. Their breakthrough comes with their second single and drinking anthem ‘Bestel Mar’ - based on Los Lobos' ‘Anselma’ - which gets a fair amount of airplay on Dutch national radio. They are nicknamed Los Limbos, which both refers to Los Lobos and their home province of Limburg. Due to their folk and texmex influenced music they come in contact with Mexican/American accordion player Flaco Jimenez with whom they tour in 1989. A year later they release the album ‘Blieve Loepe’ ('Keep Walking'). The album is a commercial disappointment. With the help of Boudewijn de Groot they try to overcome the disappointment with the album Boem ('Boom'). It is however the re-release of the single ‘ Bestel Mar’ that gets them back in the spotlight. As if history repeats itself they hook up again with Jimenez in 1994 for a single CD ‘ The moon is mine’. In 1996 they record the song ‘Limburg’ with the Metropole Orchestra. The song about how the Limburg dialect will take over Dutch becomes a hit. In 2000 Rowwen Hèze celebrates their fifteenth anniversary with a single recorded with US band Los Lobos.

In the last years Rowwen Hèze takes more to the theatre performing in prestigious venue like the Carre theatre. On November 15 2003 the DVD Rowwen Hèze in het Theater (recorded in Roermond on February 10) is launched at a gig in hometown America in attendance of 6.000 fans from across the country. In 2005 Rowwen Hèze is featured in a TV commercial of the local based Gulpener lager. In 2007 the band releases the single Droemvlucht (April) which is a duet in the local dialect and in Frisian sung by Jack Poels and Frisian fado singer Nynke Laverman. At the start of 2008 the group releases an ode to their native province, Limburg, which is also featured on the album 'Saus'. A ballad recorded with the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest and the Venloos Vocaal Ensemble. In 2009 the band is constantly touring with, as landmark, the 40th jubilee edition of the Pinkpop festival. The performance of the band is the gift of the province Limburg to the festival.

On the web:

- Rowwen Hèze's official website: http://www.rowwenheze.nl/

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Fanfara Ciocarlia (Romania)

What do we think:

DB: Rowwen Hèze have a special place in Dutch music history. Although their lyrics are difficult for people who do not understand limburgse dialect, the link from the small Dutch south eastern village 'America' firmly established a live-reputation throughout the whole country. Also internationally they have proved themselves to be attractive because of their unique mix of Tex-Mex, Dutch folk, American rock and brass-band music. Their music is very festive and folky, if you're into that then you can go with the recommendations, otherwise...listen first.



♪♪♪ - Rowwen Hèze 1987

♪♪ - In De Wei 1992

♪♪♪ - Station America 1993

♪♪ - Zondag In 't Zuiden 1995

Further listening: Blieve Loepe 1990; Boem 1991; Water, Lucht & Liefde 1997; Vandaag 2000; Dageraad 2003; Andere Wind 2004; Rodus & Lucius 2006; Saus 2008

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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  EUROPOPMUSIC - Netherlands