How did the Trailriders got to know each other?
In August 1994 Uwe van Egdom and Ulf Below came to new founded comprehensive school in Bergheim as teachers. After a short time they found out that both are playing the guitar but with a completely different base.
Uwe began to play the guitar with nine years. Constantly he practised on his instrument and was tought by his teacher Erich Blaettry 12 years long. It was his gain that Uwe was able to follow various styles in music no matter whether it was classic, folk or rock and pop. Uwe’s favour was the classic guitar. This was the requirement and the base for the study in music at the University of Cologne where he graduated successfully in 1991.In his studies he took care that beside the classic education he was educated in improvisation and the ability to make music with whoever whether professinals or nonprofessinals either with or without notes. Beside the guitar was educated in playing the piano and in singing. He played together with several musicians and conducted various ensembles and choires.
During the last years beside his musical activities he got quite a name as a producer of plays such as musicals, fairytale plays, revues, cabarett and slide shows.
On this background it is obvious that Uwe was interested in a new style of music for him which has been introduced to him by his college Ulf Below since 1994.
Already at this time Uwe was in favour with the North American continent which he visited on several holiday trips across the USA and Canada.
In spite of ( or perhaps that’s why) the different musical development of both of them they managed to create an interesting symbiosis of guitar styles, which is always developing. So the arrangements are created together with Uwe‘s music theoretical know-how and Ulf’s musical intuition in country &folk music.
Ulf was interested only in classic music when he was a child and had piano lessons for a short time. Years later when he was nearly grown up he once again took lessons in piano and organ. When he was 13 years old he heard Elvis Presley for the first time and got interested in Rock’n’Roll.
Ulf is an autodidact on the guitar. After some years of Rock’n’Roll on the rhythm guitar and singing he decided to change to the American folk, because Rock’n’roll caused such an expensive equipment which he couldn‘t afford. Folk, as one of the most important basics of Rock’n’Roll offered the oppotunity to make music most simple. Here the interpretation on the instrument and the singing were the only convincing facts. This was about the year 1969. He put aside his Rock’nRoll guitar and bought a 12-string guitar, which still is such a high facination on him that he keeps it as an important instrument further on.
In 1976 he got to know the American musican Dick Janney. He tought him the American picking style. From now on playing the guitar got much more interesting because much more opportunities were offered. With this technique a simple guitar back ground accompany of songs could be changed to differenciated passages with the song.
Ulf sang and played in several clubs in Cologne with songs of Gordon Lightfoot, Kris Kristoffreson, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Drifwood, Pete Seeger etc. A very important aspect in the selection of songs was that he liked them and they could transfer an atmospher.
Ulf always had a prime attitude to his music, he never wanted to be forced to make music because of the money. Fun in making music should be the most important aspect.
After Ulf and Uwe were making music successfully on several very different performances in school either alone or together they decided to start a folkduo. After several different tries in searching for a suitable name they decided to call themselves
The Trailriders. The Trailrider weren’t the “pushers“ in the time of the “Wild West“ but more the gentle version of the cowboys.
The principals of financial independence and the fun in making music remain with the Trailriders. Not the “Must“ to go on stage but the fun to be on stage is the motivation for them.
On June 24th 2000 they appeared the first time on stage as The Trailriders in a “concept-concert“. That means that they realized an old idea to combine songs with pictures of the USA. The selection of the songs was done out of a stock of about 100 songs they know and a selection of about 5000 US-slides. Following concept-concerts they had in Kerpen, Buir, Bergheim. Besides that they had concerts and gigs without slides on February 17th 2001 in Kerpen at “Watt aufs Ohr“. That day our 17 year old guest singer Daniela Bornhardt from Chile joined us. It was the only concert we could do, because Daniela had to leave Germany three days later back to Chile. You can listen to Daniela’s fantastic voice on our CD “Goin‘ home to the rock“. Further concerts were in Kerpen and in Bergheim.
The selection of the songs on our CD’s has no identity with our programm. The complete first CD “The Trailriders“ and 2/3rd of our second CD “Goin‘ home to the rock“ contains our live programm and the concept-concerts. The rest of the second CD already contains the new programm which will be performed on October 2nd 2001 in the Capitol. Theater in Kerpen.
The two songs Daniela sang do not belong to our new programm because there is no other woman singing with us up to now.
In November the Capitol-Theater show the old German movie “Die Feuerzangenbowle“. With the ticket you are served such a drink. After
the movie Uwe and I sat together with Udo Tronke, the owner of the cinema, and had another drink or two and were discussing the situation of art in general in Kerpen and the surrounding. Udo
offered his cinema for now and then for live performances. He asked us whether we can offer something more than folk music and slides. We offered him some plays and he wanted to bring “Dirty
Dancing“ on stage. We told him, that as soon as we get the actresses and actors again, we had three years ago, we’d try. On a fare-well party in January we happened to meet most of the former
actresses and actors and they all agreed imidiately with enthusiasm to play this play once again. On June 5th 2001 we had our first performance in the Capitol-Theater in Kerpen which
was completely sold out. After that we played "My Fair Lady" tranformed to the local "accent" of Cologne and surroundings. Then we played the "Feuerzangenbowle", the story about old school. Then
we stopped theater performences because of too many difficulies.