GDub and I met Stefan Hiss and his band “Hiss” back in 1997 when we were in Germany visiting my sister who is a friend and fan. In fact, Stefan played her wedding 2 years later in 1999. They dished up a rousing night of music and I danced like a wild woman.
We’ve stayed in touch since and whenever we travel to my sister’s home outside of Stuttgart we usually get a visit in with Stefan to talk “music” and swap our current CDs.
Stefan’s latest band is “Los Santos” and he just mailed me their new CD entitled “Blue in Hawaii”. It’s a Western/ Tex-Mex celebration performed by stellar musicians. Instrumentation includes pedal steel, ukulele, dobro, banjo, and of course, accordion – Stefan Hiss is an amazing accordionist!
The fifteen tracks include, “My Wife Thinks Your Dead”, “Rag Mop” and “Deja Que Salga La Luna” plus three Hiss originals, “Blue Hawaii”, “Twisting in the Taiga” and “El Mezquite”.
One of my personal favs on the album is “Johnny Guitar” (a great tune written by Peggy Lee and Victor Young for the 1954 movie). They’ve capture just the right amount of “Out West” surrealism.
And their version of “Rag Mop” swings!
Stefan Hiss playing one of his original tunes: “Tanz aus meinem Grab” (Dance on My Grave):