International Trucker & Country Festival Interlaken







If there was one thing that I would not have believed, it was to find myself in the middle of mountains in the desert to listen to country music. Okay as any journalist I have the opportunity to go somewhere fun, by roads, following the artists depending of what I am being asked to do. After Craponne and its endless forests, the winding roads of Ardèche, now I prepare myself to go to Switzerland for the Trucker & Country Festival Interlaken in late June. Humm Switzerland, this mountainous country with snow and all that, the idea of an American. So I start packing my stuff, asking me if I had to bring sweaters or anything else to be ready for the cold weather of such place. First error, if the festival is indeed located right in the middle of a hill surrounded by mountains, on a former military base, I did not even know there was a Swiss army, but hey it's a different story; it was so hot that it reminded me of new Mexico. Me and my prejudices. If Interlaken is a small village, you can enjoy visiting Berne which is right next door and I must admit is very nice. But let us come back to the topics on today’s agenda, country music. I must say that the program looks interesting, Aaron Tippin, The Bellamy Brothers, Bomshel. And yes Bomshel the most promising band at the moment in the US. In addition to the big top, smaller scenes allowed to see artists like Steve Wayland, Pam MacBeth, Anderhub, Bonnie Jeanne Taylor, Burell, Jetty Road and many others. That’s all !. That is quite a list we must admit.




A festival in the middle of mountains








Everything starts on Friday evening with the headliners, and there this is true madness, the duo kristy and kelley aka Bomshel gave us a great country rock. Between Kristie on the violin that’s constantly on the move, ready to climb straight to the top of the tent structure, to continue to play and kelley which delighted us with her voice, the duo bewitched the crowd. A real performance, tunes like Just Fine, Fight Like a Girl and Crazy and 19 have became the crowd's favorite. They have shown that they are not only pretty, but they had a real talent. The highlight of the evening was the next concert with Aaron Tippin, who made us a real one-man show. His interaction with the crowd was worthy of the greatest. Friday evening began with an explosion of true country. Then when we decided to left the place late at night, we find out why the festival is called Trucker and Country Festival, over 1.2 Miles of trucks parked alongside each other, I acknowledge and certify, it was the longest line that I have ever seen. Especially when you have to go through it at 01:00 AM and no lights.



The Bellamy Brothers                                           





Kelley and Kristy




From left to right: Bomshel, Aaron Tippin, The Bellamy Brothers




Bomshel's Kristy

                                   Bomshel's Kelley





Aaron Tippin & Bomshel’s Kelley                                                               







  Bomshel’s Kristy & Kelley      




The next day and the two remaining days were for me the discovery that Switzerland could become hot as hell, that has little to envy in that of the French Riviera. After some people told me that employees wearing a red shirt with a white cross were not part of the red cross, but they were wearing the Swiss flag, my mistake, I was glad to come across a Swiss Police patrol, which I of course took a photo. If I can suggest that the picture or the uniform were forwarded to the French authorities to put in place as soon as possible, I think it would make people think about breaking the rules, I assure you, but hey it’s my opinion. But let’s pick up where we left off, lost in the heart of mountains in a Honky-Tonk bar with a tendency for pirates. Yes, such a place suddenly appeared before my eyes. It seems to me that the owner was recruiting waitresses if it can help people in these difficult times, although the selection criteria are too strict. We could admire some beautiful stands where bikers and American cars were present. But what interests us this Saturday night were the shows of Pam MacBeth and The Bellamy Brothers. The first gave us a fairly personal show, really successful, her A Part of Me reached the crowd. Pam sang with her heart, and the public were not mistaken. A good concert for the American. The highlight of the evening was of course the legendary duo of The Bellamy Brothers who not surprisingly offered what was expected of such artists.











                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sheppard and the Swiss Police                                                                                            

What is surprising in Interlaken or at least what differentiates it from other French festivals, it is the presence of a large big top the first two days but also the presence of four other smaller scenes during the festival. This can accommodate more bands, some less well-known obviously, but not only. Most artists have also performed on the different stages to the delight of the fans. The atmosphere was more oriented American culture than just country, with the pleasant surprise to find a wrestling gala of the Swiss Wrestling Fédérartion, and some stands on the universe of trucks made in USA. The band Anderhub and the singer Bonnie Jeanne Taylor were among the surprises and the excellent performance of this festival. It goes without saying that you will soon find interviews with artists, some country surprises, and then a wrestling gala, but I can't tell you more yet. In short Interlaken is a great festival, rich and varied that really surprised me, a real American celebration. Jetty Road, that you were the first to discover on our website with an interview and a live last year during their visit to La Tour De Slavagny Country Music Festival near Lyon, were back. Paula, Lee, Simon and Julien gave a good show by adding some new songs including a few of Shania Twain cover songs who get people excited. In addition, some indiscretions have suggested me that a new album was coming soon but hush I told you nothing. They are going to say that I talk too much once again.The festival ended around 6 PM on Sunday night, this year the Interlaken festival showed us a good show worthy of the greatest European festivals with names, like it or not, who are not maybe the current headliners in Nashville, but who knew how to give us some great country music, which was after all the ultimate aim, to gather around the music we love so much.




I only have to warn the French, who would have the idea to go to the next edition, about a few things. First the euro and the dollar won’t help you over there, do not ask me why, that is how things are. Here 1 euro is about 0.75 Swiss Franc, so it’s best to plan ahead some cash. Another thing, if Switzerland is the country of chocolate and banks, it is easier to find some country music albums in France than an ATMs in Switzerland, this is when the Swiss Post office and not the red cross will save you. On the other hand, do not expect to bring back some chocolate during the summer, it won’t be a good idea, once again don’t ask me why.




If I have to remember one thing about Interlaken it’s the very good performance of Bombshel,who like Eric Church at Craponne last year or Joanna Smith at Equiblues, have taken our breath away and make us want more of it. This festival demonstrate once again that it’s still a crucial player of country music in Europe, if I may say so, while not being the only one, but a place to watch. It is therefore with impatience that the next edition is expected.






We invite you to go on the Sheppard website to see the pictures from the festival: Photo Gallery







The saloon












From left to right: Steve Waylon, Aaron Tippin, David Bellamy





From left to right: Aaron Tippin, David Bellamy


















American Culture Scope