Rolf & Beate Sieker are bluegrass music artists from Berlin, Germany now living near Austin, Texas. They met at a bluegrass festival in Northern Germany in 1983 and have been playing music together ever since then. They played many concerts in Germany, toured throughout the European countries, appeared on tv- and radio shows and recorded five albums, two in Nashville, Tennessee and three in Berlin, Germany. In 1997 they received the keys to the city of Bryan/College Station, Texas. Their deep love for bluegrass music inspired them move to the US in 2000. Texas now is their home. Recently in 2008 the Siekers were inducted into the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame. They are part of the vibrant Austin music scene.
Rolf Sieker was one of the first 5-string banjo players in Europe. In 1975 he recorded the very first bluegrass album in Germany. In Europe Rolf played with Bill Monroe, Byron Berline, Dan Crary, Mark O'Connor, Dave Dudley, Bill Clifton and many more. Now living in the U. S. A. he won the Texas State Banjo Championship in 2001. He recorded studio sessions with Ray Benson & Asleep At The Wheel, Kelly Willis, Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Dale Watson, Red Volkaert, Trace Atkins, Rod Moag, Julie Chadbourne, Lantana, Bruce Robison, Steve Pack and many others. Rolf now also plays with Bob Schneider's Texas Bluegrass Massacre which was named 'Best Performing Bluegrass Band' at the 2008 and 2009 Austin Music Awards. His way of playing the banjo is highly influenced by the blues-melodic style of Bobby Thompson, one of the most requested studio musicians in the 60s, 70s and 80s in Nashville. The two were close friends and Rolf received Bobby's banjo in 1996. Rolf is a creative songwriter. For the Siekers he wrote a lot of original material.
Beate Sieker plays acoustic guitar and occasionally upright bass. Her vocals have become the trademark of the Sieker Band, generating many fans over the years. Influenced by Texas singer/songwriters her repertoire consists of songs written by Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Steven Fromholtz, Willie Nelson, Steve Gillette, Karla Bonhoff, Ian Tyson, Townes Van Zandt, Bill Monroe and many others. Beate is one of the finest rhythm guitar players around. In 1999 she received Bobby Thompson's guitar that he used at all the Nashville studio sessions.
photos: Erich Floeter, Steve McKinney