Banjo Newsletter, Feb. 2007 - Banjo player Rolf Sieker moved from Germany to Texas in the late 1990s, went on to win the Texas State banjo championship in 2001, and was featured in BNL in Sept. 2002. Now Rolf and Beate Sieker (The Siekers) have released "Texas," on A-Team Records, with Rolf playing the Baldwin Ode banjo he got from Bobby Thompson (the album is also dedicated to Thompson). The CD contains original songs and instrumentals along with songs by Texas songwriters; on the whole it has a very western feel. Helping out on the CD are Tony Rice on guitar and Stuart Duncan on fiddle. Rolf is obviously a huge fan of Bobby Thompson; he recorded in the same sound booth with the same microphone Bobby used when he recorded with Area Code 615. And Rolf is a very accomplished melodic stylist himself, he kicks off the CD with a melodic figure and it's thrilling to hear his lovely melodic cascades behind Beate's vocals on Bluebonnet Girl. Rolf's banjo instrumentals have a distinct flavor, and are my favorite moments on the record; Promised Land utilizes a Middle-Eastern scale, and sounds like a real left-hand workout; The Old Frontier has a jaunty feel that wouldn't be out of place in a spaghetti western; Galveston Rain features a Blackberry Blossom-like fiddle melody, and Saradora's is a great example of Tex-Mex banjo. For more info go to www.siekerband .com
Banjo Hangout, USA - Bobby Thompson about Rolf Sieker: "Obviously, I learned from the master Earl Scruggs - to me, there is no better banjo player. The other players I really admire are Bela Fleck, Bill Keith, Allen Shelton, Vic Jordan, Larry McNeely, John Hartford, Tony Trischka; really, too many people to name I also really admire the guy who plays my banjo now - Rolf Sieker."
Bluegrass Unlimited, USA - "Rolf and Beate Sieker of Germany have that kind of special appreciation of American Music; but they’ve done the traveling, coming to Tennessee and Texas to seek out country and bluegrass on its home ground, then returning to Berlin to record this pleasant CD. The Siekers have talent to match their dedication, and there are many enjoyable and even touching moments on ‘Nashville Cat‘. Beate is a sincere, pleasing lead singer and a strong picker, her overdubbed guitar and bass work providing a real bedrock for the project. Multi-instrumentalist Rolf is an especially fine banjo player ... The strong tune-writing talents of the Siekers is another big plus for ‘Nashville Cat‘."
Wayne Moss - Cinderella Studio, Nashville, TN - Area Code 615 - "We sent your email to the understudy and friend of the best banjo player in the world, Bobby Thompson. His reply is below. Rolf Sieker and his wife Beate, are from Germany, and live in Austin, Texas. Before Bobby passed away, Rolf and Beate received Bobby's banjo and guitar. This is as close to Bobby as you can get. Rolf is an amazing player on his own. We think your friend would be very pleased with his talents."
Banjo Newsletter, USA - Bobby Thompson in an interview about Rolf Sieker: "He's a good damn player."
Rolf & Bobby backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN