The Shanes were formed in 1991 in Trier, Germany. The musical influences that they plopped on the table constituted a wide and sometimes dissimilar range of Irish and Eastern European folk, country, rock, punk, and French chansons. Collectively, when impregnated with a polka beat, the Shanes carved a real niche in the German indie scene. The term "hardpolka" was coined to describe their style. In 1992, their debut album Songs from the Urban Country Hell was recorded on a shoestring budget. It boasted Tom Rebmann's wall of accordion sound and lead vocalist Martin Schummelfeder, who resembles a more articulate Shane MacGowan. Equally as important is fiddler Pascal Schubbe, who skillfully employs their various influences into a uniform punk-polka/gypsy style. Their lineup remained relatively stable throughout the ensuing recordings with the exception of drummers who came and went with regularity. Polka Hard was released in 1993 and the EP These Days in 1995. Hungarian songwriter and human rights activist Benito von Gruenau hooked up with the Shanes in 1996 and they recorded Budapest Sessions and 96M Album. After a three year hiatus, The Haunted House of Polka was recorded in 1999, which includes, among their numerous original pieces, hardpolka renditions of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and Edith Piaf's "Padam Padam." That album was finally released in early 2001. ~ Dave SlegerPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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