Bertrand Benoit of the Financial Times tries to penetrate the mystery of German Volksmusik:
Ten years ago I spent an evening with German relatives in a vast beer hall housed in a tent overlooking a snowy valley. The beer was good, but the musical accompaniment – bouncy, folksy brass- and-accordion fare played by four moustachioed men wearing lederhosen – was a violent assault on good taste. Or so I thought until I discovered that my companions were immersed in a powerful trance, tapping their feet, hugging strangers, and raising their tankards skywards every 20 seconds.
This was my first brush with Volksmusik, a melodic form whose mysteries are beyond the reach of anyone not born in Germanic culture. To the unitiated, it is the pinnacle of kitsch, bucolic nonsense put to simplistic, sickly sweet music. It is the tonal equivalent of wooden cuckoo clocks.
Like most non-Germans, he comes to the conclusion that an ability to tolerate the many forms of German Volksmusik is probably an inherited genetic predisposition that non-Germans will never be able to acquire. He interviews Volksmusik impresario Hans Beierlein, who charmingly refers to himself as a "wholesaler of entertainment," and who has interesting things to say about why Volksmusik sounds the way it does, and why certain Germans love it so.
I learned from the article that Beierlein rescued the career of one of my personal favorites, Heino, "who, because of his strange albino looks and persistent (but incorrect) rumours about his reputedly right-wing leanings, had suffered from a near universal media boycott."