Son of the Velvet Rat

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(c) Rebecca Korb

Son of the Velvet Rat is an Austrian band. As well as founders singer Georg Altziebler and accordionist Heike Binder, the band includes Albrecht Klinger (bass), Michael Willmann (drums) and Kolja Radenkovic (git, trump).[1]


Son of the Velvet Rat was founded in 2003[2] by European songwriter[3] Georg Altziebler and his wife, organist and accordionist Heike Binder. The band started out with sparsely instrumented releases such as "Spare some sugar [for the rat]" and "By my Side" on Starfish Records, a small California-based label.

In 2006 they were signed by Vienna-based indie label monkey. The same year, their "Fall with me" reached #3 on the charts of Austrian national public radio station FM4 and #47 on their 2007 full year chart.[4] In 2008, Son of the Velvet Rat was nominated for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award (Category: Alternative).[5]

Like their previous album "Red Chamber Music",[6] their album "Firedancer" was named Best Austrian Album of the Year 2013[7] by Wiener Zeitung.[8] "Firedancer" has been released in the US on March 21, 2014.

Some of their records have been released by the South Korean label Polyphone.

Son of the velvet Rat has toured throughout the US and Europe.[9] The founding couple now live in California and have signed with the New Jersey label Mint 400 Records and the Portland-based label Fluff & Gravy as of Fall 2016. The new LP, produced by Joe Henry was released February 17, 2017.

Critical response[edit]

SotVR’s music has been inspired by a wide variety of artists and styles, including Townes Van Zandt, French singer Georges Brassens and American garage rockers Dead Moon. The band's music is often compared to Bob Dylan,[10] Leonhard Cohen and Tom Waits but also to such rather unlikely names as Radiohead.[11] Their style has been described as Folk Noir, Folk Rock,[12] Garage Rock[13] or "Americana".[14] From early on, the band’s releases garnered critical acclaim in their homeland, Austria, and other parts of Europe.[15] Altziebler was labeld "best austrian singer-songwriter ever" by leading Austrian newspapers Kurier and Wiener Zeitung.[16]

The band's catalogue includes collaborations with Lucinda Williams on "Red Chamber Music"(2011)[17] and former Wilco-drummer Ken Coomer who produced the albums "Loss & Love" (2007) and "Animals" (2009).[18] The band received a positive review by Lucinda Williams on Stereo Subversion.[19] Peter Jesperson, former producer & manager of The Replacements, wrote the liner notes for the album "Red Chamber Music".[20]



  • The Late Show | Fluff and Gravy & Mint 400 Records (2018)
  • Dorado | Fluff and Gravy & Mint 400 Records (2017)
  • Live Tape | Live Album
  • Firedancer | monkeymusic(2013)[21]
  • Reaper | monkeymusic (2012) | Cover Album
  • Red Chamber Music | monkeymusic (2011)[22][23]
  • Monkey Years | monkeymusic (2010) | Compilation
  • Animals | monkeymusic](2009)
  • Loss & Love | monkeymusic (2007)[24][25]
  • Playground | monkeymusic (2006)
  • By my Side | starfish (2003)


  • Desert Songs | (EP, 2015)
  • Gravity | monkeymusic (Mini-LP, 2008)
  • Alpha Suite (EP, 2004)
  • Spare some Sugar [for the Rat] | starfish (EP, 2003)


  • Songs (Lyrics, 2012)[26]
  • Songs #2 (lyrics 2016)[27]


Blood Red Shoes 2017, Studio D, Joshua Tree

White Patch of Canvas (ft Lucinda Williams) 2012, Paul Kranzler

Are the Angels pretty? 2007, FordBrothers

Charted Albums[edit]

Year Austrian Top 100 Austrian Top 100 Album
2011 52[28] Red Chamber Music
2013 61[29] Firedancer


  1. ^ MICA, Music Austria (Review): Ternai, Michael, Son of the Velvet Rat – Firedancer, Music Information Center Austria (mica), 12 September 2013.
  2. ^ Salzburger Nachrichten (Review): Behr, Martin, Die Seele zu Markte tragen Archived 2015-02-18 at the Wayback Machine, Salzburger Nachrichten VerlagsgesmbH & Co KG, 19 September 2008.
  3. ^ [1] Profil (Interview): Hüttner, Christoph, Wie verletzlich müssen Songwriter sein, Herr Altziebler?, Profil, News Networld Internetservice GmbH, 17 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Die FM4 Jahrescharts 2007". Österreichischer Rundfunk. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
  5. ^ Jordan, Boris. "Amadeus - FM4 Alternative Act 2008". Österreichischer Rundfunk. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  6. ^ [2] Die Presse (Review): Kramer, Thomas, Son of the Velvet Rat, Zwei Gläser, ein Aschenbecher, Die Presse, Styria Media Group AG, 12 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Die besten Pop- und Jazz-Alben des Jahres 2013". Wiener Zeitung. Wiener Zeitung GmbH. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  8. ^ Tiroler Tageszeitung (Review): Theiner, Sabine, Vital tönende Melange, Tiroler Tageszeitung Online, 28 September 2013.
  9. ^ Wiener Zeitung (Review): Jaschke, Bruno, Rock gegen Verlustschmerz, Wiener Zeitung GmbH, 27 September 2013.
  10. ^ Hintz, David. "Son of the Velvet Rat "Red Chamber Music"". FolkWorld. The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ Lotsberg, Amy. "Animals. 11 Songs". Collected Sounds. Retrieved 2009. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  12. ^ Hintz, David. "Son of the Velvet Rat "Red Chamber Music"". FolkWorld. The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ "Son of the Velvet Rat. Firedancer". Media Biz. bergmayer & partner PRODUCER OG. Retrieved 2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ "Son Of The Velvet Rat". Kleine Zeitung. Kleine Zeitung GmbH & Co KG. Retrieved October 2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  15. ^ Freeman, Pauline. "Balcony TV. Music with a view". BalconyTV 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  16. ^ "Österreichs Vorzeige-Songwriter gastiert in Wien und Graz". Wiener Zeitung. Wiener Zeitung GmbH. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  17. ^ Lauth, Eberhard. "Son of the Velvet Rat. Mein Amerika". Zib21. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  18. ^ Schachinger, Christian. "Sehnsucht (zitternd)". Der Standard. © derStandard. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  19. ^ Williams, Lucinda. "Lucinda Williams". Stereo Subversion. Copyright 2014, Stereo Subversion, LLC. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Desert Nights with The Sister Ruby Band, Son of the Velvet Rat, and Lael Neale". The Standard Culture. 2008-2014 Standard International Management, LLC. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-03-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) The GAP (Review): Krispel, Rainer, Son Of The Velvet Rat - Firedancer, Monopol Medien GmbH, 27 September 2013.
  22. ^ Suite (Review): Häusler, Katharina, "Red Chamber Music" von Son of the Velvet Rat, Media Inc., 4 July 2013
  23. ^ (Review): Preußer, Christian, Son of the Velvet Rat, Red Chamber Music,, 11 November 2011.
  24. ^ Intro (Review): Steinbrink, Christian, Son of the Velvet Rat, Loss & Love, INTRO GmbH, 17 August 2007.
  25. ^ Der Standard (Review): Schachinger, Christian, Musik als Lebensmittel, Der Standard GmbH, 13 August 2007.
  26. ^ Altziebler, Georg (2012). Songs. Vienna: Schlebruegge. ISBN 978-3-902833-12-9.
  27. ^ Altziebler, Georg (2016). Songs #2. Vienna: Schlebruegge. ISBN 978-3-902833-96-9.
  28. ^ "Red Chamber Music". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Firedancer". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 October 2011.

External links[edit]