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Austrian pop legends accused of faking it

US election news takes second place in Austria today after the shock revelation that the country's most loved folk music stars have for decades not really been performing the music at all – and have been using stand ins.

Folk music involving accordions, various brass wind instruments, lots of yodelling and lederhosen is an art form barely heard outside of traditional Alpine lands but in Austria their folk music bands have pop star status.

A band like The Kastelruther Spatzen can count on support back home of the same idol status as the Beatles enjoy in the UK.

But Austrian's opened their daily newspapers today to discover that the band had been faking it on all of their recordings. Their name comes from their home town in South Tyrol, that used to be part of Austria but is now located in northern Italy even though the locals are still German speaking.

The revelation that their bestselling CDs and albums were played by somebody else has been made in the new book by their producer Walter Wiedemair (54) who said he could no longer live with himself and keep silent about the way fans were being ripped off.

The book entitled "When the Mounains are No Longer Silent" alleges that the many honours and awards the band have one for their schlager music I'd actually been earned by other musicians such as the guitarist from Howard Carpendale. He alleges that none of their CDs are the band members to be heard – with the exception of singer Nobert Rier.

Rier has admitted the allegation but denied it was unusual. He said: "We use studio musicians to save costs. And we want to always make sure we deliver a perfect production and this is the only way to do that."

Since 1983 the band has bought an album onto the market on an annual basis selling 15,000,000 in the process. They have also won 13 Echo awards making them a record-breaking success.

And the producer alleges that anyone wanting to know why studio musicians are used only needs to listen to them performing live where the musicians do still play - and where the quality is simply average.

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