10 Songs Time – 70:42
The first time I hear of this guy is on the live document of his farewell tour…What’s up wit dat? How did this German blues-rock guitar hero fly under my radar? Able to bend a note in a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet. The band is highly capable of slowing things down and to deliver quiet and intricate moments. Then before you know it here they come again beating your brains out with some incredibly intense blues=rocking power. Henrik sure knows his way around a guitar. Henrik is his name and note-bending is his game. He is able to impress with his hard attack or can give you chills with some tender soloing. His keyboard player Moritz Fuhrhop supplies the alternate solos in an often jazzy and energetic style. The drumming of Dirk Sengotta and the bass playing of Theofilos Fotiadis is powerful but precise. All songs are Henrik Freischlader originals. All in all this is the kind of well-played blues-rock that works for me.
The band comes out swinging as they beat you over the head with the heavy and noisy “A Better Man”, with Henrik’s strong and gravelly voice pleading that he will change his ways. His vocals drip honesty. We get the first taste of his take charge guitar style. Crashing drums are the icing on the cake. A bit of sarcasm is dished up in “Too Cool For Me” with it’s slow, loping riff peppered with a jazzy Fender Rhodes piano solo and string-bending galore. Henrik plays straight blues guitar before he charges it up. He also begins “Disappointed Women” with blues soloing before really catching blues-rock fire.
The slow and brooding “Keep Playin'” touches on personal relationships. Moritz’s organ solo switches to a piano solo and the guitar is spot on as usual. “Everything Is Gone’ is heavy goodness as Henrik delivers precision-perfect notes. “Gimme All You Got” delivers all they got with some heavy and funky playing tinged with a bit of Heavy Metal oomph. A Stevie Ray Vaughn-like rhythm underlies some speed-freak guitar fireworks on “She Ain’t Got the Blues” about leaving a woman alone because she ain’t got ’em.
The jazzy and pensive “Guitar Intro” segues into “Desert Love” that basically exists as a vehicle for guitar soloing that soars ala Jeff Beck and Robin Trower. It starts off with lyrics that aren’t an after thought but the gist of the song is instrumentally driven. The guitar solos drip with soulful, heartfelt energy.
This tight unit takes you on a journey that at times jars you with noisy delight and then tugs at your heart strings with some touching instrumental moments. This is another example of music crossing culture lines to show us music is music. It also helps that there is no accent in Henrik’s singing voice to confuse his message. It’s curious how he slips from his German language between song patter right into perfect English singing. This is blues-rock at its’ finest.