Rune Robert Friis Presents – Built For Comfort, Vol. 1
9 songs time – 39:15
Just when you thought real solid, well performed, well produced and imaginative blues was gasping its’ last breaths, who comes along to save it? The Danish of course. This project conceived by Rune Robert Friis gathers a band of Danish musicians that have a real feel for the blues. Friis wrote seven of the nine songs and this gang of musicians do them justice with their fine playing. It is blues that is often infused with R&B. This music is like new blood pumped into my veins.
Nils-Ole Poulin handles most of the lead vocals with an appealing snarly growl of a voice. They get off to a funky R&B inflected blues with “Never Comin’ Down” propelled by Uffe Steen’s commanding guitar play and a firm horn section. The piano of Rasmus Lohde adds a percussive feel. Sarah Jana Westphal bolsters the vocals behind Nils on “Summertime Ghost”. Mellow organ and piano from Rasmus Stenholm add to the lazy Sunday summertime vibe of this feel good tune.
Oscar “Big-O” Martin Eriksen’s harmonica is a force of nature on “Cold Water”. It is a darn shame he only appears on this one track. Jesper Heinz adds his guitar and slide to the tune. A pensive start backed by organ leads into the thought provoking “Truth Don’t Rhyme”. Perry Stenback and Rune do the guitar duty here. A song curiously co-written by Kanye West, “Say You Will”, works via great percussion and Rune’s powerful bass lines.
Sarah contributes her energized pipes to the horn driven and slide guitar infused “Fresh Start”. “Falling Skies” is a bit of a curiosity as it features a blues synthesizer solo that actually works in the context of the music. It is a yearning slow blues benefitting from the guitars of Stenback and Heinz. Rasmus Stenholm does a fine turn on his synth bit. “Uphill” is a R&B influenced slow and deliberate blues. Chris Grey’s guitar stands out here. They bring things to a close with a slowed down version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark”, rendering it hardly recognizable except for the drawn out lyric delivery. All the excitement is drained from the song. Not a great note to go out on considering the quality music that preceded it.
Rune Robert Friis has gathered a worthy crew of enthusiastic and well-versed musicians to realize his blues vision. Well-crafted original songs that adhere to the foundations of the blues while being totally fresh in execution. Rune has absorbed a deep feel for the blues and managed to represent it authentically via himself and his hand-picked ensemble of like-minded musicians. These Danes are a blessing to the blues.