Review: Henrik Freischlader – Still Frame Replay
Posted on: Friday, Apr 29, 2011
“Still Frame Replay”
(Cable Car Records – CCR 0311-35)
Until a few months ago I have to confess to not having heard of guitarist Henrik Freischlader, until tipped off by our friends in Scotland on the ‘Dunc’s Blues’ Facebook page . . . I have to report how delighted I do now, as “Still Frame Replay” is comfortably in amongst my favourite albums in a good while! The man from Wuppertal in Germany is tagged in the dreaded ‘blues rock’ category, but on the strength of this release, he has a lot more in his armoury, as the 11 tracks (14 on the vinyl release) are so varied, and self-penned.
An association with Joe Bonamassa, whom he supported a few years back, will certainly do him no harm – indeed he guests on the title cut here. I see no reason why Henrik Freischlader should not follow Bonamassa into the major league as on the evidence here he is certainly no less talented, and a forthcoming main stage appearance at the prestigious Maryport Blues Festival should propel his profile on our shores.
Freischlader, as well as being a superb singer and guitar player, also contributes drums and bass here, the rest of the musicians being Moritz Fuhrhop (keyboards), Theo Fotiadis (bass) and Max Klaas (drums), who can rock it up or groove with the best. The uptempo rocker of “Still Frame Replay” is a turbo-charged start, with the afore-mentioned Joe Bonamassa contributing some blazing guitar, underpinned by Mortiz Fuhrhop’s tasteful Hammond B-3. The pace is kept up for “Longer Days”, a strutting funky blues with incendiary guitar licks from Henrik Freischlader and smooth vocal.
However it’s the next four tracks that show the variety on offer here – a swinging blues shuffle, “Come On My Love”, where Freischlader’s guitar spars with the keyboards; the funky groove of “What’s My Name”, and best of all, the epic 7:42 of “The Memory Of Our Love”, a gorgeous bluesy ballad, complete with quite brilliant solos and ‘from the heart’ vocal . . . stunning! “Gentlemen!” has a nice summery Latin feel, with an almost Bossa nova beat from the heat of Rio . . . and as far removed from ‘blues rock’ as you could imagine!
“If I Could Only Be Myself” is another gem, a jazzy blues which again perfectly illustrates his tasteful licks and vocals. “I’ve Got It Good” is a strutting rocker with some tough guitar that builds as the song progresses. “Growing Old” shows his sentimental side, a gentle mid-tempo ballad complete with both electric and acoustic guitar, before the hard rocking “Do Did Done”, which rides on a catchy riff.
The acoustic opening of the cd closer “Look At The Fool” gives way to a memorable radio-friendly rock song that contains yet more great guitar, with more telling contributions by Mortiz Fuhrhop on keyboards. For vinyl lovers, a high grade 180 gram release has a further three tracks, and weights in at an impressive near 70 minutes! However the 53 minutes of the cd are as thrilling and as enjoyable as anything I’ve heard this year. Do yourselves a favour, and check out Henrik Freischlader now, I’m sure you will love him and his music.
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