Fireworks

Henrik Freischlader - 'Still Frame Replay' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 20, 2012    
 
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All tracks on this album are strong.

To put Henrik Freischlader into context, he is mentioned in the same breath as Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and B.B. King. Indeed, he has opened for all three of them, was nominated for a British Blues award and is highly rated by Joe Bonamassa himself.

Freischlader was born in Cologne, Germany and although starting as a drummer had an epiphany when he heard Gary Moore´s ´Cold Day In Hell´. Fast forward into the 2000´s and his big break was opening for Joe Bonamassa in 2006. As you can probably guess from this brief biography, the contents of ´Still Frame Replay´ is blues based soaring guitar soloing which enters the stratosphere in terms of emotion and technical prowess. On top of that, Henrik has a pleasing voice, half-spoken at times (a delivery similar to Tony Ashton and Joe Cocker come to mind) and his band are clearly top drawer well skilled musicians. Joe Bonamassa, interestingly, has a solo on the first and title track; clearly Freischlader has no worries about being overshadowed with this bold move. Having said that, any such worries are not justified as Freischlader can clearly solo like the best of them.

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The stand out track for me is midway through the album and is ´The Memory Of Our Love´ which is a seven and half minute slow track in the vein of ´Still Got The Blues´. Freischlader´s vocals excel and his guitar soloing is faultless demonstrating impressive light and shade, with constraint at the right times and mercurial playing only where appropriate. There are some more contemporary tracks on display, especially ´Gentleman!´ which is a little poppy and funky in places with a tuneful guitar interweaving the vocals and with a catchy chorus to boot. Like Joe Bonamassa, Freischlader is very much into his guitars and proudly lists the axes used in the album; I am very interested in finding out which one he used in ´If I Could Be Myself´ because I have rarely heard such an incredible tone before.

In summary, all tracks on this album are strong and Freischlader has sensibly kept in his comfort zone with blues being central throughout with just a few divergences into pop and heavy rock (I forgot to mention there is a Hammond in the mix throughout!).

Rob McKenzie

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