House in the Woods

Alben-Quad-09_HF-HITW Cover


Henrik Freischlader – g, voc

Moritz Fuhrhop – keys

Theofilos Fotiadis – b

Björn Krüger – d

German Bluesmeister Henrik Freischlader has been perfecting his own sound since his teenage years, and after stints in various bands, from 2006 the self-taught multi-instrumentalist has been heading the Henrik Freischlander Band. Having supported the likes of Joe Bonamassa and Peter Green among others, the Band is now back with a brand new album.

Muddy, loose and full of confident energy, ‘House in the Woods’ is an album that’s full of foot stomping groove, infusing blues and rock aspects of greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix. The jamming nature of the music is accented by the traditional sound of the production. Although this album clearly leans to the blues and rock of the aforementioned influences, it really is an album that stands out on its own through a mixture of great song writing and musical craftsmanship.

The cool meanness of the album opens up with the title track and roars decadently in to ‘Sisters’, with its bounding groove and interesting guitar licks. This is continued sublimely with hardened tracks such as ‘Take the Blame’, ’1999′, and the struttin’ ‘Hear Your Talking’, surrounding soulful and more barroom tunes such as the excellent ‘Nowhere to Go’, and ‘With the Flow’. Adding further variation to the album are the well crafted ballads ‘Breaking My Heart Again’, ‘Two Young Lovers’, and ‘Won’t You Help Me’.

In some ways it reminds me of other blues revivalists such as Burning Tree and The Black Crowes – it has a lot of familiarity about it and captures a traditional sound while turning it in to something unique through creative writing. It is perhaps not as fierce or earnest as the early releases of those groups, however. It is instead more laid back at times with a low swing.

What I like about this album, is that despite its basis in traditional blues sounds it does not fall in to the traps that modern blues musicians often do. This is no typically polished, white man blues for people who like to dress down from their suits at the weekends. This shit means business. The passion and honest essence of the record make this whole experience refreshing, ensuring that ‘House in the Woods’ is thoroughly a pleasure to listen to.

Craggy, Über Röck