MusiciansHenrik Freischlader – g, b, d, voc
Moritz Fuhrhop – keys
Night Train To Budapest is the latest release from Henrk Freischlader. Like many of his previous studio releases, we find him in the studio after writing all the material on the album and laying down almost everything himself – guitar, vocals, bass, drums. This time he is joined though by one of his regular touring band members, Moritz Fuhrhop, who helps out with organ and keyboard duties.
While Henrik certainly has a mastery of the instruments, especially what he can wring out of his guitar, his playing isn’t the highlight of this album. His songwriting for this album is an equal mix of harder rocking tracks and slower ballads that are masterfully crafted. Henrik reflects on relationships throughout the album, including musing on our relationships with our past actions and the importance we put on concepts like money and status. We start out with the funky intro to “Point of View,” which you cannot help but tap your foot along with as he points out that money and material things do not mean much. Slower ballads like “Thinking About You,” “Caroline,” and “My Woman” contemplate loves lost and not yet found while the last two songs each make great use of key changes as the songs progress to resolve the underlying tension in the songs. While not a slow ballad “If This Ain’t Love” explores the same topic as the previous songs with a nicely distorted solo that ends with a Gary Moore influenced feedback extended clean note. In “A Better Man,” Henrik sings about what he would change if he had a chance to go back again and be a better man.
There is a definite Jeff Healey vibe to “Down The Road.” You can almost picture the two of them behind the chickenwire at some dusty roadhouse playing this one. “Gimme All You Got” is a straight up rocker with an unique rhythm and running musical hook that I woke up humming the next morning after listening to this album for the first time the night before. “Everything is Gone” starts up with a bright cherry sound that changes at the chorus to something grittier. “Shame” is a boogie based rocker where he takes an ex to task for her behavior.
The influences of Gary Moore, Peter Green, and the three Kings are evident in Night Train To Budapest since the Blues is definitely the root of everything Freischlader does. However, he freely mixes in Rock, Jazz, Funk, and Soul with equal aplomb. The result is something that is greater than the individual parts and gives Henrik a sound that is uniquely his. Like many of the greats, there is a distinguishing tone to Freischlader’s playing and a distinctive feel to his songwriting so that when one of his tracks is played it’s immediately recognizable as him.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
- Gimme All You Got
- Point of View
- Everything is Gone
- If This Ain’t Love
- A Better Man
The Big Hit
- Point of View
Kevin O’Rourke, Blues Rock Review