Review: Henrik Freischlader Band, Voodoo Rooms

When you think about the traditional roots of Blues guitar music your thoughts are more likely to turn to the deep south of the USA than to Wuppertal in Germany. But Henrik Freischlader is doing his best to change all that as he brings his unique style of Blues Rock to the Voodoo Rooms tonight.***

Freischlader is indisputably a man of many talents. Accomplished Blues guitarist, singer, composer, producer, and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, the list is seemingly endless.

Having spent the past few years touring extensively, including some high profile support slots for such luminaries as B.B King, Joe Bonamassa and Gary Moore, Freischlader has built up a strong following across mainland Europe, and his recent nomination at the British Blues Awards has helped to further raise his profile in the UK. Add to this three very well received albums (on which he played virtually all the instruments himself) and it’s clear to see why he is very much seen as a rising star in the blues-rock scene.

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Although Freischlader is very much the lynchpin creatively, he has assembled an impressive line-up of musicians for his band. Theofilos Fotiadis was faultless throughout the night on bass, Bjorn Kruger provided drive and urgency on drums, while the charismatic Moritz “Mr Mo” Fuhrhop added some soul on Hammond Organ.

Freischlader is a self-confessed fan of Gary Moore, and his riff-heavy guitar-hero influence is clear. Tracks such as The Bridge and The Memory of Our Love feature delicate introspective moments contrasted exquisitely with driven, brooding rock, although the threat of another epic, patience-testing guitar solo is never far away.

The highlight of the set is a touching, soulful cover of the Etta James classic I’d Rather Go Blind, while less-impressive Jimi Hendrix covers Crosstown Traffic and Foxy Lady reveal a more modern, hard rock edge. The evening is brought to a close with an enjoyable cover of Roy Buchanan’s The Messiah will Come Again, with its plaintive guitar giving way to a huge cinematic finish.

For fans of artists like of Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Clapton, Henrik Freischlader is definitely a name worth remembering.

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