The surplus of excellent albums being released right now continues with a candidate for the best Blues Rock artist to ever hail from Germany. Henrik Freischlader returns with another superb effort. After his last two powerhouse albums and a stint supporting Layla Zoe and Tommy Schneller you might expect a letdown in quality, but House in the Woods delivers once again. It is filled from beginning to end with music that will have you marveling at this self-taught multi instrumentalist’s great songwriting and stellar guitar work.
Henrik starts off with the powerhouse title track “House in the Woods” and one immediately feels like you’re sitting front row during this basically live in the studio recording. “Sisters” continues the excellence of the first track. It’s hard to sit still with the groovy rhythm as the music bounds along during this track. Henrik throws the listener a pleasant curve with the mild, almost reggae or modern ska feel in the chorus of “Nowhere To Go.” The rock continues with “1999,” which has an opening lyric that you can’t help but smile at. I won’t repeat it here but we’ve all felt the emotion that he’s expressing when we’ve been having a bad day. Things get dark and moody on “With the Flow” where Henrik makes ample use of the lower register of his voice to great effect.
However, don’t let the harder rock sounds of the rest of the album let you think that this is a one dimensional experience. Henrik delivers some beautiful ballads that showcase his excellent song writing skills with “Breaking My Heart Again,” “Two Young Lovers,” and the eight minute stunner “Won’t You Help Me,” which closes out the album.
Henrik is starting to gain some real recognition for his work. He recently partnered with Stetson for a couple of signature hats in his trademark shape that he wears on stage. They make more than Cowboy hats. The only thing there is to knock about House in the Woods is the length of the songs. Listening to it one can imagine how great these would be in a live setting where the band really gets going and they have a chance to stretch out and really let the jam fly. Oh that’s right, he released a live DVD of a recent concert recently….
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– House in The Woods
– With the Flow
– Won’t You Help Me
The Big Hit
Review by Kevin O’Rourke