Henrik Freischlader pays tribute to one of his biggest influences the late Gary Moore with his latest release, Blues for Gary. This time his band includes his longtime collaborator Moritz Meinschäfer on drums, however he adds some members of Gary Moore’s band with Vic Martin on keys, and Pete Rees on bass. While this is titled as a Henrik album it’s more of a guest affair with a host of musicians he lets share some of the guitar chores and all the vocals for most of the album.
This album is not a rocker. Henrik focuses on the more instrumental, spiritual, and ballad driven portion of Gary’s work. Do not let that fool you into thinking that this is a snooze fest. These are some of Gary’s more melodical, and emotional songs with some excellent playing by everyone. The album starts off the first three songs featuring just Henrik and the band and are all instrumentals, “The Prophet,” “The Messiah Will Come Again,” and the stunning twelve minute long ballad “Blues for Narada” where Henrik has a chance to really stretch out and even gets some of that amplifier growl between notes that he’s known for.
Hungarian guitar player Zsolt Vámos steps up to give us another instrumental with a cover of “Intro,” which is what Gary played live as an intro to his hit “Separate Ways.” Ben Poole steps up to mic and uses his smooth voice to cover the laid back “Where Did We Go Wrong” along with some guitar work thrown in for good measure. Then Gary’s brother and guitarist Cliff Moore joins them to play “Where Are You Now,” which as far as I know was only released on Gary’s Montreaux Live 2010 album.
A pair of Henrik’s Cable Car Records label artists are up next. First, Dane Mike Anderson steps up to the mic for “Jumping at Shadows,” which is probably one of Gary’s more recognizable tunes on this collection and he does justice to the slow blues; and after that Italian Linda Sutti and her smoky smooth vocals deliver the appropriate atmosphere on “With Love.” A cover of the traditional Irish folk tune “Johnny Boy” is next with the German string outfit “Royal Street Orchestra” and vocals provided by Harrison Larner-Main from the English Pop Rock Band Zeals. Henrik closes the album out with Harrison on vocals a second time and a decidedly short version of Gary’s hit “Parisienne Walkways,” which emulates all of the soaring and sustain filled majesty of the original.
This album is perfect for when you want to just kick back and listen to some beautiful bluesy guitar work over some wonderful melodies. When you play Gary’s version followed by Henrik’s you can clearly hear the respect that everyone has for the songs since they do not stray very far from the tone and feel of Gary’s recordings. You can clearly hear Gary’s influence in Henrik’s recorded work and with this collection of Gary’s songs, he does a fitting job of paying a proper tribute to one of his idols.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Blues for Narada
– Where Did We Go Wrong
– Jumping at Shadows
– Parisienne Walkways
The Big Hit
– Blues for Narada
Review by Kevin O’Rourke