Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado: Too Many Roads

Label: Ruf Records

RUF 1200, 7 1034712002 5

Producer: Søren Bøjgaard and Thorbjørn Risager

Mastering: Mikkel Gemsøe – C4, DR6

Recorded at the Medley Studio in Copenhagen

I listen to dozens new albums every month and I’ve been doing so for many years. It is a pure mystery to me how does it come that I’ve never come across Thorbjørn Risager and his The Black Tornado band. Too Many Roads is his album number 10 already and it is easily one of the best examples of modern blues released in this decade. 

Thorbjorn Risager Too Many Roads


Instrumentation on the album is magnificent. The band uses blues as a raw base for building intricate tapestry of different styles around it. This way the Thorbjørn’s vocals are joint by indispensable guitar licks, a bass, piano and drums, less usual instruments like sousaphone and dobro, plus an incredible and very dynamic multi-piece section of winds: three saxophones, trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and organ.

Recommended listening

Most of the album sounds like a live concert and asks for turning up the volume to get the full effect. It has tons of energy headed by a raw, expressive and urgent vocal delivery of Thorbjørn Risager.

The sound of the album is thick and punchy and the guys behind a mixing console did a terrific job by keeping everything clear and delineated. Except of the title track, Too Many Roads, a Nat King Cole cover China Gate is the real audiophile stand-out. This song was originally sung by Nat King Cole in the same name movie from 1957. Risager’s rendition is soulful and every note is sung and played with hyper intensity. Thanks to generous compression each string is like under an electron microscope and the Risager´s deep voice checks how good is your midrange. Too Many Roads really is a good part of an audiophile test-kit.


01. If You Wanna Leave
02. Too Many Roads
03. China Gate
04. Paradise
05. Drowning
06. Backseat Driver
07. Through the Tears
08. High Rolling
09. Long Forgotten Track
10. Red Hot & Blue
11. Rich Man
12. Play On