September 1st, 2017
Still Alive and Well Enough To Kick Sparks out of Blues Rock.
As the Press Release says ‘even a cursory glance at the guest stars Walter Trout has brought together for this recording’ makes it ‘interesting’ at the very least……but that is only half the story.
It’s well documented, and probably a bit boring to dwell on Walter’s recent health issues; even if it is a major part of ‘his story’; but that part of his life was put to bed with BATTLE SCARS in 2016; and this new record is hopefully the start of a brand new shiny chapter all of its own.
A tried and trusted Blues shuffle pairing Walter with Kenny Wayne Shepherd titled Gonna Hurt Like Hell kick starts everything and every kind of Blues aficionado I know will nod their head and tap their toes along as two of the finest guitarists in the world play their hearts out on a top quality song.
I don’t want to go too deeply into the guest stars on each song here; as it’s very much a Walter Trout album; but each guitarist (or harmonica player) somehow manages to put their own signature on their contribution without ever overshadowing Trout himself, which is quite some achievement.
While I’ve quickly come to love the complete record; there are some amazing individual songs here…..especially the duet with Warren Hayes on The Sky Is Crying; and when Walter gets low down and funky on She Steals My Heart Away that can only be Edgar Winter on saxophone and co-vocals; and it most certainly is. It’s a similar story with the liquid gold of Crash and Burn with Joe Louis Walker giving a Masterclass alongside Mr. Trout.
Obviously there are surprises around every corner; most notably for me when the King of the Bluesbreakers John Mayall makes an appearance on Blues For Jimmy T and the outstanding Do You Still See Me at All, when Trout’s son Jon steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the park on a slow and sensuous Blues Burner.
The title of ‘Favourite Track’ will certainly depend on the time of day and mood I’m in when playing this music; but today it’s a straight coin-toss between The Other Side of The Pillow; a tale of cheating and retribution that only the Blues can get right; and this collaboration with Charlie Musselwhite defied all of my expectations and somehow channels Johnny Winter, Howlin’ Wolf and Bukka White at times……Classic and timeless.
The other is very much a song and sound of our times; the title track WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER pairs Walter with the Crown Prince of the Blues Joe Bonamassa and this 8 minute epic is worth the entrance fee alone, with not a note out of place or indeed unnecessary on a song that is as deep as it is long and very much a set of lyrics for 2017.
With no thoughts or expectations of any songs getting played on daytime radio; Walter Trout and Producer Eric Corne has created a genuine bona-fide Long Player like in the olden days; and the world is a better place for it.
What’s left to say about Walter Trout? Not a lot; and sure as Hell this album proves he is back on top of his game; if you ever doubted he was actually ‘off it.’
Released 8th September 2017