Walter Trout has been active in the music industry for around 50 years, and is a household name within the blues community. Since he set out alone in 1989 he has journeyed through endless twists and turns, forming the Walter Trout Band which made its UK debut in 1990. Then in 1998 Trout released his self-titled US debut album and renamed his band Walter Trout and The Free Radicals which he later changed to simply being Walter Trout. He has been touring endlessly ever since and releasing numerous albums along the way.
The album We’re all in this together, which is being released on September 1st 2017 under the Provogue/Mascot label, is Trout’s 26th album, an exceptional addition and a fine example of his work, demonstrating not only does he have a pretty impressive group of musical friends, but also showing that with technology advancing such as it has in recent years, an album such as this, featuring guests from all over the world, is no longer so difficult to achieve, as most artists featured on the album made their contributions from afar, leaving the band themselves to work from the studio. ‘The concept behind this album was to get together with some of my friends who are great players, and just jam and have a great time’ said Trout on his album trailer. ‘In the studio, it was the core band of me, Sammy Avila [keys], Mike Leasure [drums] and Johnny Griparic [bass] on every cut, with Eric Corne producing,” he explains, “and then for most of the tracks, people sent us their parts, but it’s very hard to tell we’re not in the studio together.’
Whilst general consensus says that these all-star albums are usually lack lustre covers, sprinkled with plenty of stardust, I have to say that this collection has been very well thought out, giving the album the purpose of leading you through Trout’s backstory. Each song has been created specifically for that featured artist, which makes this production quite extraordinary.
The album opens with Gonna Hurt like Hell featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd, which demonstrates sheer brilliance. The blues-rock guitar and Trout’s vocals are perfect for each other. This track would most definitely be on a set list at a live performance. The other side of the pillow features Charlie Musselwhite, whose blues harp captivates your soul, Trout’s flawless guitar solo is admirable. She listens to the blackbird sing, takes Trout away from his usual theme with a refreshing acoustic intro and subtle harmonies. This is a really nice touch to the album, as Trout usually adheres to his well-defined blues rock style of performing. Warren Haynes performs The Sky Is Crying which features a magnificent guitar duel between himself and Trout. ‘If you listen to the Warren Haynes track, when we get into that guitar conversation on the end – it sounds like we’re looking each other right in the face, y’know?’ says Trout.
My favourite track of the album is the title track ‘Were all in this together‘ which features the legendary Joe Bonamassa. This track has the classic blues feel to it, the vocals send a shudder down your spine, and the guitar work from these fantastic blues/rock musicians is so highly charged it will totally blow your mind. It is deservingly the longest on the album, a full 7 minutes and 57 seconds of heaven for any blues guitar enthusiast.
Overall this album is a varied and exhilarating journey through the life of Walter Trout, with a little help from his friends, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sonny Landreth, Charlie Musselwhite, Mike Zito, Robben Ford, Warren Haynes, Eric Gayles, Edgar Winter, Joe Louis Walker, John Nemeth, Jon Trout, Randy Bachman, John Mayall and Joe Bonamassa. I’m sure that the launch of this album will send Walter Trout rocketing once again into the stratosphere of the blues rock scene.
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