September 15th, 2017
Trout, Walter: We're All In This Together
We're All In This Together bluesman extraordinaire Walter Trout exclaims alongside Joe Bonamassa on his latest album's title cut - and how right he is. Long respected as one of the leading lights in a genre steeped in tradition, Trout has decided that the time is right to gather together his friends and peers and celebrate the genre they love. Instead of taking the easy way out and just basing that round a selection of well loved covers, the guitarist set about writing a host of new material that he saw as perfect for each individual guest he asked on board (in the end he had so many fantastic musicians lining up to get involved that he had to start to turning them away!). The exception is "The Sky Is Crying" featuring Warren Haynes, The Allman Brothers man entering the fray to add fire and fight to the Elmore James standard that's been, over the years, handled by the good and the great of the blues. It tells you everything you need to know about this album that this latest arrangement of a song Trout and his guest first performed live many years ago, stands up to the best of them.
While all, unsurprisingly, falling under the blues banner, where Trout really excels here is the breadth of attacks and styles he's utilised to make his guests feel right at home. Hence Kenny Wayne Shepherd rides shotgun on the uptempo, authentic shuffle of "Gonna Hurt Like Hell", while Edgar Winter is handed the smooth, almost jazzy slickness of "She Steals My Heart Away" to add his sax to. Not quite so famed for his out and out blues work, Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive adds a serious rock injection to "Got Nothin' Left", just as the legendary John Mayall (a man Trout and many more famous blues names owe a debt of gratitude to) howls on the harmonica for the stripped down acoustics of "Blues For Jimmy T". It's all classy, assured stuff and with Bonamassa adding perfect contributions to the aforementioned title cut, Eric Gales ripping riotously on "Somebody Goin' Down" and Mike Zito joining the party for the uplifting "She Listens To The Blackbird Sing", there's really not a moment where the class drops, or the fun stops.
Even with all that going down, one of the most engaging moments on the disc is the deep grooving hit of "Do You Still See Me At All", where Walter and his son Jon trade licks and flicks with obvious joy. Yet with Sonny Landreth, Charlie Musslewhite, Robben Ford, Joe Louis Walker and John Nemeth all providing equally exciting interludes, there really is something here for everyone of a blues persuasion.
Star-studded, guest laden albums may well be a regular occurrence these days, but when they're done well, they really can be the true event that was initially intended. With We're All In This Together, Walter Trout has not only amassed an amazing group of friends to add their talents and touch to his work, he's also done a superb job of playing tho their strengths and making them feel right at home. The results really are rather special.
1. Gonna Hurt Like Hell (feat. Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
2. Ain't Goin' Back (feat. Sonny Landreth)
3. The Other Side Of The Pillow (feat. Charlie Musselwhite)
4. She Listens To The Blackbird Sing (feat. Mike Zito)
5. Mr. Davis (feat. Robben Ford)
6. The Sky Is Crying (feat. Warren Haynes)
7. Somebody Goin' Down (feat. Eric Gales)
8. She Steals My Heart Away (feat. Edgar Winter)
9. Crash And Burn (feat. Joe Louis Walker)
10. Too Much To Carry (feat. John Nemeth)
11. Do You Still See Me At All (feat. Jon Trout)
12. Got Nothin' Left (feat. Randy Bachman)
13. Blues For Jimmy T. (feat John Mayall)
14. We're All In This Together (feat. Joe Bonamassa)