Blues, Concert Reviews, UK
Walter Trout is back with a brand new hit studio album – We’re All In This Together, which was released in September via Mascot Label Group.
Having been performing in the UK since 1989, Walter Trout arrives for the first time in the West Yorkshire city of Wakefield, where he receives a very warm welcome from a packed out crowd at Warehouse 23. Trout has returned to the UK for the second time this year in support of his Number 1 hit blues record We’re All In This Together.
With Walter Trout’s latest offering he has gathered a multitude of world-class musicians, with each track on the record being a collaboration with one or more of his uber-talented friends and family.
Although she didn’t feature on the record, one of Trout’s talented friends happens to be US-based blues chanteuse Sari Schorr who opens the show and is humbled to be performing alongside the blues great himself on this tour. Joined by ex-Robert Plant guitarist Innes Sibun and her incredible band The Engine Room, Schorr takes the Yorkshire faithful through a short but sweet set centering on tracks from her album A Force of Nature.
Sari performs original compositions like “Demolition Man” and “Kiss Me” along with her incredible take on Lead Belly classics “In The Pines” and “Black Betty”. The latter of which is brimming with passion; Schorr sinks so much of herself into her performance. Of course, there is also a nod to Sibun’s former employer with a blistering rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll”. The crowd laps up every moment of Sari’s performance, with song after song greeted with rapturous applause.
During the course of Walter Trout’s marathon show this evening, he invites a whole host of musical guests to share the stage with him. The challenge with having so many guests on an album is performing those songs on the road and not being able to take the guests with you. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop Walter Trout from performing some of those tracks live with a little help from his friends.
On We’re All In This Together Randy Bachman features on the song “Got Nothin’ Left”, this evening drummer Michael Leasure takes the role of Bachman with some incredible vocals on the track.
Sari Schorr returns to the stage for a beautifully emotive rendition of “Work No More”, which the pair recorded together on her latest album.
Walter Trout has always supported the next generation of blues artists, with the likes of Danny Bryant, Laurence Jones, and Mitch Laddie all looking up to him as their mentor. Tonight Walter invites young local guitarist Oliver Vawdry to the stage to jam out on a number which Trout recorded with his mentor and former employer John Mayall in the shape of “The Blues Came Callin'”. At the end of the song, Walter is beaming with pride, as Oliver more than dazzles the Wakefield crowd with some phenomenal guitar playing.
Walter invites bass player Joe Lally to the stage for a hard-rocking rendition of “Fire On The Mountain”, during which Danny Avila swaps his bass for guitar. Earlier in the show, Walter had dedicated a heartfelt rendition of “Say Goodbye To The Blues” to Joe’s father Steve Lally who was a dear friend of the band and passed away five years to the day.
Proving that there are no weak links in this band, an incredible bass solo from new boy Danny, and a powerful drum solo from Michael Leasure nicely segues into Trout’s take on the Freddie King number “Going Down”, which comes complete with some passionate vocals from Andrew Elt.
The evening culminates with another Trout classic in the shape of “Prisoner of a Dream”, which closes out the 2 hour and 10 minute set.
When we asked Walter Trout about the title of his new album in a recent interview he told National Rock Review that one of the meanings was inspired by the fact that he “was thinking about that it’s all of this group of friends and we are all working kind of …we’re trying to create some sort of finished work of art out of the sum of its parts here.” With tonight’s show, Walter Trout has taken that same spirit and sentiment and embraces it fully throughout the show, and it truly is a beautiful musical experience for one and all.