CD Preview: Walter Trout’s Survivor Blues

Guitarist Walter Trout is one of the most popular bluesmen on the planet, and for good reason – he gives everything he has with every live performance, and his albums are rich compositions of passion, emotion, intelligence, and energy that few artists can match. So the opportunity to enter 2019 with a brand new album from the talented fretburner is good news, indeed! On January 25th, 2019 Provogue Records will release Trout’s Survivor’s Blues, an inspired twelve-track collection of vintage blues songs chosen by Walter with his usual eye for quality. Survivor’s Blues will be released on CD, as a double-LP vinyl set, and as a digital download in various formats.

In a press release for Survivor’s Blues, Trout explains his original concept for the album, which isn’t just another collection of blues standards. “I’m riding in my car sometimes, and I’ve got a blues station on – and here’s another band doing ‘Got My Mojo Workin’. And there’s a little voice in me that says, ‘Does the world need another version of that song?’ So I came up with an idea. I didn’t want to do ‘Stormy Monday’ or ‘Messin’ With the Kid.’ I didn’t want to do the Blues greatest hits. I wanted to do old, obscure songs that have hardly been covered. And that’s how Survivor Blues started...”

The album reflects Trout’s 50 years playing the blues, featuring material from such touchstones as underrated guitarist Jimmy Dawkins (“Me, My Guitar, and the Blues”); his former boss in the Bluesbreakers, British blues legend John Mayall (“Nature’s Disappearing”); Chicago blues pianist Sunnyland Slim (“Be Careful How You Vote”); and the great Otis Rush (“It Takes Time”), who passed away earlier this year. Survivor’s Blues also includes high-octane takes of songs by artists like Luther Johnson, J.B. Lenoir, and Mississippi Fred McDowell, among others. Silk-toned singer Sugaray Rayford guest stars on Johnson’s “Woman Don’t Lie” and Robbie Krieger of the Doors appears on McDowell’s “Goin’ Down To the River.”

Trout says “my idea was to do these songs like me, to arrange them for my band and style – not to just copy the originals note-for-note.” Survivor’s Blues was produced by Trout and his longtime producer Eric Corne with the music created by Trout’s bandmates, bassist Johnny Griparic, drummer Michael Leasure, and keyboardist Skip Edwards. “I’d play them the original,” remembers Trout, “and then I’d say, ‘here’s how the song goes, what have you got?’ I’d give these guys a lot of freedom. The record was mostly done live, with us set up in a circle, just to get the feel of us going there together. And you can feel it, y’know?”

Trout and his band will be touring in support of Survivor’s Blues, beginning with a short jaunt across the U.S. before heading to Europe for a series of dates; we’ve included a list of these tour dates below. Knowing Walter, however, additional dates will be scheduled so keep your eyes on your local blues-friendly venue ‘cause watching Walter Trout perform is a life-changing affirmation of the power of the blues. In the meantime, get a taste of the new album from the audio clip below.

Buy the CD from Amazon.com: Walter Trout’s Survivor’s Blues

Walter Trout solo tour dates
1/11/19 @ Rhythm Room, Phoenix AZ
1/12/19 @ Rhythm Room, Phoenix AZ
2/01/19 @ Knucklehead's, Kansas City MO
2/02/19 @ Winter Blues Fest, Des Moines IA
2/05/19 @ Sony Hall, New York NY
2/07/19 @ The Hamilton, Washington DC
2/08/19 @ Infinity Music Hall, Hartford CT
2/09/19 @ The Newton Theatre, Newton NJ
2/10/19 @ The Cabot, Beverly MA
2/12/19 @ Ram's Head, Annapolis MD
2/16/19 @ Costa Rica Blues Festival, Playa Potrero Guanacaste, Costa Rica
2/19/19 @ Tin Pan, Richmond VA
2/23/19 @ The Funky Biscuit, Boca Raton FL
2/24/19 @ The Funky Biscuit, Boca Raton FL
2/25 - 03/01/19 @ Keeping the Blues Alive At Sea Tampa FL

Rockin' Blues 2019 European Tour (with Jonny Lang & Kris Barros)
5/23/19 @ Huxley’s Neue Welt, Berlin GERMANY
5/25/19 @ Carlswerk Viktoria Cologne GERMANY
5/26/19 @ La Cigale, Paris FRANCE
5/28/19 @ Fabrique, Milan ITALY
5/29/19 @ Backstage Werk, Munich GERMANY
5/30/19 @ Batschkapp, Frankfurt GERMANY
6/01/19 @ 013, Tilburg NETHERLANDS
6/02/19 @ Markthalle, Hamburg GERMANY
6/04/19 @ 02 Forum Kentisch Town, London UK

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