Blues legend Walter Trout is back with a new album in January. It’s an album of cover versions, but whereas most people cover well known blues songs, Walter Trout has taken the opposite approach and chosen old obscure songs to cover and bring to a new audience. It’s an approach that has a big benefit – when covering a Blues classic, the listener tends to spend a lot of the time mentally comparing it to other versions rather than simply enjoying it, whereas with obscure songs that they don’t know then they listen with an open mind and enjoy it for what it is. Some may go on to explore the original versions too which can give the original artists a new group of fans.
Walter Trout took an interesting approach to the recording too. He played the original version to the musicians he’s working with and got their ideas before they recorded it live in the studio. The studio used was owned by Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger who actually came in and listened to the recordings each day. He even asked to play on one of the tracks and so the slide guitar you hear on “Goin’ down to the river” is Robbie Krieger’s playing.
It’s a stunningly good album. You know a Walter Trout album is going to be good – very good in fact, so you have high expectations, but this album easily surpasses my highest expectations. With this release coming at the start of the year you’ve got to wonder whether any blues artists will be able to release a better album in 2019. A stunningly good blues album.