Thursday, 14 March 2019

Walter Trout - Survivor Blues (2019)


Released January 2019

I was, shamefully, not too familiar with New Jersey blues rock guitarist Walter Trout's work until this album, I have to admit. He has been putting albums out since 1990 and playing in blues bands since the late sixties (with Joe Tex, Canned Heat and John Mayall amongst others) and I certainly need to check them out, soon, because if this album is anything to go by, it may well be worth it. This is an album of blues covers, something that is not too unusual, but Trout decided to cover songs not often covered - no "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Stormy Monday" or "Got My Mojo Working" then. The sound, however, is classic guitar-driven blues rock from a Joe Bonamassa-style guitarist with a strong blues voice too. Although the tracks maybe not so well-known, the overall sound most certainly is.


1. Me, My Guitar And The Blues
2. Be Careful How You Vote
3. Woman Don't Lie
4. Sadie
5. Please Love Me
6. Nature's Disappearing
7. Red Sun
8. Something Inside Of Me
9. It Takes Time
10. Out Of Bad Luck
11. Goin' Down To The River
12. God's Word                                                      

"Me, My Guitar And The Blues" is seven minutes of top quality blues rock. Just check out the shredding, guitar opening to the rocking "Be Careful How You Vote". The candidate you vote for just might let you down, we are told. You don't say. Good advice. This album is already rocking, big time. I love this sort of classic blues rock so I am easily pleased by it. "Woman Don't Lie" has a funky groove of a backing to it and a superb soulful, bluesy guest vocal from SugarRay Rayford. "Sadie" has a delicious bass line and an infectious organ-driven melody. It is a most catchy number. It ends with some storming guitar too.

"Please Love Me", a B.B. King number, is a full-on dollop of upbeat blues rock. Great stuff. "Nature's Disappearing", a 1970 John Mayall ecologically-motivated song is an excellent, blues harmonica-powered and rhythmic track, the sound quality on which blows me away. "Red Sun" is a thumping rocker with an absolutely killer riff and a drum sound not dissimilar to that of The Rolling Stones' "You Got Me Rocking", but slower. It is a corker of a track. The riff reminds me of U2 and B.B. King's "When Love Comes To Town".

"Something Inside Of Me" is a classic slow-pace slice of muscular blues rock, with that Chicago blues feel to it. That vibe continues on the rollicking "It Takes Time". "Out Of Bad Luck" slows the pace down a bit, but only slightly. It is still very much blues as you would expect it. The guitar, as on all the tracks, is simply awesome. "Goin' Down To The River" is notable in that it features ex-Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. Krieger's guitar is superb, as indeed is the big, rumbling bass. "God's Word" continues in the same vein. Although there is not too much change between the tracks, there is a blues purity about this album that is hard to resist.

Along with John Mayall's barnstorming "Nobody Told Me", Tedeschi Trucks Band's "Signs" and Joanne Shaw Taylor's "Reckless Heart" it is a wonderful piece of 2019 blues rock. There is so much great blues rock around at the moment. We are blessed that the genre is still alive and kicking.


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