Reviews


Walter Trout: Luther’s Blues Review

Hard-hitting Chicago blues complete with swirling B3, gritty vocal performances, and in-your-face guitar. This is the best way to describe Luther’s Blues, the latest album from Walter Trout. This is the first cover album that Trout has attempted, and he does as well as can be expected, given that he has made a tribute album.

It is not easy to put together a good album of Luther Allison covers, but if there is one man who can do his work justice, it is Walter Trout. A brilliant guitarist in his own right who knows Allison’s music, Trout captures Allison’s classic Chicago sound while adding bits and pieces of his own musical innovation to the project.

“Cherry Red Wine” is one of the greatest blues songs ever written, and Trout’s version proves it. It is one of a handful of truly magical tracks, the others being “Chicago,” “Just as I Am,” and “Freedom.” Being a tribute album, there isn’t a great deal of variety, but all of the songs are compelling.

It is rare that there is a cover or tribute album that is really good, but, as Trout himself admits, the goal of this album is to lead the listener to Allison’s original recordings, and this album will most certainly do that. Allison’s stellar recordings set a very high bar for Trout to meet, perhaps an unfairly high bar, but a bar that Trout meets, and even exceeds it on a few songs. Trout does about as good of a job as possible on a tribute album, and should be recognized as having done so. Nevertheless, Luther Allison is Luther Allison and there is no substitute for the original recordings of these songs.

The Review: 7.5/10 

Can’t Miss Tracks
- Cherry Red Wine
- Chicago
- Just as I Am
- Freedom

The Big Hit
- Cherry Red Wine

Review by Nik Rodewald

www.bluesrockreview.com


Bluesman Walter Trout takes on Luther Allison

Sep 01, 2013 "Luther's Blues"

By TROY DIFFENDERFER, 19, Freestyle Staff Writer  freestyle@lnpnews.com

When Walter Trout describes a fellow bluesman as "one of the greatest musicians I've ever seen," you know we're talking about someone with serious talent.  

But does Trout's statement have any weight behind it? Well, Trout has put out more than 20 albums and played in bands like Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesmakers, so I'd say he's pretty qualified.

After his last album of bluesy jams, "Blues for the Modern Daze," Trout decided to play homage to his friend and fellow musician Luther Allison on Trout's newest album, "Luther's Blues."

So what makes Allison worthy of recognition? Allison's big break came when he joined Howlin' Wolf and was taken under the wing of famous guitar player Freddie King. Allison went on to produce more than 20 albums himself. He was also posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame after his passing in 1997.

Trout and Allison's paths first crossed in 1986 at the Montreaux Jazz festival in Switzerland, and they would end up bonding over their love of music as they became friends. But it wasn't just the musical bond Trout enjoyed with Allison. 

"It was just his personality. He was the warmest, most genuine person I've met. He had no façade and had no problem showing you who he was," says Trout in a phone interview. "I really thought he deserved more recognition, he was such a talented musician. He never portrayed a character and had such an honest presentation to his music."

Allison's guitar playing and songwriting prove that he deserves to be in the same category as some more prominent names like Buddy Guy and Freddie King.

Whittling down a tracklist for Trout's tribute album was no easy task.

"Well, I started by downloading every album he put out, and then began to narrow it down to about 40 or so songs, and then I got it down to about a dozen after that."

Trout really stays true to Allison's "honest" approach to playing. You won't hear any added effects or layered tracks, just Trout and his band hammering out some of Allison's biggest hits.

Trout opens with "I'm Back" to revive a great rock tune from Allison.

"Probably 'Cherry Red Wine' is a song that really speaks to me. Growing up I had a lot of alcoholism in my house so that's one that I find relevant to me," says Trout.

Trout showcases a variety of Allison's repertoire, from the rockabilly style of "Move from the Hood" to the six-minute bluesy epic "Big City."

The most interesting track isn't even a song. "Luther Speaks" is from a clip Trout found on YouTube where Allison talks about performing.

"I don't need fans, I want friends, let's make friends fans. If I see you today, I want to see you tomorrow too."

The track only lasts about 30 seconds, but it shows who Allison as a person. He wasn't a character; he wasn't a superstar; he was a person who liked to play guitar for others to hear. He may not be a household name, but that's just fine with him.

When asked if there's one piece of advice from Allison that really stuck with Trout, he remembers the exact words, "He told me leave your ego, play the music, love the people."

These words express exactly who Allison was as a musician and a performer. It's not about making money or getting recognition, it's about building not only a connection, but a friendship, with the fans. Trout does an excellent job of bringing to light a musician who not only had immense passion for music, but immense passion for people.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com


Walter’s Luther’s Blues LP, plus a photo of him on the gig listings page in the July/August issue of Classic Rock Society magazine


Walter Trout’s Luther’s Blues album published in the August/September issue of Blues Matters magazine


Walter Trout: Luther’s Blues

By Rick J Bowen www.innocentwords.com

June 30, 2013

On the closing track of his amazing new album, Luther’s Blues, Walter Trout testifies to the power and passion of one of his heroes when he boldly sings, “leave your ego, play the music, love the people, that’s the way he lived, when Luther played the blues he gave us all he had to give.” This simple sentiment is the guiding principle behind this stellar tribute album to one of the more unsung icons of the blues and electric guitar, Luther Allison. 

In his 25-plus year career Walter Trout has also become a bit of an icon, forging a reputation as a fire breathing guitarist after his tenure with Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, so he seems the natural choice to be the one who could take the Allison catalog up a few more notches. Trout enlisted producer Eric Corne to capture the raw, seat of the energy of live takes with his crack road band of keyboardist Sammy Avila, bass man Rick Knapp and drummer Michael Leasure. The quartet blazes through the 11-song greatest hits collection from Allison’s lexicon of hard driving blues and soul burners, taking each to new heights of pyrotechnic musical orgasms. 

Trout goes so completely over the top on “Cherry Red Wine,” one of Allison’s signature tunes, making it hard to believe such gut wrenching vocals are coming from a 62-year-old. The band recasts Allison’s protest song “Big City,” over a Voodoo Chile groove giving a nod to Hendrix and Stevie Ray as well with his wailing Stratocaster. The muscular funk of tracks “Chicago” and “Freedom” is propelled by a rhythm section steaming at mach one, flaying out a fusillade of notes, but then turning on a dime to give a tasteful reading of the gospel infused “Just As I Am.” Trout then trades barbs with Luther’s son Bernard Allison on the turbo charged Texas boogie “Low Down and Dirty.” The albums other guest star is a short recording of Luther speaking of his life’s philosophy of wanting to be part of the universe of nature and make friends everywhere he went. 

Luther’s Blues succeeds on many levels, as it will no doubt lead many to discover the music of Luther Allison as well as showcase the power and precision of Walter Trout and his stellar band who deliver what may prove to be the electric blues album of the year. 

www.innocentwords.com


Luther’s Blues: A Tribute to Luther Allison   Rating: B+

By Jeb Wright www.classicrockrevisited.com

In 2012, Walter Trout released the album Blues for the Modern Daze, which was, start to finish, probably the strongest album of his lengthy career. If not his best, it was certainly his most emotionally charged album, full of anger, angst, irritability and over all pist-off-ness—with a good dose of the blues to keep it all from boiling over. Now, a year later, he again brings an emotional album, this time full of reverence, friendship and a touch of sorrow, as he pays tribute to a man who was a musical hero to him in Luther Allison.

This album features Trout remaking Allison’s most loved songs, which is a huge task considering some haters tend to say Trout is a rocker in bluesman clothing. With this tribute to Luther, Trout shows he may like to blast out some hard rockin’ licks but deep down his heart bleeds blue!

Never before has Trout played the blues like THIS. Where he calls the album a tribute, in some ways it is a spiritual excursion where Walter channels his friend’s spirit. These emotionally charged versions of Allison’s songs are nearly exhausting to listen to as they are dripping with such passion.

Another treat on the disc is the last song, written by Trout for Luther titled “When Luther Played the Blues.” This song, like the title, explains what I have been trying to convey in this review. Simply put, Walter played his ass off on this one, inspired by another’s greatness allowing him to achieve his own.

By Jeb Wright www.classicrockrevisited.com


Music Review: Walter Trout –

“Luther’s Blues: A Tribute to Luther Allison”

By Rhetta Akamatsu | Tuesday, June 18, 2013 www.blogcritics.org

Walter Trout, a blues guitarist and vocalist who has played with a number of bands over the years, including Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, was a personal friend as well as a fan of Luther Allison. This CD is his tribute to Allison, featuring 11 of Allison’s songs, a small spoken word bit from Allison himself, and “When Luther Played the Blues,” Trout’s heartfelt song about the man, which features incredible guitar work throughout it.

Trout’s style is very different from Allison’s. Trout is much bluesier, while Allison was more soulful. On this CD, Trout has not tried to copy Allison’s style, but has melded his own sound with Allison’s words and music to create a wonderful amalgam of the two. 

The tribute opens with “I’m Back,” a blues-rock number that catches the listener’s attention. Then, Trout delivers a remarkably emotional rendition of “Cherry Red Wine,” a desperate plea for a woman to stop killing herself with alcohol. The scorching guitar underscores the urgency of the words perfectly. 

Next comes “Move From the Hood,” which loses some of its Motown roots and becomes a blues-rock number with some hot and heavy guitar. “Bad Love” follows. It is a slower track that sticks pretty close to the original and really sells the melancholic lyrics. 

“Big City” shines for the somewhat psychedelic, smashing guitar work. It is followed by a loving, swinging tribute to “Chicago,” and that is followed by this reviewer’s favorite song on the CD, the deeply emotional and honest love song, “Just as I Am,” on which Trout wrings the feeling from every word. 

“Low Down and Dirty” returns to blues-rock and it features excellent slide guitar by Trout and a duet with Allison’s son Bernard. 

Continuing the extreme versatility of the moods and songs on this collection, “Pain in the Streets” is a slower number with strong guitar solos and a powerful urban justice message. It is followed by the rip-snorting guitars and vocals of “All the King’s Horses.” 

The last Allison song on the CD is the yearning, earnest anti-apartheid song, “Freedom,” which reflects the courage that Allison showed in speaking out about hot-button issues in his time. 

Walter Trout has never sounded better or played better than he does on this CD. His affection for Allison and love for his music adds depth to the vocals and flows through the guitar work as well. His band delivers great bass, rhythm and percussion throughout and the CD is a must for Allison fans, Trout fans, and lovers of blues in general.

www.blogcritics.org




Walter Trout - Luther's Blues - New Release Review

www.bmansbluesreport.com

I just received the newest release (June 11, 2013 release date) Luther's Blues, from Walter Trout and it is blistering fire! Opening with I'm Back, a blues rock track, Trout starts the ball rolling on a 13 track tribute to the great Luther Allison.

Up next is Cherry Red Wine, an absolute scorcher showing Trout in great form both on vocal and guitar. One of my favorite Trout takes in recent years, the guitar work showing a great maturing in a man still young in his career. Trout has you hanging on a note as he chokes the finish off of the guitar. Move From The Hood is a great loping blues track and Trout's vocals are spot on. Showing a lot of patience in delivering his guitar solos on this track, Trout really grabs the essence of the blues.

Next up is Bad Love, a smokin' great slower track and Trout uses his own unique guitar attack to deliver this track up "Walter Style". This is a white hot track with guitar work that would make most any guitar player or blues enthusiast sit back and listen. Big City has a bit of a Jimi taste to it both in arrangement and also including some tell tale riffs. The track is really all Trout but he does wind the track out along a more pyrotechnical path to great success.

Just As I Am crosses over more to the soul arena with a real nice ballad with nice guitar adornments. Low Down And Dirty, a rockin blues track, finds Trout on slide and with this driving beat is a sure winner. Pain In The Streets is another slow heartfelt blues track and one of my favorites on the release. Trout slowly milks the track and lets it out just a little at a time. Excellent!

All The Kings Horses finds Trout in 5th gear, delivering a mid paced blues track with rip snorting, string breaking guitar riffs. Step up in front of one of the stacks when he plays this one... step back with a new hairstyle and a smile on your face! After a short dialogue by Luther, Trout lays down When Luther Played The Blues, a real nice tribute track with nice pace, great vocals and really deep guitar riffs.

I have listened to a lot of Walter Trout releases in my time and this one stands tall with the best of them. I highly recommend this release to anyone...I repeat anyone who loves blues guitar!

www.bmansbluesreport.com


Walter Trout – Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison

Posted on June 12, 2013
by Rick Moore www.musicnewsnashville.com

Walter Trout is one of the blues greats who hasn’t really gotten his due, and he shows why once again on Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison. On this album, Trout covers songs by one of his heroes, a Chicago legend who was a little different than most of the straight-ahead legends like Muddy or Wolf. Allison infused other styles of music into his blues playing, making both styles better, and Trout approaches the material with a reverent abandon that would probably have made Allison, who died 16 years ago, smile. Allison was one of the great live blues acts, and spent many years playing in Europe, where the cover photo of Allison and Trout was taken.

As the former guitarist with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Canned Heat, among others, Walter Trout is easily in the ranks of the other great electric blues players, both white and black, both British and American, of his generation. So it took some nerve for him to tackle an album of nothing but covers by Allison, both artistically and financially, as Trout won’t seeing writer’s income from the tracks. He clearly had a great time cutting such Allison classics as “Cherry Red Wine” and Pain in the Streets,” and even listeners who are unfamiliar with Allison’s work will definitely be impressed with the way Trout pays homage to it. Trout is one of the greats, and deserves to be more widely recognized by his peers (and American audiences) by something like, say, being invited to Clapton’s Crossroads festival. We’ll keep our fingers crossed while we listen to this record.

www.musicnewsnashville.com


Walter Trout - Luther's Blues (Album Review)


Walter Trout - Luther's Blues (Album Review)

Monday, 10 June 2013 Written by Simon Ramsay

Source: www.stereoboard.com

Following 2012's 'Blues For The Modern Daze', Walter Trout pays tribute to late, great Chicago bluesman Luther Allison on 'Luther's Blues', the first covers album of his esteemed career. With unstoppable passion and dedication, Trout and his electric band tear through a winning selection of Allison classics, expertly reworking the energised cocktail of soul, funk and blues rock that was his trademark. The result is sonically Trout, and spiritually Allison.

Although critically acclaimed, 'Blues For The Modern Daze' was an emotionally raw offering, with Trout's distress at the state of contemporary society packing a pissed off punch. As such, 'Luther's Blues' finds him unburdened and re-energised. From the moment I'm Back hurls itself from the speakers with a storm of supercharged gusto and flame-throwing solos, it's obvious a weight's been lifted. Where 'Blues For The Modern Daze' was driven by a need for cathartic release, 'Luther's Blues' revels in the sheer joy of musical expression.

That said, Allison's storytelling also embraced hard truths. Songs about watching your woman drink herself to death sat alongside tales of urban violence, apartheid and duplicitous femmes. Trout's rocket-fuelled attack purges lyrical pain through sheer force of performance, with his infectious energy uplifting in spite of the subject matter.

 The abundant soul in Allison's music made him one of the few blues artists signed to Motown records in the 1970s. Trout doesn't ape that style, instead amplifying the tunes' bluesier elements while keeping an undercurrent of soul bubbling throughout.

For example, the Stax horns and anachronistic synths are absent from the disconsolate ache of Bad Love and roisterous funk 'n' soul ditty Chicago. But said tribute to the Windy City still keeps the flare-wearing swing of the original, as Trout and his band whip up splendid street-smart grooves courtesy of popping bass lines and hip-shaking rhythms.

While the arrangements remain mostly faithful, the exceptionally gifted band make the compositions sound like vintage Trout. Whether it's the stalking prowl of All The Kings Horses or spinning riffery of Low Down And Dirty, where he duets with Allison's son Bernard, Trout and the guys add their own greasy signature courtesy of buffed up riffs, stinging solos and wide-eyed enthusiasm.

The only real revisions occur on Pain In The Streets and Move From The Hood. The former's slick R&B sheen is replaced by gentle blues, full of delicate vocals and crisp guitar lines that draw a stronger sense of pathos from the downtrodden lyric. The latter ditches the horns and ivories to become a beefed-up shuffle, with swirling organ flourishes and feisty drum fills.

It's fair to say Trout's rarely sounded better than he does here. Whether possessed by his desire to do Allison's work justice, or freedom from lyric writing and composing, he gives every ounce of himself to this record. This is particularly apparent on Cherry Red, where his bare-chested vocal and guitar pyrotechnics are something to behold.

The album closes with When Luther Played The Blues, the only Trout composition and a moving musical eulogy featuring famous Allison quotes: “Leave your ego, play the music, love the people”. Just as the tune concludes the band kicks back in and Walter sings: “Bye bye Luther”. It's a fitting finale.

This is a strong contender for best blues album of 2013 and highlights Trout's ongoing mission to keep blues alive by passing the magic of the masters on to younger generations. Of his hope for the record, he said: “If I had my way with this album, it would reignite interest in the man and his work, make people go back and check out the originals.” Consider it a job well done, sir. A job very well done.

Source: www.stereoboard.com


LUTHER’S BLUES, WALTER TROUT & HIS BAND

By Nick DeRiso    www.somethingelsereviews.com

Walter Trout, over a 22-album solo career, has never before recorded a project devoted to cover songs. Then again, few players have impacted the 62-year-old quite like the late Luther Allison.  

In many ways, Allison set the blues-rocking template for next-gen players Trout, who played for Canned Heat and then John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in the 1980s before setting out for a solo career.

Though the Freddie King-influenced Allison debuted with Delmark, he had such an approachable, crossover-ready sound that soon he had been signed by Motown’s Berry Gordy. At the same time, though, his roots remained in the classic mid-century Chicago sound. Same with Trout, at work again here with producer Eric Corne, who oversaw 2012′s Blues for the Modern Daze. There is a similar spontaneity, despite the presence of very familiar Allison classics like “Cherry Red Wine.”

Trout and Allison met and played together just once, in 1986 at the Montreux Jazz Festival — a photo from that day graces the cover of Luther’s Blues, due on June 11, 2013 from the Mascot Label Group’s Provogue imprint — but it cemented Trout’s sense of the commitment and innovation that surrounded Allison.

Trout lives up to that towering legacy here, all the way down to the album’s sensitive presentation — which includes a narrative from Trout about that Montreux meeting, rare photographs, and new liner notes by Allison’s son, long-time partner Carolyn “Rocky” Brown and band member James Solberg.

 Meanwhile, from the floorboard-rearranging brawn of “I’m Back” to the searing soul of “Just As I Am,” Luther’s Blues is as heartfelt as it is dynamic. Trout then closes out with a lonesome original called “When Luther Played the Blues,” illustrating one last time just how deep his reverence goes.

www.somethingelsereviews.com


LUTHER’S BLUES, WALTER TROUT & HIS BAND

June 4, 2013 By Skope www.skopemag.com

Journeyman blues guitarist Walter Trout has put together a tribute to blues legend Luther Allison for his 23rd solo release. Walter had been a fan and even got to play with him once before Luther’s untimely death from cancer at age 57. Walter has always been a master at taking his influences and putting a personal spin on their styles, and then putting his name on it vocally and instrumentally.

I’m Back is a fast rocking blues number. Cherry Red Wine has the slow pounding rythym with in and out guitar riffs, reminiscent of B.B. Pain In The Streets follows suit in format, and has classic crisp, clean licks, weaved into a ballad setting. Bad Love is also an even flowing slower ballad styled tune. Big City follows the slower pace, with a good SRV vibe to it. Just As I Am is just a plain, straight up great ballad, and my favorite cut on the release. Low Down And Dirty is a good song with a typical biographical blues lifestyle admission (to a woman of course), with some nice slide work. Freedom lyrics deal with the fight and the dream involved with looking for freedom. Luther Speaks features Luther explaining that he wants friends first and foremost. When Luther Played The Blues is a tribute to the man and his inner drive to deliver the goods.

Walter’s voice is an important attribute to his guitar chops. This release is a well-done tribute to a blues legend!

By RME 

www.skopemag.com


REVIEW WALTER TROUT: “LUTHER’S BLUES”

(PROVOGUE) THIS ALBUM RATED 6.1

www.bluesandsoul.com

UK RELEASE DATE 10.06.2013 When I heard that veteran US blues man Walter Trout was making his first ever covers record - all Luther Allison songs - I had mixed feelings. I thought it might be something best left well alone, as Luther was such an individual guitarist and American blues artist, sadly missed by us all after he died from lung cancer in 1997. There was only one Luther. Plus; Walter is known mainly for his hard- edged rockier side of the blues. Signed to Motown in 1972 for three albums, the only blues artist on the label, Luther made over a dozen albums in Europe. He left school in 1957 and formed The Rolling Stones, but didn’t feel it was a strong enough name for a band, so changed it to The Four Jivers! I photographed him maybe 18 months before he died, and he really was a towering musical force. I’d not seen or heard such a display of fretboard fireworks, soul-blues vocal and absolute command of a room, since I worked with the likes of Albert Collins, Albert King and indeed BB King. But I need not have worried about this CD. It is a magnificent job and perhaps a career defining moment for Mr T? I have seen him circa four times over the years, and can sometimes have too much of his loud and “in yer face” style of rockier blues – a former member of Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – but he has done much to spread the blues gospel around the world and is a huge talent. But here he squeezes every ounce of emotion, soul, passion and sweetness from the guitar and from his vocals. A very pleasing side to the man. I believe on these 13 tracks, we get the best vocal and guitar performances he has probably ever delivered on record.

That was the thing with Luther. One minute caressing you with a sweet, pain-filled soul meets blues vocal, and the next he could rip your spleen out with that ferocious attack on guitar. He was always light and he was always shade. But most of all, he was ALWAYS Luther. He never borrowed licks. Ever.Walter does the very same here. He doesn’t try to BE Luther. He is very much his own man on Luther’s songs, with huge restraint in approach. Respect and love for the man oozes out of every note, every nuance, and every vocal breath. Walter Trout’s story is equal parts thriller, romance, suspense and horror. There are musical fireworks, critical acclaim and fists-aloft triumph, offset by wilderness years and brushes with the jaws of narcotic oblivion. Of all the peaks in Trout’s trajectory, his abiding memory of the late Chicago bluesman is perhaps the most literal. It’s 1986, and high above Lake Geneva, at the palatial Alpine chalet of late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs. Lunch is being served. “So we’re up at the top of the Alps,” Trout recalls, “in this big room with John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and as we’re eating, Dr. John is serenading us on acoustic piano. I was sat there with Luther Allison, and we had a great talk.”“Luther was one of the all-time greats. It was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. Just the energy and commitment that guy had, he was one of a kind. We played together once, at the Jazz Fest that year, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. And that photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died in 1997, the idea of the album was planted in my brain.”For me, the one thing that binds Trout and Allison together, apart from the obvious blues genre; is that sense one gets as a member of their audience, that their lives depend on giving us a truly great performance. Night after night, gig after gig, tour after tour, venue after venue, big or small. No matter what shit they are going through off stage. Once they are plugged in and in front of the fans, it's showtime and nothing less than their best will do. Luther always gave, and Walter always gives 100% on stage. Well, that is also true here on this record. It sounds like he gave his all, from his heart and his soul on an absolute labour of love. It really is an outstanding record and deserves a Grammy nod for this fitting tribute to a true blues one-off. Luther would be proud.

WORDS SIMON REDLEY www.bluesandsoul.com 


Album Review: WALTER TROUT – Luther’s Blues – A Tribute To Luther Allison

 Review by Pete Feenstra on May 9, 2013
www.getreadytorock.me.uk 

Provogue [Release date: 10.06.13]

 ‘A Tribute To Luther Allison’ is a triumph of ambition, focus and sheer ability over any semblance of self doubt, as Walter Trout successfully captures Luther Allison’s essential spirit. Such is Trout’s intrinsic feel for Luther’s music and belief in his legacy that he interprets the best of the Chicago blues man’s catalogue with the requisite amount of passion and intensity it deserves.

In his PR notes Walter says he momentarily thought he’d taken on something too big, but his heartfelt performance allays any such fears.

There’s a significant career parallel at the heart of this album. Walter Trout much like Allison before him spends a considerable amount of time working in Europe. Luther made France his home before his American comeback in ’94 and the two met in Switzerland at the Montreux Jazz Festival which provided the location shot for the CD cover. And it is this sense of the blues in exile that permeates the album as a whole.

There are further links in that both artists shared the same label at different times and in James Solberg, Luther had a long term Trout style song-writing guitarist who pushed him towards blues-rock.

Given that Luther’s career spanned West-side Chicago blues, Motown soul, and blues-rock, not to mention a brief collaboration with Johnny Hallyday, the big question is what to leave out. Walter opts for Luther’s fully formed mid-90’s material with ‘Reckless’ and ‘Blue Streak’ providing the meat in the sandwich. He also adds a brace from ‘Soul Fixin’ Man’ – aka ‘Bad Love’ – and 1987’s ‘Rich Man’ to provide balance. The album finishes cleverly with Walter’s ripping self- penned ode to his hero on ‘When Luther Played The Blues’. Perhaps only the omission of ‘Serious’ is the one glaring omission on a well thought out project.

The album benefits from solid pre-prep work. The considered arrangements and thoughtful vocal attacks mirror Luther’s lyrical meaning and co-producer’s Eric Corne’s bright mix captures the snap. And in those moments when Walter engulfs himself in emotive songs like ‘Pain In The Streets’ his snakelike wiry guitar lines and delicate vibrato does his talking for him. 

Issued by Provogue as part of The Classic Blues Series, ‘A Tribute To Luther Allison’ showcases Luther’s development as a blues man with real presence. Walter successfully searches for Allison’s intensity and wrings out every last drop of passion with searing guitar work in an amalgam of all the elements that come naturally to him.

In going to the source material Walter cleverly beefs up the core riffs, alternating his own busy note flurries with Luther’s single note attacks. He explores deeply honed solos over a pulsating rhythm track in a blend of shuffles, soulful vocals, deep-blues and occasional funk.

The alcohol fuelled tale of ‘Cherry Red Wine’ is close to his heart and well suited to his impassioned style, while ‘Bad Love’ lights the fuse, just as it used to do in Luther live shows. Walter’s commanding vocal on the live in the studio take is bolstered by the great rhythm section of Michael Leasure and Rick Knapp, who do him proud on a frisson busting track of super charged intensity.

Trout’s phrasing conveys the emotional turmoil of the songs and he adds a soaring solo that would make Luther smile and annoy the kind of blues purists who always denied Allison’s role as a blues-rock crossover artist.

‘Move From The Hood’ is the most radical arrangement of all, as Walter transforms it into a power shuffle. He reaches for new levels of real intensity with the self-help integrity of ‘Big City’, on an archetypal Allison slow-grind topped by a coruscating solo.

Luther’s son Bernard Allison joins Walter on a jammed out duet ‘Low Down & Dirty, which features contrasting slide guitar and beefy tones, before gets down low on his own with some beautifully wrought notes on ‘Pain In the Streets’. And he saves his best vocal for the heartfelt ‘Freedom’.

This is an impressive album that fully realises its lofty ambitions of ‘reigniting interest in Luther’s work’. It’s music with a Chicago heart and a gospel soul, played by a West Coast blues-rock guitarist steeped in New Jersey intensity. Trout proves to be the ideal conduit for Luther’s contemporary take on traditional blues.

Truth be told, Luther Allison didn’t start writing great songs until the latter part of his career, and Walter Trout presents a coherent and superbly played snap-shot of one of the great unsung heroes of modern blues era. ****(4/5)

Review by Pete Feenstra

www.getreadytorock.me.uk


CD Review - Walter Trout "Luther's Blues"

Posted by Alan Harrison on May 30, 2013
www.nodepression.com

Classic Blues Rock tribute to a forgotten genius 

Wow; Walter Trout….there’s a name from the past; and he’s taken the songs of Luther Allison; who is probably the Bluesman’s Blues-man, and lit a fire under them.

Once described as a ‘guitar prodigy’ the guitarist is now regarded as a veteran, according to the Press Release and he will be, because he’s 62 years old. Not that you’d know it from the energy that tears through the majority of LUTHER’S BLUES. As a bit of a Blues-Rock fan, it’s a joy to hear Trout pay tribute to one of Blues Music’s most under-rated performers, Luther Allison.

Walter comes out with both guns blazing on album opener, I’m Back and the title itself is quite apt, as Walter takes no prisoners on this archetypal Chicago Blues tune.

Personally I fell out of love with Blues-Rock about 10 or more years ago when the emphasis went towards the rock end of the music with endless, mind-numbing solos that went on for days and Trout was guilty of that too. But here; he keeps everything in check; much like the Freddie King protégé Allison did and makes every passionate note sound as if it was going to be the last one he was ever going to play. Bad Love is a perfect example as Trout sounds like he’s going to cry as he forces the words out and his guitar playing teases towards ‘rock’ but never actually ventures over the line.

Any song titled Low Down and Dirty is going to get my attention and boy; is this one worth listening too as it swings and sashays like a fat lass on a Friday night.

The absolute highlight of LUTHER’S BLUES is Walter’s version of Allison’s signature tune, Cherry Red Wine and while it’s not actually note for note faithful to the original; as Trout pouts his very own note bending stamp on it; and will rekindle many a Blues fire among the Rock fans who buy his work these days.

While Luther actually recorded an album (on Motown of all labels) called Luther’s Blues; this album is made up of 11 tracks from across his career and might even equate to a Best Of; plus Trout closes the set with a very personal slow and soulful tribute with, When Luther Played the Blues which has playing and singing from deep within his heart and might be one of his finest moments on record.

www.waltertrout.com       www.luther-allison.com      Released USA June 11th  -  Europe June 10th

www.nodepression.com


Walter Trout - Luther's Blues - A tribute to Luther Allison

23 May 2013 // release date: 10 Jun 2013 // label: Provogue

Reviewer: Andy Snipper  www.music-news.com

I have lost count of the number of times I have included the line “mentored by the great Walter Trout” in a review of some new young fireball: Trout is a man who has been generous with his time and with his talent. This album shows part of the reason – he was influenced and mentored by one of the greats himself – Luther Allison.

Of all the peaks in Trout’s trajectory, his abiding memory of the late Chicago bluesman is perhaps the most literal. It’s 1986, and high above Lake Geneva, at the palatial Alpine chalet of late Montreux Jazz Festival Svengali Claude Nobs, lunch is being served. “So we’re up at the top of the Alps,” Trout recalls, “in this big room with John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and as we’re eating, Dr. John is serenading us on acoustic piano. I was sat there with Luther Allison, and we had a great talk.

“Luther was one of the all-time greats” Trout continues. “It was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. The energy and commitment that guy had - he was one of a kind. We played together once, at the Jazz Fest that year, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. That photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died in 1997, the idea of the album was planted in my brain." 

So we get Walter Trout playing numbers made famous by Luther Allison and the result is – inevitably superb but remarkable in that you begin to get an insight into how a Blues guitarist is made because you are listening to pure Walter Trout but as much as that you are also listening to Allison with all his passion and energy.

 It’s a potent mixture and Trout sounds as though he is desperately trying to do justice to Allison’s music.

“At times, I ask myself if I have taken on too much here?” admits Trout. “Like, am I actually capable of doing justice to this? To me, Cherry Red Wine is one of the all-time greatest blues songs ever written, and Luther’s original version is so unbelievably passionate and emotional that even to sing it was a daunting task. If I had my way with this album, it would reignite interest in his work, make people go back and check out the originals.”

I will admit that I hadn’t realised how much of a talent Luther Allison was and the result of listening to this album is that I have started to go back and explore his ‘stuff’ and great it is. But I have been listening to Walter for years and where he takes Luther’s music is even more so.

The callow youth that first heard Luther Allison in ’86 is now a grizzled veteran but he has his own sound and while this album definitely sparks interest in one of the greats it also stands alone as a cracker of a Blues album in its own right.

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www.music-news.com


Walter Trout Kicks it up a Notch With Luther’s Blues

BY CASEBEER – MAY 18, 2013   www.americanbluesscene.com

Just gonna toss this out there and get it out of the way. Walter Trout is a force to be reckoned with on the guitar. Not like you didn’t already know that but he seems to have catapulted himself up to another level. This level is being considered more than just a shredder. Of course, he’s been considered one of the finest unsung commodities in the music industry for quite a while now by some of us on the inside of the blues. We are well aware of what he is capable of when a guitar is placed in his hands. He just destroys. We’ve had the opportunity to see him do this from a few feet away and would highly suggest you do that too! Guitar aside for just a second though, his vocals on this release are better than they have ever been.

 On Luther’s Blues, to be released in June, Walter Trout & His Band pay homage to another fantastic musician that we have enjoyed for years, Mr. Luther Allison. The album starts out fast and furious with the throttle mashed all the way to the floor with “I’m Back”, just the way Allison would have wanted it but they also mix in some great slow stuff. “Cherry Red Wine” comes next and delivers an intoxicating dose of audio excellence. Trout’s vocals are absolutely perfect for this song selection and as we mentioned earlier, so much is always said about his axe capabilities that his pipes are often over shadowed. He belts out the tunes such as “Freedom” & “Chicago” with great power and digs deep for the soul. On “Chicago”, the bass line drives hard and the band builds the song into a frenzy at the end. Just the way we like it around here. Then, after that thrill ride, Walter and the band walk it way back down with the heart-wrenching soul blues gem “Just As I Am” and the vocals are once again fantastic. The musicianship front to back is top-shelf, the bass lines are thick and are at one with the drums. “Pain In The Streets” has got it all, the haunting Hammond accessorizing some seriously tasty licks and Walter is showing off more of his killer blues voice.

 Trout and his production partner Eric Corne have put together what could well be the blues release of the year, in our opinion. The bar has been set extremely high. It really has something for everyone, no matter what kind of blues you are into. We’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite on here, Tracks 1 through 13 are as good as it gets and the whole album flows real nice.

 Bottom line is this is a brilliant piece of work and I would stop what you’re doing now and order this album. You can thank us later and we’ll make it easy for you: Click here

www.americanbluesscene.com


WALTER TROUT: “LUTHER’S BLUES.” (PROVOGUE) Rated 10/10

May 10, 2013

UK RELEASE DATE 10.06.2013 When I heard that veteran US blues man Walter Trout was making his first ever covers record - all Luther Allison songs - I had mixed feelings. I thought it might be something best left well alone, as Luther was such an individual guitarist and American blues artist, sadly missed by us all after he died from lung cancer in 1997. There was only one Luther. Plus; Walter is known mainly for his hard- edged rockier side of the blues. Signed to Motown in 1972 for three albums, the only blues artist on the label, Luther made over a dozen albums in Europe. He left school in 1957 and formed The Rolling Stones, but didn’t feel it was a strong enough name for a band, so changed it to The Four Jivers! I photographed him maybe 18 months before he died, and he really was a towering musical force. I’d not seen or heard such a display of fretboard fireworks, soul-blues vocal and absolute command of a room, since I worked with the likes of Albert Collins, Albert King and indeed BB King. But I need not have worried about this CD. It is a magnificent job and perhaps a career defining moment for Mr T? I have seen him circa four times over the years, and can sometimes have too much of his loud and “in yer face” style of rockier blues – a former member of Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – but he has done much to spread the blues gospel around the world and is a huge talent. But here he squeezes every ounce of emotion, soul, passion and sweetness from the guitar and from his vocals. A very pleasing side to the man. I believe on these 13 tracks, we get the best vocal and guitar performances he has probably ever delivered on record.

That was the thing with Luther. One minute caressing you with a sweet, pain-filled soul meets blues vocal, and the next he could rip your spleen out with that ferocious attack on guitar. He was always light and he was always shade. But most of all, he was ALWAYS Luther. He never borrowed licks. Ever.Walter does the very same here. He doesn’t try to BE Luther. He is very much his own man on Luther’s songs, with huge restraint in approach. Respect and love for the man oozes out of every note, every nuance, and every vocal breath. Walter Trout’s story is equal parts thriller, romance, suspense and horror. There are musical fireworks, critical acclaim and fists-aloft triumph, offset by wilderness years and brushes with the jaws of narcotic oblivion. Of all the peaks in Trout’s trajectory, his abiding memory of the late Chicago bluesman is perhaps the most literal. It’s 1986, and high above Lake Geneva, at the palatial Alpine chalet of late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs. Lunch is being served. “So we’re up at the top of the Alps,” Trout recalls, “in this big room with John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and as we’re eating, Dr. John is serenading us on acoustic piano. I was sat there with Luther Allison, and we had a great talk.”“Luther was one of the all-time greats. It was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. Just the energy and commitment that guy had, he was one of a kind. We played together once, at the Jazz Fest that year, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. And that photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died in 1997, the idea of the album was planted in my brain.”For me, the one thing that binds Trout and Allison together, apart from the obvious blues genre; is that sense one gets as a member of their audience, that their lives depend on giving us a truly great performance. Night after night, gig after gig, tour after tour, venue after venue, big or small. No matter what shit they are going through off stage. Once they are plugged in and in front of the fans, it's showtime and nothing less than their best will do. Luther always gave, and Walter always gives 100% on stage. Well, that is also true here on this record. It sounds like he gave his all, from his heart and his soul on an absolute labour of love. It really is an outstanding record and deserves a Grammy nod for this fitting tribute to a true blues one-off. Luther would be proud.

Words SIMON REDLEY

SOURCE: www.bluesandsoul.com


Walter Trout's Tribute to Luther Allison

By Reverend Keith A. Gordon, About.com - Blues Guide

May 3, 2013

Over the course of a storied career that has spanned better than four decades and almost two-dozen recordings, Walter Trout has proven himself to be a damn fine blues guitarist. But Walter, too, has his heroes, foremost among them the late, great Luther Allison. On June 11, 2013 Provogue Records will release Luther's Blues, Trout's first ever covers album and a heartfelt tribute to his friend and inspiration. Featuring twelve red-hot performances, Trout has attempted to capture the electricity that surrounded Allison's best work and shot from his fingertips while also introducing a new generation to the great guitarist's incredible catalog of material.

In a press release for Luther's Blues, Trout reveals, "I've thought about doing this album for years. Luther was one of the all-time greats, and it was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. Just the energy and commitment that guy had, he was one of a kind. We played together once, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. And that photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died (in 1997), the idea of this album was planted in my brain."

Luther's Blues was recorded at Entourage Studios in Hollywood, California with producer Eric Corne, who also chaired Trout's best-selling 2012 album Blues For The Modern Daze. The recording of the album was off-the-cuff and inspired. "Spontaneity is so important with this sort of music," says Trout. "Everybody was saying, 'Well, aren't you gonna get together and rehearse?', but you don't want to over-analyze or get too sterile. This album was all pretty much first or second takes. It's gotta have warts on it. It's gotta have a bit of grease in it."

Luther's Blues Track List:

CD and DOUBLE VINYL LP have the same tracks

1. I'm Back
2. Cherry Red Wine
3. Move from the Hood
4. Bad Love
5. Big City
6. Chicago
7. Just As I Am
8. Low Down and Dirty
9. Pain in the Streets
10. All the King's Horses
11. Freedom
12. Luther Speaks
13. When Luther Played the Blues

Source: About.com - Blues

Top photo by Brittany Fay, both photos courtesy Provogue Records

 


Blues For The Modern Daze - Blues For The Modern Daze - Walter Trout

Sep 28, 2012

Blues For The Modern Daze - Walter Trout

Loud, proud, and with thirty-nine years of musical experience locked in its grooves, 'Blues For The Modern Daze', is Walter Trout's twenty-first solo album. MORE...


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 26, 2012

Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze

Walter Trout's 21st release will please old fans and bring new ones. Just as Robert Cray has done, Trout is advanc- ing the blues into the 21st century - and not with updated cover tunes or 12-bar retreads. Rather he mines the modern world for topics, and family is the key.

On tunes "Saw My Momma Cryin'" and "Brother's Keeper," Trout explores the effects of hard economic times, while "Turn Off Your TV" and "Blues For My Baby" look at what the elec- tronic age has done to relationships.

As with a lot of today's country mu- sic, modern blues is much more a meld- ing of uptempo rock music with the traditional sounds of the older version. That is certainly true here, and Trout delivers a high-octane blues experience that moves the music forward but with a tip of the hat to the past.
Lyrics can be somewhat trite in the blues idiom, but Trout has something to say. Or rather, sing. His vocals are heartfelt, and delivered with an expres- sive, gravelly voice that can morph from whisper to shout with intensity and angst.

Using a Fender Stratocaster as his axe of choice, Trout takes extensive solo turns on most of the cuts and reminds listeners that he served in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and was for a time a member of Canned Heat. His fierce attack on the instrument, coupled with the percussive sound he gets from his Strat, means that sometimes his fleet-finger solos are close to the edge of musicality. But they never quite go over the top.

Trout mixes in the occasional acous- tic number to change the mood, and his pacing is such that the overall results closely capture a live performance. Recording and mixing are fine, with the vocals out front and the guitar singeing the speakers while the lyrics speak to your head. - Eric C. Shoaf

Trout mixes in the occasional acous- tic number to change the mood, and his pacing is such that the overall results closely capture a live performance. Recording and mixing are fine, with the vocals out front and the guitar singeing the speakers while the lyrics speak to your head. - Eric C. Shoaf

www.vintageguitar.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 18, 2012

4-star review of Walter Trout's new album published in the new issue of the UK's roots, folk and blues magazine, "R2: Rock N Reel".

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 02, 2012

You can go home again... to the blues 
By MIKE CHAIKEN

Sometimes you have to go home again.

And that's what Walter Trout did musically with his latest album "Blues for the Modern Daze."

After two decades plus of mining a sound that built upon the blues, without really being the blues, Trout has found his way back to where he started... hard core blues.

Walter Trout performs at Bridge Street Live next Wednesday.

In a phone interview, Trout said he started off as sideman playing the blues with the likes of Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker. The guitarist later ventured off to be a full- time member of blues groups such as Canned Heat and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.

But when he went solo, Trout said he decided he wanted to branch out. There was a touch of the blues in his solo work,. But he wasn't strictly the blues.

But after 20 albums, Trout said he had a longing to play pure blues once again. "To go back to what I do best," said Trout. Even though some

time has passed since Trout played pure blues, "It felt so natural."

The album came together quickly, said Trout, wrapping up in a mere two weeks.

The new album, although, it is the blues, doesn't touch upon the typical themes of the blues. The songs, as evidenced by the album's title, focus on the hazards of these mod- ern times.

When asked why he opted to take that particu- lar focus for the new mate- rial, Trout shared a story about a "crazy" ex-girl- friend he had back in 1976- 77.

Trout said the girl- friend wasn't a big fan of the blues. But she told him if he was going to sing the blues, he should stay away from two themes. One theme was, "My baby left me, I'm bummed out." And the other theme went something like "I'll buy you a Cadillac" if you sleep with me.

Trout vowed that he would stay away from both. And even though the crazy ex is long gone, Trout has kept that vow.

The decision to write about the modern world and what's going on, said Trout, was inspired by his old band leader John Mayall. Mayall, explained Trout, was always in tune with the current world situ- ation when he wrote his songs. For example, in 1969, Mayall wrote a blues song called "Nature's Disappearing," in which he tackled the environmental woes of that time.

When Trout heard how Mayall was able to expand the traditional topics of the blues, he said to himself, "This is cool."

Through the years, Trout said he has found a lot of inspiration from tak- ing this approach to song writing.

And when it came to pull together "Blues for the Modern Daze," he didn't want it to be stuck to the two themes he had cited earlier.

One track that stands out as a commentary on the modern day is "Lonely." The track's lyrics describe how people have their head's down texting people not in the room and talking loudly on their cellphones everywhere they go.

The song was based on a true story, said Trout.

Trout explained he was on tour and the bus stopped at Starbucks in an Illinois college. Half of the people in the place had their head down focused on the screen of their cell phone. The other half were screaming into their cell- phone.

"No one was talking to each other," said Trout, "except for me and my band."

"They were all wrapped in electronic com- munication," said Trout.

Looking at his sur- roundings, Trout said hestarted to scribble out the lyrics for "Lonely" on a napkin.

In press materials, Trout cites Blind Lemon Johnson as an inspiration for the current album. But it wasn't because of what he played but how Johnson was able to tell a story with his music, said Trout. "I was trying to tap into the essence of what the guy was doing... It was simple, emotional and spiritual." Trout said Johnson could reduce him to tears with his music "almost to the point of not speaking."

And what will happen when the guitarist arrives in Collinsville. Trout said fans can expect to hear lots of the new album.

The reason? "We wrote that album to be done live."

Walter Trout plays Bridge Street Live, 41 Bridge St., Collinsville on Wednesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 or $35. For more information, go to 41BridgeSt.com or WalterTrout.com

Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - Clarity In The Modern Daze

May 02, 2012

CLARITY IN THE MODERN DAZE: AN INTERVIEW WITH BLUES ICON WALTER TROUT

By Jeb Wright

Walter Trout has never been on MTV. He's never been a rock star. He does not have a marketing team on his payroll and he doesn't pay a wardrobe person to choose how he dresses on stage. He does, however, have a lot of fans.

Trout is one of the top guitarists in the blues/rock genre and with each album he gains more momentum. He recently released his 21st album, titled Blues in the Modern Daze, and it may just be the most complete album he has ever written. Now in his ‘60's, Trout is taking time to deliver very personal songs about his hard upbringing and his subsequent addictions, and songs on how he sees the world, now that he achieved wisdom.

Read on to get to know Walter Trout a little bit better than you did before. Trout, as usual, hides nothing up his sleeve and freely shares his triumphs and tragedies, hoping to help someone else along the way. In between, he tears it up on the guitar, leaving one in awe of his nature talent.

Jeb: I am enjoying the new album. Musically, there are a ton of great solos, a few songs that the Traditionists will even like and, lyrically, you really are laying it out there.

Walter: I think all of my records are very personal. If I go clear back to my first album, then I can say that every one of my songs has a story behind it. This one, I really almost set out to be an observer of what is going on in the world, almost like a reporter. I just sang about what I see going on in the world through my own eyes.

I wasn't sure if I should even use all of the lyrics. For instance, on the second song, "Lonely," I talk about Facebook and cell phones; I actually wrote that song at a Starbucks on a napkin. I showed it to my wife and I said, "Look at this, I can make a song out of this but it is kind of weird." She said, "No, it is great; go ahead and do it." I did it and it started me on the path, lyrically, to where I expanded my horizons on this album.

Jeb: I need to know how you came to be writing lyrics at a Starbucks on a napkin.

Walter: My final vice in my life, I've been clean and sober for twenty-five years, is strong coffee. When I get up, I want a double Espresso. The first thing the band and I do in the morning is to seek out a place where we can have a double Espresso to start off our day. I have a really nice machine in my house so I can have one when I am at home. Once I have my double Espresso then I am done with my coffee for the day but I need that one in the morning.

We got up that morning and we were in Illinois or Iowa...I think it was a college town because the place was full of people. I ordered and I was standing there waiting to get my coffee and there are people standing behind me and they are yelling in my ear. I turned around to see that they all had these Bluetooth things sticking out of their ears. I thought that they were all mentally ill and were talking to themselves before I turned around and realized that they were talking on a phone implanted in their ear. I looked around and nobody else in the place was talking, as they were all staring at computers. No one was talking to the person next to them and I just thought that it was weird. I'm from a different era. The band and I get like to get our coffee and sit down at a table and actually talk to each other. I grabbed a napkin and wrote the lyrics.

Jeb: You are not a technological guy, I take it.

Walter: I have had a theory for years that with every step we take forward with the next technological advancement, society takes a step backward, in certain ways. With each bit of progress that the world makes there is something that is given up. Granted, the internet and cell phones are expanding our means of communicating, but it also seems that people now need this electronic medium between them in order to communicate with others. I know a guy who wanted to invite his neighbors over to dinner and he sends them an email. I would just go over and actually invite them, face-to-face. I think this is all such a weird phenomenon.

Jeb: I have texted my wife when I am in the living room and she is in the kitchen and asked her to bring me a soda.

Walter: [laughing] See what I mean? There is an old movie called Inherit the Wind and it is about the Scopes Trial in Tennessee in the 20's. Spencer Tracy, the old actor, has one line where he says, "You can have airplanes now, but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline." To me, that sums the whole thing up.

Jeb: I get the title of the album, Blues for the Modern Daze now.

Walter: Technology is exploding at an incredible pace. You get a cell phone and less than a year later it is obsolete. I do not see where the technology is doing anything to increase our understanding, or our tolerance, of each other. I don't see it doing anything to increase our humanity. It just makes it easier for intolerant and violent people to find each other.

In other ways, I see how it is a great thing. My mother was a librarian and was surrounded by all of this information. Now, you have all of the information in the world at your fingertips, but I don't think that, alone, is making the world a better place. I would say it is making it an easier place.

Jeb: I think, musically, this album is very diverse, within the framework of the blues.

Walter: When I decided to write this album I wanted to be diverse. As you said, there are even a few songs that the Traditionalists might hear on the radio, and hear that they just listened to a song by Walter Trout and say, "Oh no, it can't be him." There are many ways you can do the genre of the Blues. There are many subcategories that you can explore. I really tried to keep the songwriting on the album very simple. There are no attempts of me trying to be clever on this album. In a certain sense, it framed me in when I decided to get rid of some of the bells and whistles and shit and just plow ahead.

Jeb: This may be one of your best albums. I think this may be my overall favorite Walter Trout album.

Walter: Why thank you, it is mine too. I have listened to this a lot and I am still feeling it. This is my 21st album. When people ask me, "What is your favorite album?" I say, "My 22nd album." I want to keep growing; I don't want to go backwards. I think this album is coherent as a statement from beginning to end and I think if flows. It goes in a lot of different directions and, in that way, it is like my live show. In my live shows I have always tried to take the listener on, what I call, The Rollercoaster. I want to take the audience through the ringer, emotionally. I want to take them on a journey and this record does just that.

Jeb: The opening song, "Saw My Momma Cryin'" is a great song. Is that a true story?

Walter: That song is a tribute to my mom. She raised me by herself. I had a step-father, but he had a lot of mental problems stemming from being a prisoner of war in World War II. He had been tortured, and he became a violent, alcoholic type of man. I loved the guy beneath all of that, but his problems meant that there was a lot of violence and abuse. We would run and move around to get away from him, but he would find us, apologize and then my mom would take him back. There was a lot of traumatic stuff going on. She struggled and did her very best.

A friend of hers heard the song and said, "Walter, the lyrics are sad but the music is not sad." When I think back to my mom, I don't get sad. I am thankful for what she did for me. She supported my efforts in music and she was always behind me. She believed in me and I was very happy that I got to have her as a mom. Today, on the band's Facebook page, I posted a live version of that song.

Jeb: Talk to me about "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Walter: I used to live with this lady and she always watched that show with Robin Leach. I would look at her and say, "Why are you watching this bullshit? It just makes you envious and not like your own life." One day, I told her, "I wish that just one time this guy would go out and do a show on ‘The Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown."

When it was time to do this record, as an observer of what was going on, I wanted to write something about the housing crisis, and the mortgage crisis, and how the bankers got us into this by giving people loans that they knew they couldn't afford and that they could not pay back. They put them in these houses that they couldn't afford and then they go and take the houses back and put these people out on the streets. I wanted to do it with a humorous slant. The song is kind of in the tradition of someone like Willie Dixon, who did a lot of tongue-in-cheek that had a play on words.

I have always had this thing in my band where after we do a gig we go, "Well, we're big time." I threw that in the song in the second verse.

I will tell you a story that I've never told anyone outside of my family. When I was 15 years old, I had to get out of that place, with the crazy guy. I decided to go to the Jersey Shore, which is where my biological dad lived. It was 3:00AM and I was a kid - I might have been 14. I hitchhiked into this town called Pleasantville, which was basically a ghetto. A car load of young black guys drove up and I thought that I was probably going to die, as it was, like I said, in the middle of the night, on a Saturday night, in the ghetto and I am 14 year old kid. They drive up and this kid leans out of the window and says, "Where you going?" I say, "I'm going to Ocean City." He looks at me, and then he looks at his buddies, and he says, "You're walking to your destination" and they all laughed and they took off. So, I put that line in the song. Right after that experience, I found a phone booth and called my dad and he came and got me [laughter].

Jeb: The song "Recovery" is very dear to your heart. I, too, have been clean and sober for years. It was very cool to hear a song written from the perspective of long term recovery. Most songs about addiction are more about the early days when life sucks.

Walter: I talk about how, at first, I tried to deny it and then I sang that sometimes I still get the craving. Anybody like us, who has been at it a long time, for years, knows that they still get the craving, once in a while. I will be at a gig and somebody is drinking a beer and I think, "God, I'd like to have a beer." I am honest enough with myself to know that if I have that bottle of beer then I am going to have to have a line of blow. If I have that line of blow then I am going to have to have a bottle of whiskey. I know that I just can't start.

I laid it all out there in that song and it is a very personal number. I played it for my gardener, who has about four years clean and sober. He was working on the front lawn one day and I said, "I want you to hear this song." He listened to it and the man broke down and started weeping. I think that song is, hopefully, going to speak to some people and mean something to them.

Jeb: I love the guitar solo in that song, as well.

Walter: In that song, I do a solo where I do a double lead, a guitar harmony, and that was an attempt to, musically, do the ‘before and after'. I put a lot of thought into that one instead of just doing a solo. I wanted it to be a musical representation of how the old you keeps walking right along side the new you, and how you can never forget that.

My sobriety day is July 9th. If I am doing a gig on that date, then I go up to the microphone and say something like, "Hey everybody, as of today, I have 25 years sober." After the show, a guy always comes up to me and says, "How are you going to celebrate being sober 25 years?" I say, "I am going to celebrate by going out tonight and getting totally shit-faced!" They go, "NOOO!" I laugh and tell them, "Don't worry, it was just a joke, man. I'm not going to do that."

Jeb: Sometimes, I think that a lot of people who relapse, just don't wait long enough for the miracle to happen.

Walter: I've got to be honest; I just couldn't imagine getting fucked up now. For instance, when I play gigs in Holland, and the place is so full of pot smoke that, after about an hour, I start feeling it. I start feeling a little effect and I actually hate it. I hate not being in control of myself. I, then, get paranoid and start thinking, "What if the place catches on fire?" I am not even stoned; I'm just getting a very small feeling of it because I am standing in a cloud of the stuff. I hate it. I want to be very fine tuned into what is going on around me at all times. I can't imagine getting fucked up and really being out of control. I have a lot going on now, however. I have a good career going and I have a beautiful family. I, now, have everything that I've ever wanted out of my life. I am 61 years old and having the best time of my life. I just can't imagine fucking that all up.

Jeb: Who is the song "Puppet Master" about?

Walter: It could be your boss, or it could be the people who run the country. It is not about anybody in particular. It is about people in authority and power and who have a heavy hand over those underneath them and demand obedience and authority and then, when they don't need you anymore, they just toss you away. It is a symbolic song. It was a poem that I had written. When I tried to expand it into song lyrics I had trouble making it into a song. My producer decided that we would just put some weird music behind it and that I would just recite it and then we would put "Money Rules the World" with it.

Jeb: Another song I want to talk about is "You Can't Go Home Again." I moved away from where I grew up at age sixteen and I get nostalgic about it.

Walter: You want to go back but when you get there you discover that it is not the same place you left. I wrote that song, specifically, for somebody that I don't want to name. I am very close to this person and they go through these very romantic ideas of where they grew up. When they go visit that place, after about a week, they can't wait to get the hell out of there and get back to California. It is a direct message to that person.

Jeb: Do they know it is about them.

Walter: No, that is why I won't name them [laughter].

Jeb: In the songs that contain your social commentary, I hear a lot of discontentment in your voice.

Walter: I think you hear that because there is a lot of discontentment in there. I am 61 years old and I am an old hippie. Back in the ‘60's, it was the Age of Aquarius and all of that bullshit and now we are passing the world off to the next generation and it is much more screwed up than it was when we got a hold of it. We didn't do so good. I find that the world is in a sad condition. This country, whether you're a right winger, or a left winger, is in a bad way, as nothing is getting done. There are people in the government that are only concerned about achieving power.

I am afraid that this country is turning into The Corporate States of America; they are doing great. I saw, yesterday, in the news that while the unemployment rate is still up, and people are still struggling and losing their houses, Goldman Sachs reported that their profits doubled in the last year. Big banks and big corporations are doing better than they have ever done in history while everyone else is taking it up the wazoo. It is a no brainer if you would just look around.

Jeb: Getting away from music for a moment, do you think it is too late?

Walter: I don't know. The first thing that has to happen is that we need to get the money out of politics. My wife is from Denmark. She is a Danish citizen, as are my children. In Denmark, it is illegal for corporations to donate to political parties and to political candidates; it is against the law. They understand that if a corporation gives a candidate a million bucks and then that candidate gets elected that they owe the corporation something. My wife does not understand the entire concept of lobbyists. In her country, if some corporation lobbied like we do here, then he would go to prison. The government is actually geared to the people there.

I find it interesting that the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street actually want the same thing, which is to get this country in order and give power back to the people of the country. They have different philosophies of how to do it but the ultimate message is the same.

I love this country. I grew up in Philly. My mom took me to see where the Constitution was written and we went to every single Revolutionary battlefield that was around. I want to see Democracy reborn. When I vote, I want it to have meaning. I don't want it to just be a facade.

Jeb: Let's end this interview on a positive note. Even with all of our issues in this country, we still have you playing live music across the land. You either love playing live, or you're as good an actor as Spencer Tracy.

Walter: You got the first one right; I love playing live. The greatest thing in my life is getting up and playing music in front of people. I am getting ready to take this album out on the road. I start the new tour May the 5th in Oklahoma and I will pretty much keep it going through November.

www.classicrockrevisited.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 02, 2012

Walter Trout "Modern Daze" Tour Dates
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon, About.com GuideMay 2, 2012

Blues-rock guitarist Walter Trout is hitting the road hard in support of his recently-released new album, Blues For The Modern Daze, which the Reverend says "is Walter Trout at his very best." Offering a little insight into the new album, in a press release for Blues For The Modern Daze, Trout says "my main inspiration for this album was the country bluesmanBlind Willie Johnson, an early blues innovator who recorded such timeless gospel informed blues numbers as "Soul of A Man" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine." His music is so beautiful, primal, direct and deeply spiritual that I wanted to feel it at my back when we were cutting these songs."
Trout continues, adding, "this album captures my interest in exploring a side of my music that's rooted in my first musical love, and it reveals something about me too. It sums up the thoughts and attitudes of somebody who is getting a little older and is feeling a little like he's a part of another era, with different values and a different perspective on life than often seem to be prevalent today. And I stand behind those values, like compassion, authenticity and honesty, as strongly as I stand behind my music."

As good as the record is, however, no mere magnetic tape can capture the energy and vitality shown by the man on stage, and if you like your blues somewhat edgy, guitar-driven, and with an intelligent populist slant, Trout is your man. Check him out when he comes roaring through your hometown.

www.blues.about.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 23, 2012

Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze (2012)
About.com Rating4.5 Star Rating
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon

Walter Trout's Blues For The Modern Daze

Guitarist Walter Trout has always been a working bluesman, a journeyman musician that dutifully put in his time with bands like Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, as well as playing behind legends like Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker before launching his own solo career in 1990. Through the years, and despite the ups-and-downs that a lengthy career will bring, Trout has seemingly remained humble, and always excited to climb on stage and perform.

A few years back, however, Trout began a transformation, subtle at first, but picking up steam through albums like 2008's The Outsider and the 2009 compilation Unspoiled By Progress, featuring the new track "They Call Us The Working Class." With the release of his 21st album, Blues For The Modern Daze, Trout's evolution seems complete - the singer, songwriter, and guitarist is now the populist voice of the blues, following in the footsteps of artists like Big Bill Broonzy, J.B. Lenoir, and Blind Willie Johnson, whose influence on these songs Trout has frequently cited.

Walter Trout's Blues For The Modern Daze

Blues For The Modern Daze opens with the scorching "Saw My Mama Cryin," a high-flying bit of bluesy social commentary that provides anguished insight into the working class struggle. Trout's tortured vocals convey heartfelt emotion while his guitar weeps and moans and screams with some intensity. Trout's solos here cut deep as the band delivers a solid groove, and the song rocks and rolls itself to an inevitable conclusion.

By contrast, "Lonely" is no less powerful a performance, the mid-tempo ballad-like rocker featuring a nuanced vocal turn and mournful guitar licks. Although it's a fine showcase for Trout's exemplary six-string skills, it's also a solid example of his songwriting chops and underrated, potent vocals.

The doom-and-gloomish "The Sky Is Fallin' Down" is a cautionary tale with a bonfire soundtrack that nearly rages out of control as Trout levels accusations and proffers his advice in the face of impending disaster, his dark lyrics matched by incendiary fretwork that threatens to ignite your speakers with its red-hot riffs, notes sparking from the fretboard. Trout's "Blues For My Baby" is a more traditionally-styled tune, with gorgeous piano tinkling behind the guitarist's smoky string-pulling. Close your eyes while listening to this one and you could easily believe that you're sitting in a West Side Chicago club circa 1964 or so listening to Magic Sam or Otis Rush wail on the blues.

Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous

For old-school classic rock fans, "Recovery" is a real find, Trout channeling his inner Robin Trower with a phenomenal six-string performance that matches Trower's swirling, Jimi Hendrix-inspired psychedelic-blues sound with a 1970s-styled, openly atmospheric blues-rock sound. A tale of romantic woe, "Recovery" literally wears its heart on its sleeve, the song drenched in the pathos of Trout's effective, emotional vocals and imaginative fretwork.

"Turn Off Your TV" is both insightful and humorous, Trout delivering a rollicking vocal performance above a slight boogie refrain, his lyrics pointing to the hypocrisy of commercialization and the overall absurdity of much of what one witnesses on the tube. Trout's guitarwork here is more upbeat and less provocative, delivered with energy and vigor while his hoarse vocals reinforce the song's themes.

Trout continues in his populist vein with "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous," a slow-burning blues tune with deliberately-paced guitar riffs and the constant joyful din of rolling piano notes on this reverse "rags-to-riches" tale that cautions the wealthy 1% that life isn't always a bowl of cherries, and that what goes up may one day come back down to earth. Trout's solos on the song are stunning, rich with tone and sharp-edged, infused with the spirit of the blues while still rocking hard.

Pray For Rain

The odd, albeit poetic spoken word piece "Puppet Master" offers Trout's somber vocals hauntingly applied above an evil keyboard riff, the brief interlude leading into the rampaging "Money Rules The World," a spot-on lyrical condemnation of the effect of unbridled wealth and corporate interference on the fate of the average person. A virtual theme song for the "Occupy" movement, Trout layers on the blues with delightfully-tortured guitarplay which frantically fire-dances above the song's locomotive rhythms. It's a 21st century rocker worthy of Hendrix but offering a contemporary blues edge.

"Brother's Keeper" is in a similar vein, a mid-tempo rocker with a gospel frame of mind that calls out the self-righteous in no uncertain terms, Trout's flamethrower guitar solos throwing fuel on an already out-of-control blaze.

The title track displays the Blind Willie Johnson influence that Trout mentions in talking about the album; the song's intelligent commentary delivered with a Delta blues vibe and gospel fervor. Trout's acoustic guitar gives way to squalls of cyclone-strength electric riffs, the singer shouting above an apocalyptic tango that reminds of Charley Patton's "High Water Everywhere" with doomsaying lyrics and powerful instrumentation.

The album ends with "Pray For Rain," a comparatively gentle performance delivered in an acoustic country-blues style that is no less effective for its seemingly innocent nature. Beneath Trout's spirited guitarplay and wailing vocals, however, you'll real concern and some metaphorical hard questions without easy answers.

The Reverend's Bottom Line

In the spring of 2012, a lot of words have been spilled out in print and online talking about Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball and the album's vague political and social commentary. While I'm not going to diss on the Boss, I'd argue that another New Jersey native has delivered the essential protest album of the year.

Walter Trout's Blues For The Modern Daze is smart, insightful, and 99% to its core, displaying an undeniable populist viewpoint while retaining the guitarist's trademark turbocharged blues-rock sound. As a songwriter, Trout has never been better, and his voicing of his social concerns - bolstered by an unbridled six-string rage - is delivered with plenty of heart and soul. This is Walter Trout at his very best, and we should all be listening... (Provogue Records, released April 24, 2012)

www.blues.about.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 22, 2012

Blues for the Modern Daze
Walter Trout
Label: Mascot Records
Release: April 24, 2012 Reviewed: April 22, 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love listening to the blues. I love listening to the classic blues tunes by the original artists as well as covers of the classics by a wide range of artists. However, I really get to jonesing when I hear some new blues - especially new blues that I think could become classics in their own right.

Walter Trout's 21st album, Blues for the Modern Days is just such a blues album. This album is chock full of future classics and is the kind of blues I would play if I could play blues guitar. I can't play the blues therefore I'm left to play vicariously through others - especially Walter Trout.

Sounding like it was recorded at the crossroads itself, Blues for the Modern Daze is the blues album of 2012. It's tight with intensity and drips with whiskey. It's down, it's dirty, it's gritty and it's great! In fact, when I first listened to this album a month ago, I felt like reacting like Snuffles the Floating, Treat Loving Dog from those old Quick Draw McGraw cartoons.

Every song on this album is great but here's the Boomerocity short list of favorites:
Brother's Keeper is on the top of the short or long list of favorites. The guitar work on this tune is especially lethal and should be registered as a deadly weapon. If I was writing a music dictionary, this song would be the definition of the blues. If this album was on vinyl, the space where this song is location would have already been worn smooth from playing. Love it!

Right on the heels of Brother's Keeper on the Boomerocity short list is Lonelyfor almost exactly the same reasons so I can't say much more than that. Man, I'm fighting the urge to float again just thinking about that tune.
The last tune on the Boomerocity short list of favorites is You Can't Go Home Again. It rocks, it rolls and is still one hunnert percent blues.

If you love blues, buy this album. It's that simple.

Randy Patterson

www.boomerocity.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 18, 2012

Walter Trout - Passionate About the Blues E-mail
Written by Alex Zaglin
Monday, 16 April 2012 01:18


Walter Trout is a Jersey Boy who relocated to the West Coast searching for opportunities to play Blues Music. I spoke with him about his new record, and also learned about his drive for success, literally (in a VW Bug!) and figuratively. 
Times Square (TS): You're a boy from the Jersey Shore; can you tell me about that background and how it influenced your music?

Walter Trout (WT): It was a great place to grow up. I still love it. I grew up in Ocean City and lived a block from the ocean. My grandfather was in charge of building the boardwalk and they still have a gold plaque up there with his name on it. Now I live in Huntington Beach, CA, and live a block from the ocean. I chose this town because it reminded me of where I grew up. There were tons of nightclubs to play in Jersey, all the way from Cape May to Asbury Park, and I did them all. I was in a well-known club band in the late 60's and early 70's, and we played all over there. There were some wild times back then, and I have some awesome memories.

TS: Did you experience culture shock when you moved out to California?

WT: I played in that band in Jersey for five or six years and made a decent living, but I wanted more. I came to the conclusion that I was either going to have to go to the New York of California. I worked in New York City singing jingles on commercials, and I thought it was kind of a small area for the music scene that would be hard to break into. I came out here to LA on a vacation and saw the massive area of the place. I saw that there was this incredible amount of clubs that were within a couple of hours away by car. I went back to Jersey and packed up my VW Bug with two electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, a Fender amplifier, a mandolin, and a trumpet. I had $150.00, and I took off I drove out to LA. I've been here since 1974.

TS: Your website says you're at a "creative and personal zenith." Can you elaborate?

WT: Somebody recently said to me, "this is your 21st album, which album do you think it's the best?" I said, "I think my 22nd is the best!" I hope that I'm going to be better in a year than I am now. I like to keep trying to improve. I like to try and stay vital and hardworking in my craft. I think this album is the best so far, but I hope that it's not downhill from here on.

TS: You've seen a big improvement in recording technology, right?

WT: I'm kind of old school. I don't really do the analog thing anymore, but I like to have my band go into the studio and play live. We set up in a big room where we can set up in a semicircle where we can look at each other. I keep the overdubbing to a minimum if I can help it. I think this kind of music is more dependent on the feel of the music much more than the technical perfection. If there's a little flaw here and there, musically, I tend to leave it in there. It adds humanity to the whole thing. The rawness is important in this genre.

TS: Your new record is called Blues for the Modern Daze, what did you have to adapt to make the sound more "modern?"

WT: What I decided to do was try to write an original blues album in the blues genre, but write my observations about the world we're living in and things I feel and believe. I also wanted to drill a little rock in there too so that people don't think it's too old-school and traditional. It's a play on words there, it is a little bit more modern blues, and a lot of the songs are concerned with 21st century stuff.

TS: What does your fan base look like?

WT: It's amazing, because as the years go on, I'm seeing more young people. Kids all the way down to ten years old want to hear guitar players, and I'm getting people up to 90 years old! There's quite a cross section!

TS: What can we expect from your upcoming tour?

WT: The shows will pretty much be based around the new record. I wrote the songs for them to play live. We'll still do some older stuff and blues tunes, but it's really going to be focused on playing this record live.

TS: What are some of your favorite venues?

WT: I've been asked that a few times, and I always give the same answer: the Paradiso in Amsterdam. It's a former church that's full of spirit and healing. Also, the sound in there is amazing. Every time we play there it's just amazing. They asked Keith Richards where his favorite place to play, and he also said the Paradiso. It's very special; I did my live DVD there, it's called Relentless.

TS: What does music mean to you?

WS: It means everything. When I was a kid, my childhood was quite insane. My mom was married to a guy who had been a Japanese Prisoner of War in WWII, and he had a lot of mental problems. We kept moving places trying to get away from him. When I discovered music, it became a refuge, therapy, sanctuary, and a way of expressing myself. It gave me self-respect, and it meant everything to me. I discovered the guitar at age ten, and that's all that's ever been there since then. A guy yesterday went on Facebook and said, "I'm a musician, but that doesn't define me." And I thought, well, it defines me!

Walter Trout plays a four-night gig at the Iridium May 18-21. For more info, go towww.theiridium.com

www.timessquare.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 17, 2012

Gotham Interview with Walter Trout, Round Two

This isn't my first time chatting with the great Walter Trout. So then why does it feel like it's the first time?

Trout is an ever-changing artist, always evolving, always maturing. Need proof? Next Tuesday, April 24th, Trout is releasing his 21st album in just over two decades, Blues for the Modern Daze. You're probably thinking, "How in the world could any artist released 21 albums without sounding stagnant?"

I don't have the exact answer, but I don't need it. I just sit back and point to Walter Trout. He is living proof. Album to album, he changes and he grows and he tries something new...Blues for the Modern Daze is his first 100% blues album. Twenty one albums into his career and he's still coming up with firsts.

Listen, I could sit here all day and tell you why Trout is one of the greatest guitarists alive today. How about I save you some time, though, and just let you find out for yourself. Check out the short montage of some of my favorite tracks from Blues for the Modern Daze, and then enjoy my chat with the living legend, Mr. Walter Trout.

And after you're done here, buy tickets to a show near you. You won't want to miss Trout live in action.

You're gearing up for the release of your new album, Blues for the Modern Daze, set to hit store shelves on April 24th. You're also gearing up for the country wide tour to support the album. What are you doing to prepare?

Right now, what I'm doing is I'm laying on my couch. That's about it. I just did 30 cities in a row over in Europe and I'm taking a short break. I just had a double espresso and an order of pancakes. I'm just going to take it easy here for a little while. Soon, I'll pack my suitcase again and pick up the band and here we go.

This is your 21st album...What's it like to sit back and realize that you've created more music than nearly anyone else around you in the industry?

I can tell you, when I was just in Europe, after I play I come out to the merchandise stand and I sign stuff for people. Every once in a while a guy will walk up and he'll have the 20 CD covers for me to sign. I'm signing them and I'm looking at them and I'm thinking, ‘My word, did I do all this?' I think back to the day when I couldn't get a record deal. I was struggling to get some record label interested in me, and now I'm signing 20 CD covers. I'm going, ‘Man, it's actually happened pretty quick.' It's gone by fast. I tour so much, and when I'm done touring my wife says, ‘OK, it's time to make another record.' But I can't complain. I wanted to be a musician. I'm a musician. I enjoy it.

Twenty one albums. You've been doing it for over two decades. But you're still experiencing "firsts" in your careers. Blues for the Modern Daze is your first pure, 100% all blues album. I've listened to the album front to back and I love it. I can feel your soul in it. What can your fans expect from this new album since it's a little different than what you've done before?

When it's me saying it's a blues album, my hardcore fans will understand that my take on the blues is a little different than "blues" players. This is my exploration of the genre. I refuse to do version number 85 of "Got My Mojo Working" and version number 163 of "Stormy Monday." A lot of guys out there when they say they're going to do a blues album they do the 15 blues songs that have been done to death. I wanted to write this album. Even though they're in sort of a blues genre and format, I tried to write songs about the world we live in and what I see going on. It's really my exploration of the genre. My take on it might be a little bit more rockin' than some people. That's just the way I approached it. It's my version of what it is.

When you say your version might be a little more rockin', that's completely obvious when fans see you live. There's no doubt the recording process is important to you, what with putting out 21 records. What role does touring play in your life and career?

When I first started playing in bands, back when I was like 16, the ultimate joy of all of this was getting up on stage with a band and play to people and look them in the eye as I play to them. When I see that the music is getting through to them and I'm up there on the stage, that is like air and water for me. That is something I need. That is something I feed off of in my life. The touring is incredibly important to me because it gives me the opportunity to play live to somebody. Stand up there with guitar in hand, play, and sing with everything I have. Hopefully, it's going to mean something to the listener.

Last time I saw you in New York, you played BB King's in Times Square. That was a great venue for your live show. This time around, you have a very special residency planned. Beginning May 18th, you play four nights in a row at the Iridium Jazz Club. Music lovers and guitarists know the importance of this club as it was the home of guitar legend Les Paul. He played there every Monday night up until his death in 2009. What's it mean for you to play at the Iridium?

That's almost a sacred place for a guitar player. Les Paul is the godfather of all of us who do this. I'm a Fender player, but Leo Fender didn't play the guitar. Les Paul not only invented the Les Paul guitar and multitrack recording and so much other stuff, but he was an unbelievable guitar player. That was really his thing. The fact that he played there up through his 90s, that makes it a shrine of the guitar for guys like me. To get to go there and do four nights in a row is a pretty amazing experience. I'm very excited about it.

You take on pretty specific subjects at times with your songs. On the new record, "Lonely" calls out people who waste time sitting in front of Facebook. "Money Rules the World," you say, well, just that...Money rules the world. Why do you decide to tackle modern and even political issues with your music?

I want to write about stuff I feel and stuff I believe. I'm affected by what goes on in the world. I'm not living in a bubble. I'm very in tune with what's happening and I try to be an observer of the world and I try to put my observations into songs. About a year ago, a young Italian stockbroker on CNN talked about the problems in Italy and the government. The stockbroker finally said, ‘Don't you understand governments don't mean anything anymore? The world is ruled by corporations and banks.' I watched that and I sat down and wrote that song in about five minutes. I would love to see the power in this country be in the hands of the people and not corporations. That's what I'm trying to say in the song.

Another specific topic is in your song "Recovery." You said that you hope this song inspires people who are going through the "same thing." Does this song about recovery come from personal experiences?

Definitely. Years ago, I went through severe addictions and alcoholism and the whole thing. I joined AA and still have a lot of friends there. I wanted to tell not only my story but their stories. That's what that song is. It's really an attempt at telling the story of going through addictions, going through recovery to get out of it, but also knowing that when you have an addictive personality, it's always there. It's always underlying everything you do. That's why the last verse says, "Sometimes I get the craving." That's always going to be there. As they say in AA, you go day by day. This July, it'll be 25 years for me to be clean and sober. But I know all I need is one drink and I'm back on the merry-go-round.

Wow. Congratulations on the 25 years.

Thanks, man.

On your website, you have an interview where you say that you like to think that you haven't hit your peak in life. What do you mean by that?

People will say to me, ‘This is your 21st album. Which is your best?' I say, well, I think my 22nd album is going to be my best. I'm looking toward tomorrow and not getting caught up in yesterday. I'm 61 and I know a lot of people my age who walk around like their life is over and they think back on their glory days of their youth. I think the best is yet to come. You've got to keep working and keep improving and keep growing. It makes life exciting.

Imagine how the world would be if everyone lived like that.

I just know I have to live like that. It keeps me excited to live that way.

Walter, thank you so much for your time. It's always a pleasure chatting with you. I'm looking forward to the shows at the Iridium.

You know, I've played there once before, last year. I fronted the Les Paul Trio. For three nights of the four night stay in May, I'll be appearing with my own band. On the fourth night, I'll be appearing with the Les Paul Trio.

Wow, that's great. I can't wait. Good luck with Blues for the Modern Daze. It drops on April 24th. I've listened to it and I love it. I think it is your best work and I can't wait to hear your 22nd album!

Thanks a lot, Chuck!

www.freegotham.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 15, 2012

Walter Trout

Blues For The Modern Daze

Review by Larry Toering
This is the 21st album Walter Trout has been involved in recording, but he only started making solo records in 1998. Before that (and since) he has been around with some of the best. He was in a version of Canned Heat in 1981, and then went on to play and record with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers from 1984 to 1989. This is an album that reflects a lot of things on Trout's mind as he grows a little older and captures certain significances that are both happy and sad, and puts them into great songs. Most of it is modern contemporary blues rock, but with plenty of traditional factors, as well. Throughout Trout does a killer job of mixing the two for this fine recording. He is a world renowned blues veteran who has been all over touring for 39 years, popular throughout Europe as well as America. This is the sixth recording he has done now for Provogue Records, from the Mascot Label Group. Some deep and very personal issues are covered, and it makes things all the more intense and interesting, coming from this very experienced artist.

Track by Track Review

Saw Mama Cryin
This opening track comes from deep down inside of Trout's personal life, as he tells his own story with no fear. He's backed by some hot straight forward blues licks to establish the overall vibe of this fantastic tune. The honesty comes through with every note, and you really feel what he's singing.


Lonely
Keeping the same groove this one is full of that modern touch for which Trout is going. With talk of electronic devices, Facebook and other comforts at public disposal that seem to detract from life as much as augment it. It's as if he is saying it must be lonely for those who choose to only communicate that way. More wonderful guitar playing is featured.


The Sky Is Fallin' Down
This is more of a shuffle with some great blues harp. The tempo is high energy and the whole thing is really worked up to a frenzy by the time Trout's guitar solo takes over. What a hot lead it is, as he solos away with seamingly effortless talent.This is a lot of fun. It is a killer display of virtuosity without stepping outside the blues box.


Blues For My Baby
Things get soft as a feather here with this nice little blues ballad. The vocals are very smooth and laid back, actually quite romantic in approach. This is a playful and soulful tune with a cool guitar motif and some piano to top it off. It's the longest track (one of several lasting more than six minutes each), so it serves as the token long-player. The feel is almost ragtime, with some cool guitar effects thrown into the mix. Still, it keeps mostly to roots, nothing modern in style.

You Can't Go Home Again
This one, on the other hand, is contemporary blues rock at its finest. The vocals and guitar are equally matched. While that's a case throughout the set, it really becomes apparent here. The vocals go up a notch in the process, making it all the more modern. This is where things start to really get killer.

Recovery
Taking things back down is not a bad idea when a track like this is involved. Trout goes deep into his own life to sing about his demons. One doesn't have to know that to feel the honesty coming through, as he lays it all out about his experience with addiction. It's a heartfelt effort with nothing but a positive message, played at a naturally slow pace. Lovely guitar lines enhance the melancholy feel of the tune with a shivering effect.


Turn Off Your TV
Taking the tempo back up a notch, this one has a title that pretty much speaks for itself. With a sort of country groove about it, this features humorous lyrics about too much TV being watched. This is yet another of the more modern accessible numbers featured here. This is probably the most purely fun track on offer.


Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous
A crunchy guitar intro begins this one, as they go back into a traditional blues. This is another sizzling hot track with some great piano backing.


Never Knew You Well
This is a great number with more of a soft rock feel. Although the vocals are smooth, they have a narrative storytelling vibe. Out of every track on the disc, this is one of the most satisfying modern numbers of all. It includes purely killer performances by everyone.

Puppet Master
Opening with a spoken voice telling what the puppet does beneath the master, this is just a forty second intro for the next track.

Money Rules The World
Instantly things go into a rocking wah wah guitar that proceeds to rip the ears apart, as Trout carries on about the root of all evil. This is one of the best moments found on the entire disc, and there are a lot of tunes here to compete with.


All I Want Is You
One slow traditional number seems to follow a faster modern one at every turn here, as things slow back down with this moody piece. It comes complete with a contagious warbling harp, and a slide solo. This is another one of the more captivating moments on offer, with some nice organ texture to add a bottom groove.

Brother's Keeper
Contemporary and fast once again is the ticket, and this time Trout lets loose with another long-player of stellar proportions. What a fine tune this is, about the relationship between brothers. Some of the best guitar work of the whole album is on display here with occasional volume swells. It's simply incendiary! This is another contender for the best number.


Blues For The Modern Daze
The title track is the most modern of them all, but starts off very traditional. In that way it tends to trick the listener before Trout goes into full on blues shred mode. Just after the mid-section he goes into a guitar vocal scat before repeating the chorus, and it has a cosmic effect. This is what the album is all about, as he comes on stronger than ever. Even the drummer is clearly having some of his best times here.

Pray For Rain
A slower closer could not exist, as this is by far the lowest tempo found here. It is placed most appropriately, as Trout pleads for rain at a very soft mumble that is very soothing and simply tops off the entire celebration of modern contemporary blues rock. It is an excellent closer to an excellent disc.

www.musicstreetjournal.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 15, 2012

WALTER TROUT, BLUES FOR THE MODERN DAZE
April 10, 2012 | by Admin
Being a well-respected blues journeyman carries a lot of weight with the title. The question is always, after years of blues guitar slinging, how do you interpret the genre this time out? If you're the writer, player, and singer, you have your job cut out for you.
Saw My Mama Cryin' is a slower paced piece with some clean guitar work. Lonely is a story/ballad, a tale of typical life on the road. The Sky Is Fallin' Down is a harp led slide played piece that affords tribute to the prophetic doomsday listeners out there. Blues For My Baby is a slow B.B. styled traditional piece with just enough piano, with some nice and quick licks thrown in. Recovery is a ballad that deals with personal issues that a lot of us can relate to. Turn Off Your TV is an upbeat direct statement to all couch dwellers. Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous uses piano and guitar to get explain sliding down from the top and hitting rock bottom. Puppet Master starts out in poem form and continues on in classic blues/rock formula. Money Rules The World is the rocker of the release with that nice "Jimi" feel. Blues For The Modern Daze deals with greed and delivers a warning. Pray For Rain neatly sounds like Delta blues, plain, simple, and straightforward.
Walter has written and performed virtually every style of blues and the blues/rock progression. As always, Walter offers up some traditional and also innovative guitar licks. One of his attributes is that he never muddies the song up with overkill string work, instead concentrating on minimal effects, and licks with maximum importance. A good idea always centers around a guitarist only using organ, piano, and harp as compliments, and not taking over a song. And as always, a natural storyteller, Walter openly shares his personal issues as well as his takes on relevant matters.
By RME

www.skopemag.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 09, 2012

Walter Trout's Blues for the Modern Daze - Top Shelf

The press release for Walter Trout's great new record, Blues for the Modern Daze, states that the album is his 'first pure blues album in 23 years as a bandleader.' So, you can maybe understand my surprise when I put on the CD and the first track sounded like a cool, lost outtake from Beck, Bogert, and Appice. This record rocks. It may be his 21st long player, but Trout sounds like a kid with something to prove, albeit a kid with 61 years of wisdom and experience.

"Well. you know, I played in a great power trio with Tim Bogert, and Bill Ward, the drummer from Black Sabbath back in '86 and '87," Trout states, "We played a lot at a bar right near my house in Huntington Beach, and I still have a great recording of a show we played together in Long Beach. We were called Blue Thunder, and for a while it looked like we might become really big, but...."

I knew that Trout had played with some of the greatest names in blues history, names such as John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulsom, Joe Tex, that he had joined the original Canned Heat in 1981, and then landed the ultimate blues guitarist gig - a slot in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers before going solo in 1989. I knew that famed BBC disc jockey Bob Harris had named him, 'the world's greatest rock guitar player,' in his bookThe Whispering Years, and that he had placed sixth on BBC Radio One's list of the Top 20 guitarists of all time. I hadn't realized that he almost went rock sensation with two of the most influential rockers in history.

"I had so many amazing jams with Tim, he was such a great, great singer and player," Trout said. "We did so many great old tunes, like Goin' Down, Howlin' Wolf tunes, Chuck Berry stuff, some really great times."

Blues for the Modern Daze is Trout's 21st album as a solo artist, and may just be his best. It defines everything that Walter has done over the last 23 years. His legendary six string gymnastics sit well amongst a diverse package of tunes that cover the gamut of blues for the twenty first century. 

Saw My Mama Cryin is the albums opening cut, and it flat out rocks. Recorded with his basic stage rig (a dependable Strat and a Mesa Boogie MK V), Trout's tones are huge, as are his lively licks, and his passionate vocals. This is the blues - but it's the blues as the blues exists in 2012, like Walter says, "I think that if Blind Willie Johnson was alive today, he'd have an electric guitar,  a bassist and drummer, and it would sound a lot like this."

Produced in North Hollywood by Trout and long time engineer Eric Corne, Blues for the Modern Daze features Trout's touring band of drummer Michael Leasure, bassist Rick Knapp, and keyboardist Sammy Avila, and they provide the guitarist with the perfect palette on which to paint his masterpiece.

"This record is the blues - just in the way that I interpret them. When I went solo, I tried a lot of different genres, experimented with many styles and approaches. I mean, the blues is a very wide umbrella, and this is my interpretation of the genre. The blues hasn't, and doesn't need to remain stagnant! The old stuff, well, I love all that stuff, but I don't feel the need to copy that. This album is like everything I have ever written and recorded - it's not an exercise in songwriting, it's personal, it's topical and timely."

Indeed it is - Lonely, the second track is a slow blues tune for our time. It tells the story of Walter standing in Starbucks, listening to the crowd talking all too loudly into their cell phones, but with no sense of connection. Topical and timely? You bet. Trout relates some good advice on blues songwriting given to him by a somewhat drunk and disturbed female friend some 35 years ago:

Walter relates,"She said that there were two things that I must, must avoid if I were to write blues songs. There were two themes I must absolutely avoid. First, I had to avoid, 'my baby left me, and I'm bummed out.' That was the first. The second, that was, 'I'll buy you a Cadillac, baby, if you'll sit on my face!'

"I've tried my best to stick by that, but really, I broke them both on this record! My wife is continuing her education and is pursuing a PhD. Well, she was somewhere at a seminar in Texas, and I did miss her, so I sat down and wrote, Blues for my Baby. Then I experimented with a Willie Dixon-esque take on the housing situation in this country for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. It's kind of a take on the whole 'great big Cadillac car' story! So much for the rules."

In keeping with the theme of modern problems, I asked Trout how his career was being impacted by the state of the recording industry and a world that downloads in lieu of purchasing. His answer was typically philosophical and measured with the wisdom of great experience.

"I have seen some changes over the course of my solo career," Walter states, "We used to do shows to advertise our records, in hopes of seeing big royalty checks from the record company. Today, we make records so we can then go out and do shows, and sell tickets. I just saw that Amazon is selling the new record for $9.99 - I don't make shit off of that. I try to explain to my kids, how vital it is to support the music they love by buying their records, but I know that a lot of downloading goes on. I think  that I am fortunate - blues rock fans are a bit more mature, and they enjoy getting to touch and see the records they buy. We've done a really nice job of packaging for this album, and I think the fans will really enjoy it, and it is a great value - nice photos, a cool booklet. This genre has really great and loyal fans!"

"I just did see something interesting on iTunes - it was a cover of a Led Zeppelin song by me that I knew I had never recorded. I bought it, and it was some terrible Led Zeppelin tribute band, and it totally sucked! I sent the record company several e-mails, but they haven't taken it down. It's not worth hiring a lawyer, and the way I look at it is that I worked awful hard for a long, long time, and I'm finally bootlegable!"

Trout comes across as a fellow who has worked hard, played hard, payed a great many dues along the road, and has lived to smile and tell the story.

I asked him about the obviously personal nature of the song, Recovery.

"Some would say that it's an overdone topic, I know I get a little tired of reading every other week about another celebrity that has written a book about how they lived through their addictions and came out the other side, but it's a true story. Recovery lasts forever. I was a heroin addict, I've been through it all, believe me - I've been sober for over 25 years, and I look at it every day, and still think about all the many friends I have had who didn't stop - they're mostly dead. I hope it might inspire people who are going through the same thing.

"When I get ready to do a new record, I often have a brief period where it's hard to get started - I get a little despondent, and think maybe that the ideas have dried up, that I can't do it. Then I hear the voice of my mother saying to me, very clearly, 'You are a musician. You make music, and it comes so easy and naturally to you.' After being on the road for eight or nine months, I'll take about a month off, then my wife reminds me that it's time to make a new record. I wrote this one in about three weeks, but I had worked out many of the lyrical ideas and concepts before that. Like Lonely - I had written that on a napkin while in line at Starbucks."

There are a great many other great songs on this album. Every tune is a memorable riff, a hummable melody, and several thousand great guitar licks that Walter Trout makes sound easy. I'll leave it to you, the listener, to get it and check it out for yourself. There are a great many treasures to be discovered, and I'll let you discover it in the same manner that I have. 

Blues for the Modern Daze is the best blues rock record that has found its way into my world thus far this year, and I would highly recommend you place your orders now. The record is full of great songs, Trout's always incredible six string wizardry, his gutsy vocals, and a boatload of great riffs and songwriting. He's about to embark on another year of touring, and doing what he does best.

I get it now. This is a blues record, it's just not an out of date replica of some old schtick. This is the blues as it lives and breathes today, and Trout is one of the finest bluesmen on the planet. If you've been a fan, you know of what I speak. If you're not, get this record and get on board.

SOURCE: http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/walter-trouts-blues-for-modern-daze-top.html

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 06, 2012

Provogue Records artist: Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze

I have been listening to the soon to be released cd, Blues For The Modern Daze by Walter Trout for a few weeks now. Why have I been holding out on you you ask? The cd isn't going to be released until April 24th but I gotta tell you...it's burning a hole in my pocket. I think that it may be his best effort...ever! The recording opens with Saw My Mama Cryin, which reminds me a lot of a tune from Jeff Beck's BBA album from the early '70's. The format and melody are totally different but the groove is there and Trout really digs in and grinds out a great blues rock track.Lonely is along the lines of an Albert King track. No, Trout doesn't play King licks. He plays Trout licks. It is really great to hear him take these solid tracks and play spontaneous guitar riffs over them in a manner that has such warm feel.The Sky Is Falling Down takes a Robert Johnson like riff and again follows a different path. Feeling something new to play has never been a problem for Trout and his versatility on this recording continues to satisfy. You Can't Go Home Again takes on an Elmore James and Trout muscles it around with the greatest finesse. Many have tried and failed but this is a winner. This may be my favorite track on the recording. Trout resists the chance to play every note that he knows and hold a 2000 lb tiger back for a great slow blues. Turn Off Your TV is straight Trout. It follows the formula that he's used on a number of his titles before and it's a straight forward butt kicker with an extended guitar solo.Lifestyle Of The Rich and Famous comes right out of Muddy's house and it's a great blues cooker. It even comes equipped with full on Muddy style slide and hammer on's... it's great!Never Knew You Well pulls out some guitar riffs that I haven't heard in Trouts repertoire before.I particularly like the harmonics bends that he uses near the end of the track. Money Rules The World is a great track with wah with hints to Jimi but updated... very cool! You want guitar...we got guitar!Brother's Keeper is on of those tracks...you know the ones... where Walter just takes a hold of the guitar and makes it cry for it's mama.... well..this is it!!! My only complaint... not even 7 minutes long! Blues For The Modern Daze is a blues rocker again with roots in the Band of Gypsies. This is a great song and you gotta want more! Pray For Rain is a short little acoustic number that Walter uses to close out the cd. Very effective finish.

In case you couldn't tell.. I think this cd is great! I may say that from time to time... but I never say it when I don't mean it. Get your copy the day it hits the stand... you'll love it!!

Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

http://www.bmansbluesreport.com/2012/04/provogue-records-artist-walter-trout.html

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Mar 26, 2012

WALTER TROUT Blues For The Modern Daze Provogue (2012)

 

Walter Trout's 'Blues For The Modern Daze' is the essential blues album he's threatened to make over the last five years and he's finally delivered. It's got everything his fans would want from great songs to great playing and lashing of vigorous licks that bring the songs alive.

Apart from being one of the leading rock-blues guitarists of his generation the prodigious Walter Trout is that rare thing, a blues artist with something to say. His songs have covered the full spectrum of the human condition and he's penned contemporary anthems such as 'They Call Us The Working Class' and the post 9/11 boxing analogy of 'Go The Distance'.

He's also had a dig at the star system on 'Next Big Thing', uncompromisingly tackled greed on 'How Much Do You Want', dealt with personal alienation on both 'Life in the Jungle' and 'The Outsider', and more recently searched for spiritual reconciliation on 'Common Ground'.

And while in the past he may have self deprecatingly described himself as 'too rocky for blues fans and too bluesy for rock fans', on 'Blues For The Modern Daze' he takes the next logical step and focuses on the consistency of his song writing to bring real substance to the CD.

He's lost the star guests and outside producer that populated 'Common Ground' to go toe to toe with his tour band in the studio. And under the watchful eye of co-producer Eric Corne, Walter has cut some of the most essential blues of his career The meticulous attention to sonic detail brings out the magical guitar tones, the light and shade of the arrangements and enough of Walter's innate fiery passion to match the rigorous prep work. And though this isn't quite the first blues album of his career - that would be to overlook the limited edition 'Hardcore Blues'- it certainly is Walter's most mature record reflecting his concerted push towards more personal lyrics since the 'Livin Everyday' album.

The insightful songs come with a new found restraint and polish to his playing without losing any of the expected spark from his long time road band. It's an album with a linear progression that works its way round powerful rock blues outings, deeply entrenched grooves, stripped down 12 bar blues and an intermeshing acoustic/ and electric tableaux, as all roads lead to the bulldozing rock-blues title track that gives the album its sense of resolution. Walter ducks and dives with a series of high intensity solos built from the ground up. He throws all his qualities into the song and mixes them with real emotion as his guitar becomes an extension of his vocal phrasing.

The live in the studio set opens with a moving ode to his late mum on 'Saw My Mama Crying', which is a de facto sister track to his earlier career 'Please Don't Go'. He explores love songs like 'All I Want Is You' and reflects on personal redemption on the beautifully produced and emotively sung 'Recovery'. Above all the conceptual core of the album unashamedly asks the big question as to where we're all headed.

And after nearly 40 years of road work and 20 as a band leader in his own right, Walter has grown as song writer to become a perceptive chronicler of our times. The album speaks to us on different levels, be it the rib tickling lyrics of 'Turn Off The TV'; 'Turnoff your TV, they're just trying to sell you shoes, perfume, cars & bubblegum, coco pops and booze', or via his crying guitar on the title track centre piece.

The combination of meaningful lyrics in a blues idiom played by a scintillating guitarist with his road tested band is a potent force making this 21st album of his career his best so far

Trout is an advocate of the 'Bob Dylan school of recording' which tries to capture the moment and feeling of a song and that is just what this album achieves. His solos burn on 'Saw My Mama Cryin', he explores blues balladry on 'Lonely' and he gets low down in the alley on the guitar and piano duet 'Blues For My Baby'.

There's some unexpected unison guitar on the beautifully conceived and lyrically adroit 'Recovery' and he digs deep for a sweeping acoustic/electric groove and whispered vocals on the caustic 'Never Knew You Well'. And then as in keeping with the album's theme, he delivers a towering blues on another outstanding track, 'Brother's Keeper'.

But Walter also rocks hard, delivering some trademark bone crunching rock-blues licks and potent sing-along bv's on 'You Can't Go Home Again' and saves his most fiery fret work for the self explanatory 'Money Rules The World', a song on which for the first time in memory he uses wah wah.

This is an album that veers between lyrical torment and instrumental beauty. And if you didn't quite get the message of the songs so far, Walter spells it out on the brief spiky narrative of 'Master of Puppets', on which the characters may change but the status quo doesn't. The message quickly segues into the piledriving rock-blues of 'Money Rules The World' on which drummer Michael Leasure delivers his most aggressive drumming of his Trout career, while Walter makes his guitar cry as only he can

'Blues For The Modern Daze' is a blues album with a difference. It's full of meaningful songs with personal and political integrity and is fuelled by inspired playing that is by turns aggressive, emotive, expressive and always burns with intensity.

Damn right Walter's got the blues! But he's thrown out the clichés, blown away the cobwebs, and reconnected the genre with our daily lives and jammed it to its maximum potential.

He's one part an observer, one part a messenger and primarily a guitarist who can make his instrument speak form the heart. 'Blues For The Modern Daze' is a landmark album, the work of a mature recording artist and a citizen of the world searching for the truth and playing some of the best music of his career as a result.

*****

Review by Pete Feenstra

www.getreadytorock.com


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Mar 22, 2012

 

Written by  on March 22, 2012 in March 22, 2012Music Reviews - No comments

Walter Trout

"Blues For The Modern Daze"
www.waltertrout.com
Style (Blues)

By the 21st CD, I'd expect a musician to have figured out what works for them and what doesn't. And what I'm hearing in the new CD from Walter Trout is outstanding, excellently written and performed blues and I'd say Trout figured it out in spades. In my ears this isn't the blues meant to be appreciated in a dark and smoky room contemplating the hard times of life sucking down Marlboro's. Instead, what's different and what I like about Trout's 21st release is "new life" and "invigorating freshness" that stands up strong and lively in more high key settings. Trout's guitar playing is skillfully focused fitting wonderfully with his mature and scruffy vocals. Sometimes 15 songs on a CD are way too much but 15 isn't enough when the songs are this awesome.

Rating 4 ½ (Hidden Gem)

Editor's Note: Walter Trout performs at the 7th Annual Simi Valley Blues Festival on Saturday, March 28. For more info log onto www.simiblues.org

www.allaccessmagazine.com


Blues For The Modern Daze - Press Reviews

Feb 13, 2012

 

Sonic Shocks Tumblr – Walter Trout Announces New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://sonicshocks.tumblr.com/post/17546952740/waltertrout

 

Trout on the Hook with New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://gettothefront.co.uk/2012/02/trout-on-the-hook-for-new-album-and-tour/

 

Get Your Rock Out – Walter Trout: New Album And UK Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://getyourrockout.co.uk/wp/spotlight/walter-trout-new-album-and-uk-tour-dates/

 

Bman’s Blues Report – Walter Trout Announces New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

www.bmansbluesreport.com/2012/02/walter-trout-announces-new-album-and-uk.html

 

Classic Rock Radio EU – Walter Trout: New Album And Tour Details (Feb 13)

http://classicrockradioeu.blogspot.com/2012/02/walter-trout-new-album-and-tour-details.html

 

Uber Rock – Walter Trout Talks About His New Album – “Blues For The Modern Daze” (Feb 13)

www.uberrock.co.uk/news-updates/92-february-news-updates/3992-walter-trout-talks-about-his-new-album-blues-for-the-modern-daze.html

 

Stereoboard – Walter Trout Reveals New Album And UK Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/170594/9

 

Music Mafia – Walter Trout Announces New Album and UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://musicmafiauk.blogspot.com/2012/02/walter-trout-announces-new-album-and-uk.html

 

Hardrock Hideout – Walter Trout Announces New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://hardrockhideout.com/2012/02/13/walter-trout-announces-new-album-and-uk-tour/

 

Broadway World – Walter Trout To Release New Album (Feb 13)

http://tunes.broadwayworld.com/article/Walter-Trout-to-Release-New-Album-423-20120213

 

Classic Rock And More – New Walter Trout Album And UK Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://classic-rock-and-more.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-walter-trout-album-uk-tour-dates.html

 

Here Comes The Flood – Walter Trout: New Album “Blues For The Modern Daze” And Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://blogger.xs4all.nl/werksman/archive/2012/02/13/735518.aspx

 

Gibson – Walter Trout Blues (Feb 13)

www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/News/walter-trout-blues-0213-2012/

 



 

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Reviews


Walter Trout: Luther’s Blues Review

Hard-hitting Chicago blues complete with swirling B3, gritty vocal performances, and in-your-face guitar. This is the best way to describe Luther’s Blues, the latest album from Walter Trout. This is the first cover album that Trout has attempted, and he does as well as can be expected, given that he has made a tribute album.

It is not easy to put together a good album of Luther Allison covers, but if there is one man who can do his work justice, it is Walter Trout. A brilliant guitarist in his own right who knows Allison’s music, Trout captures Allison’s classic Chicago sound while adding bits and pieces of his own musical innovation to the project.

“Cherry Red Wine” is one of the greatest blues songs ever written, and Trout’s version proves it. It is one of a handful of truly magical tracks, the others being “Chicago,” “Just as I Am,” and “Freedom.” Being a tribute album, there isn’t a great deal of variety, but all of the songs are compelling.

It is rare that there is a cover or tribute album that is really good, but, as Trout himself admits, the goal of this album is to lead the listener to Allison’s original recordings, and this album will most certainly do that. Allison’s stellar recordings set a very high bar for Trout to meet, perhaps an unfairly high bar, but a bar that Trout meets, and even exceeds it on a few songs. Trout does about as good of a job as possible on a tribute album, and should be recognized as having done so. Nevertheless, Luther Allison is Luther Allison and there is no substitute for the original recordings of these songs.

The Review: 7.5/10 

Can’t Miss Tracks
- Cherry Red Wine
- Chicago
- Just as I Am
- Freedom

The Big Hit
- Cherry Red Wine

Review by Nik Rodewald

www.bluesrockreview.com


Bluesman Walter Trout takes on Luther Allison

Sep 01, 2013 "Luther's Blues"

By TROY DIFFENDERFER, 19, Freestyle Staff Writer  freestyle@lnpnews.com

When Walter Trout describes a fellow bluesman as "one of the greatest musicians I've ever seen," you know we're talking about someone with serious talent.  

But does Trout's statement have any weight behind it? Well, Trout has put out more than 20 albums and played in bands like Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesmakers, so I'd say he's pretty qualified.

After his last album of bluesy jams, "Blues for the Modern Daze," Trout decided to play homage to his friend and fellow musician Luther Allison on Trout's newest album, "Luther's Blues."

So what makes Allison worthy of recognition? Allison's big break came when he joined Howlin' Wolf and was taken under the wing of famous guitar player Freddie King. Allison went on to produce more than 20 albums himself. He was also posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame after his passing in 1997.

Trout and Allison's paths first crossed in 1986 at the Montreaux Jazz festival in Switzerland, and they would end up bonding over their love of music as they became friends. But it wasn't just the musical bond Trout enjoyed with Allison. 

"It was just his personality. He was the warmest, most genuine person I've met. He had no façade and had no problem showing you who he was," says Trout in a phone interview. "I really thought he deserved more recognition, he was such a talented musician. He never portrayed a character and had such an honest presentation to his music."

Allison's guitar playing and songwriting prove that he deserves to be in the same category as some more prominent names like Buddy Guy and Freddie King.

Whittling down a tracklist for Trout's tribute album was no easy task.

"Well, I started by downloading every album he put out, and then began to narrow it down to about 40 or so songs, and then I got it down to about a dozen after that."

Trout really stays true to Allison's "honest" approach to playing. You won't hear any added effects or layered tracks, just Trout and his band hammering out some of Allison's biggest hits.

Trout opens with "I'm Back" to revive a great rock tune from Allison.

"Probably 'Cherry Red Wine' is a song that really speaks to me. Growing up I had a lot of alcoholism in my house so that's one that I find relevant to me," says Trout.

Trout showcases a variety of Allison's repertoire, from the rockabilly style of "Move from the Hood" to the six-minute bluesy epic "Big City."

The most interesting track isn't even a song. "Luther Speaks" is from a clip Trout found on YouTube where Allison talks about performing.

"I don't need fans, I want friends, let's make friends fans. If I see you today, I want to see you tomorrow too."

The track only lasts about 30 seconds, but it shows who Allison as a person. He wasn't a character; he wasn't a superstar; he was a person who liked to play guitar for others to hear. He may not be a household name, but that's just fine with him.

When asked if there's one piece of advice from Allison that really stuck with Trout, he remembers the exact words, "He told me leave your ego, play the music, love the people."

These words express exactly who Allison was as a musician and a performer. It's not about making money or getting recognition, it's about building not only a connection, but a friendship, with the fans. Trout does an excellent job of bringing to light a musician who not only had immense passion for music, but immense passion for people.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com


Walter’s Luther’s Blues LP, plus a photo of him on the gig listings page in the July/August issue of Classic Rock Society magazine


Walter Trout’s Luther’s Blues album published in the August/September issue of Blues Matters magazine


Walter Trout: Luther’s Blues

By Rick J Bowen www.innocentwords.com

June 30, 2013

On the closing track of his amazing new album, Luther’s Blues, Walter Trout testifies to the power and passion of one of his heroes when he boldly sings, “leave your ego, play the music, love the people, that’s the way he lived, when Luther played the blues he gave us all he had to give.” This simple sentiment is the guiding principle behind this stellar tribute album to one of the more unsung icons of the blues and electric guitar, Luther Allison. 

In his 25-plus year career Walter Trout has also become a bit of an icon, forging a reputation as a fire breathing guitarist after his tenure with Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, so he seems the natural choice to be the one who could take the Allison catalog up a few more notches. Trout enlisted producer Eric Corne to capture the raw, seat of the energy of live takes with his crack road band of keyboardist Sammy Avila, bass man Rick Knapp and drummer Michael Leasure. The quartet blazes through the 11-song greatest hits collection from Allison’s lexicon of hard driving blues and soul burners, taking each to new heights of pyrotechnic musical orgasms. 

Trout goes so completely over the top on “Cherry Red Wine,” one of Allison’s signature tunes, making it hard to believe such gut wrenching vocals are coming from a 62-year-old. The band recasts Allison’s protest song “Big City,” over a Voodoo Chile groove giving a nod to Hendrix and Stevie Ray as well with his wailing Stratocaster. The muscular funk of tracks “Chicago” and “Freedom” is propelled by a rhythm section steaming at mach one, flaying out a fusillade of notes, but then turning on a dime to give a tasteful reading of the gospel infused “Just As I Am.” Trout then trades barbs with Luther’s son Bernard Allison on the turbo charged Texas boogie “Low Down and Dirty.” The albums other guest star is a short recording of Luther speaking of his life’s philosophy of wanting to be part of the universe of nature and make friends everywhere he went. 

Luther’s Blues succeeds on many levels, as it will no doubt lead many to discover the music of Luther Allison as well as showcase the power and precision of Walter Trout and his stellar band who deliver what may prove to be the electric blues album of the year. 

www.innocentwords.com


Luther’s Blues: A Tribute to Luther Allison   Rating: B+

By Jeb Wright www.classicrockrevisited.com

In 2012, Walter Trout released the album Blues for the Modern Daze, which was, start to finish, probably the strongest album of his lengthy career. If not his best, it was certainly his most emotionally charged album, full of anger, angst, irritability and over all pist-off-ness—with a good dose of the blues to keep it all from boiling over. Now, a year later, he again brings an emotional album, this time full of reverence, friendship and a touch of sorrow, as he pays tribute to a man who was a musical hero to him in Luther Allison.

This album features Trout remaking Allison’s most loved songs, which is a huge task considering some haters tend to say Trout is a rocker in bluesman clothing. With this tribute to Luther, Trout shows he may like to blast out some hard rockin’ licks but deep down his heart bleeds blue!

Never before has Trout played the blues like THIS. Where he calls the album a tribute, in some ways it is a spiritual excursion where Walter channels his friend’s spirit. These emotionally charged versions of Allison’s songs are nearly exhausting to listen to as they are dripping with such passion.

Another treat on the disc is the last song, written by Trout for Luther titled “When Luther Played the Blues.” This song, like the title, explains what I have been trying to convey in this review. Simply put, Walter played his ass off on this one, inspired by another’s greatness allowing him to achieve his own.

By Jeb Wright www.classicrockrevisited.com


Music Review: Walter Trout –

“Luther’s Blues: A Tribute to Luther Allison”

By Rhetta Akamatsu | Tuesday, June 18, 2013 www.blogcritics.org

Walter Trout, a blues guitarist and vocalist who has played with a number of bands over the years, including Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, was a personal friend as well as a fan of Luther Allison. This CD is his tribute to Allison, featuring 11 of Allison’s songs, a small spoken word bit from Allison himself, and “When Luther Played the Blues,” Trout’s heartfelt song about the man, which features incredible guitar work throughout it.

Trout’s style is very different from Allison’s. Trout is much bluesier, while Allison was more soulful. On this CD, Trout has not tried to copy Allison’s style, but has melded his own sound with Allison’s words and music to create a wonderful amalgam of the two. 

The tribute opens with “I’m Back,” a blues-rock number that catches the listener’s attention. Then, Trout delivers a remarkably emotional rendition of “Cherry Red Wine,” a desperate plea for a woman to stop killing herself with alcohol. The scorching guitar underscores the urgency of the words perfectly. 

Next comes “Move From the Hood,” which loses some of its Motown roots and becomes a blues-rock number with some hot and heavy guitar. “Bad Love” follows. It is a slower track that sticks pretty close to the original and really sells the melancholic lyrics. 

“Big City” shines for the somewhat psychedelic, smashing guitar work. It is followed by a loving, swinging tribute to “Chicago,” and that is followed by this reviewer’s favorite song on the CD, the deeply emotional and honest love song, “Just as I Am,” on which Trout wrings the feeling from every word. 

“Low Down and Dirty” returns to blues-rock and it features excellent slide guitar by Trout and a duet with Allison’s son Bernard. 

Continuing the extreme versatility of the moods and songs on this collection, “Pain in the Streets” is a slower number with strong guitar solos and a powerful urban justice message. It is followed by the rip-snorting guitars and vocals of “All the King’s Horses.” 

The last Allison song on the CD is the yearning, earnest anti-apartheid song, “Freedom,” which reflects the courage that Allison showed in speaking out about hot-button issues in his time. 

Walter Trout has never sounded better or played better than he does on this CD. His affection for Allison and love for his music adds depth to the vocals and flows through the guitar work as well. His band delivers great bass, rhythm and percussion throughout and the CD is a must for Allison fans, Trout fans, and lovers of blues in general.

www.blogcritics.org




Walter Trout - Luther's Blues - New Release Review

www.bmansbluesreport.com

I just received the newest release (June 11, 2013 release date) Luther's Blues, from Walter Trout and it is blistering fire! Opening with I'm Back, a blues rock track, Trout starts the ball rolling on a 13 track tribute to the great Luther Allison.

Up next is Cherry Red Wine, an absolute scorcher showing Trout in great form both on vocal and guitar. One of my favorite Trout takes in recent years, the guitar work showing a great maturing in a man still young in his career. Trout has you hanging on a note as he chokes the finish off of the guitar. Move From The Hood is a great loping blues track and Trout's vocals are spot on. Showing a lot of patience in delivering his guitar solos on this track, Trout really grabs the essence of the blues.

Next up is Bad Love, a smokin' great slower track and Trout uses his own unique guitar attack to deliver this track up "Walter Style". This is a white hot track with guitar work that would make most any guitar player or blues enthusiast sit back and listen. Big City has a bit of a Jimi taste to it both in arrangement and also including some tell tale riffs. The track is really all Trout but he does wind the track out along a more pyrotechnical path to great success.

Just As I Am crosses over more to the soul arena with a real nice ballad with nice guitar adornments. Low Down And Dirty, a rockin blues track, finds Trout on slide and with this driving beat is a sure winner. Pain In The Streets is another slow heartfelt blues track and one of my favorites on the release. Trout slowly milks the track and lets it out just a little at a time. Excellent!

All The Kings Horses finds Trout in 5th gear, delivering a mid paced blues track with rip snorting, string breaking guitar riffs. Step up in front of one of the stacks when he plays this one... step back with a new hairstyle and a smile on your face! After a short dialogue by Luther, Trout lays down When Luther Played The Blues, a real nice tribute track with nice pace, great vocals and really deep guitar riffs.

I have listened to a lot of Walter Trout releases in my time and this one stands tall with the best of them. I highly recommend this release to anyone...I repeat anyone who loves blues guitar!

www.bmansbluesreport.com


Walter Trout – Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison

Posted on June 12, 2013
by Rick Moore www.musicnewsnashville.com

Walter Trout is one of the blues greats who hasn’t really gotten his due, and he shows why once again on Luther’s Blues – A Tribute to Luther Allison. On this album, Trout covers songs by one of his heroes, a Chicago legend who was a little different than most of the straight-ahead legends like Muddy or Wolf. Allison infused other styles of music into his blues playing, making both styles better, and Trout approaches the material with a reverent abandon that would probably have made Allison, who died 16 years ago, smile. Allison was one of the great live blues acts, and spent many years playing in Europe, where the cover photo of Allison and Trout was taken.

As the former guitarist with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Canned Heat, among others, Walter Trout is easily in the ranks of the other great electric blues players, both white and black, both British and American, of his generation. So it took some nerve for him to tackle an album of nothing but covers by Allison, both artistically and financially, as Trout won’t seeing writer’s income from the tracks. He clearly had a great time cutting such Allison classics as “Cherry Red Wine” and Pain in the Streets,” and even listeners who are unfamiliar with Allison’s work will definitely be impressed with the way Trout pays homage to it. Trout is one of the greats, and deserves to be more widely recognized by his peers (and American audiences) by something like, say, being invited to Clapton’s Crossroads festival. We’ll keep our fingers crossed while we listen to this record.

www.musicnewsnashville.com


Walter Trout - Luther's Blues (Album Review)


Walter Trout - Luther's Blues (Album Review)

Monday, 10 June 2013 Written by Simon Ramsay

Source: www.stereoboard.com

Following 2012's 'Blues For The Modern Daze', Walter Trout pays tribute to late, great Chicago bluesman Luther Allison on 'Luther's Blues', the first covers album of his esteemed career. With unstoppable passion and dedication, Trout and his electric band tear through a winning selection of Allison classics, expertly reworking the energised cocktail of soul, funk and blues rock that was his trademark. The result is sonically Trout, and spiritually Allison.

Although critically acclaimed, 'Blues For The Modern Daze' was an emotionally raw offering, with Trout's distress at the state of contemporary society packing a pissed off punch. As such, 'Luther's Blues' finds him unburdened and re-energised. From the moment I'm Back hurls itself from the speakers with a storm of supercharged gusto and flame-throwing solos, it's obvious a weight's been lifted. Where 'Blues For The Modern Daze' was driven by a need for cathartic release, 'Luther's Blues' revels in the sheer joy of musical expression.

That said, Allison's storytelling also embraced hard truths. Songs about watching your woman drink herself to death sat alongside tales of urban violence, apartheid and duplicitous femmes. Trout's rocket-fuelled attack purges lyrical pain through sheer force of performance, with his infectious energy uplifting in spite of the subject matter.

 The abundant soul in Allison's music made him one of the few blues artists signed to Motown records in the 1970s. Trout doesn't ape that style, instead amplifying the tunes' bluesier elements while keeping an undercurrent of soul bubbling throughout.

For example, the Stax horns and anachronistic synths are absent from the disconsolate ache of Bad Love and roisterous funk 'n' soul ditty Chicago. But said tribute to the Windy City still keeps the flare-wearing swing of the original, as Trout and his band whip up splendid street-smart grooves courtesy of popping bass lines and hip-shaking rhythms.

While the arrangements remain mostly faithful, the exceptionally gifted band make the compositions sound like vintage Trout. Whether it's the stalking prowl of All The Kings Horses or spinning riffery of Low Down And Dirty, where he duets with Allison's son Bernard, Trout and the guys add their own greasy signature courtesy of buffed up riffs, stinging solos and wide-eyed enthusiasm.

The only real revisions occur on Pain In The Streets and Move From The Hood. The former's slick R&B sheen is replaced by gentle blues, full of delicate vocals and crisp guitar lines that draw a stronger sense of pathos from the downtrodden lyric. The latter ditches the horns and ivories to become a beefed-up shuffle, with swirling organ flourishes and feisty drum fills.

It's fair to say Trout's rarely sounded better than he does here. Whether possessed by his desire to do Allison's work justice, or freedom from lyric writing and composing, he gives every ounce of himself to this record. This is particularly apparent on Cherry Red, where his bare-chested vocal and guitar pyrotechnics are something to behold.

The album closes with When Luther Played The Blues, the only Trout composition and a moving musical eulogy featuring famous Allison quotes: “Leave your ego, play the music, love the people”. Just as the tune concludes the band kicks back in and Walter sings: “Bye bye Luther”. It's a fitting finale.

This is a strong contender for best blues album of 2013 and highlights Trout's ongoing mission to keep blues alive by passing the magic of the masters on to younger generations. Of his hope for the record, he said: “If I had my way with this album, it would reignite interest in the man and his work, make people go back and check out the originals.” Consider it a job well done, sir. A job very well done.

Source: www.stereoboard.com


LUTHER’S BLUES, WALTER TROUT & HIS BAND

By Nick DeRiso    www.somethingelsereviews.com

Walter Trout, over a 22-album solo career, has never before recorded a project devoted to cover songs. Then again, few players have impacted the 62-year-old quite like the late Luther Allison.  

In many ways, Allison set the blues-rocking template for next-gen players Trout, who played for Canned Heat and then John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in the 1980s before setting out for a solo career.

Though the Freddie King-influenced Allison debuted with Delmark, he had such an approachable, crossover-ready sound that soon he had been signed by Motown’s Berry Gordy. At the same time, though, his roots remained in the classic mid-century Chicago sound. Same with Trout, at work again here with producer Eric Corne, who oversaw 2012′s Blues for the Modern Daze. There is a similar spontaneity, despite the presence of very familiar Allison classics like “Cherry Red Wine.”

Trout and Allison met and played together just once, in 1986 at the Montreux Jazz Festival — a photo from that day graces the cover of Luther’s Blues, due on June 11, 2013 from the Mascot Label Group’s Provogue imprint — but it cemented Trout’s sense of the commitment and innovation that surrounded Allison.

Trout lives up to that towering legacy here, all the way down to the album’s sensitive presentation — which includes a narrative from Trout about that Montreux meeting, rare photographs, and new liner notes by Allison’s son, long-time partner Carolyn “Rocky” Brown and band member James Solberg.

 Meanwhile, from the floorboard-rearranging brawn of “I’m Back” to the searing soul of “Just As I Am,” Luther’s Blues is as heartfelt as it is dynamic. Trout then closes out with a lonesome original called “When Luther Played the Blues,” illustrating one last time just how deep his reverence goes.

www.somethingelsereviews.com


LUTHER’S BLUES, WALTER TROUT & HIS BAND

June 4, 2013 By Skope www.skopemag.com

Journeyman blues guitarist Walter Trout has put together a tribute to blues legend Luther Allison for his 23rd solo release. Walter had been a fan and even got to play with him once before Luther’s untimely death from cancer at age 57. Walter has always been a master at taking his influences and putting a personal spin on their styles, and then putting his name on it vocally and instrumentally.

I’m Back is a fast rocking blues number. Cherry Red Wine has the slow pounding rythym with in and out guitar riffs, reminiscent of B.B. Pain In The Streets follows suit in format, and has classic crisp, clean licks, weaved into a ballad setting. Bad Love is also an even flowing slower ballad styled tune. Big City follows the slower pace, with a good SRV vibe to it. Just As I Am is just a plain, straight up great ballad, and my favorite cut on the release. Low Down And Dirty is a good song with a typical biographical blues lifestyle admission (to a woman of course), with some nice slide work. Freedom lyrics deal with the fight and the dream involved with looking for freedom. Luther Speaks features Luther explaining that he wants friends first and foremost. When Luther Played The Blues is a tribute to the man and his inner drive to deliver the goods.

Walter’s voice is an important attribute to his guitar chops. This release is a well-done tribute to a blues legend!

By RME 

www.skopemag.com


REVIEW WALTER TROUT: “LUTHER’S BLUES”

(PROVOGUE) THIS ALBUM RATED 6.1

www.bluesandsoul.com

UK RELEASE DATE 10.06.2013 When I heard that veteran US blues man Walter Trout was making his first ever covers record - all Luther Allison songs - I had mixed feelings. I thought it might be something best left well alone, as Luther was such an individual guitarist and American blues artist, sadly missed by us all after he died from lung cancer in 1997. There was only one Luther. Plus; Walter is known mainly for his hard- edged rockier side of the blues. Signed to Motown in 1972 for three albums, the only blues artist on the label, Luther made over a dozen albums in Europe. He left school in 1957 and formed The Rolling Stones, but didn’t feel it was a strong enough name for a band, so changed it to The Four Jivers! I photographed him maybe 18 months before he died, and he really was a towering musical force. I’d not seen or heard such a display of fretboard fireworks, soul-blues vocal and absolute command of a room, since I worked with the likes of Albert Collins, Albert King and indeed BB King. But I need not have worried about this CD. It is a magnificent job and perhaps a career defining moment for Mr T? I have seen him circa four times over the years, and can sometimes have too much of his loud and “in yer face” style of rockier blues – a former member of Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – but he has done much to spread the blues gospel around the world and is a huge talent. But here he squeezes every ounce of emotion, soul, passion and sweetness from the guitar and from his vocals. A very pleasing side to the man. I believe on these 13 tracks, we get the best vocal and guitar performances he has probably ever delivered on record.

That was the thing with Luther. One minute caressing you with a sweet, pain-filled soul meets blues vocal, and the next he could rip your spleen out with that ferocious attack on guitar. He was always light and he was always shade. But most of all, he was ALWAYS Luther. He never borrowed licks. Ever.Walter does the very same here. He doesn’t try to BE Luther. He is very much his own man on Luther’s songs, with huge restraint in approach. Respect and love for the man oozes out of every note, every nuance, and every vocal breath. Walter Trout’s story is equal parts thriller, romance, suspense and horror. There are musical fireworks, critical acclaim and fists-aloft triumph, offset by wilderness years and brushes with the jaws of narcotic oblivion. Of all the peaks in Trout’s trajectory, his abiding memory of the late Chicago bluesman is perhaps the most literal. It’s 1986, and high above Lake Geneva, at the palatial Alpine chalet of late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs. Lunch is being served. “So we’re up at the top of the Alps,” Trout recalls, “in this big room with John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and as we’re eating, Dr. John is serenading us on acoustic piano. I was sat there with Luther Allison, and we had a great talk.”“Luther was one of the all-time greats. It was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. Just the energy and commitment that guy had, he was one of a kind. We played together once, at the Jazz Fest that year, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. And that photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died in 1997, the idea of the album was planted in my brain.”For me, the one thing that binds Trout and Allison together, apart from the obvious blues genre; is that sense one gets as a member of their audience, that their lives depend on giving us a truly great performance. Night after night, gig after gig, tour after tour, venue after venue, big or small. No matter what shit they are going through off stage. Once they are plugged in and in front of the fans, it's showtime and nothing less than their best will do. Luther always gave, and Walter always gives 100% on stage. Well, that is also true here on this record. It sounds like he gave his all, from his heart and his soul on an absolute labour of love. It really is an outstanding record and deserves a Grammy nod for this fitting tribute to a true blues one-off. Luther would be proud.

WORDS SIMON REDLEY www.bluesandsoul.com 


Album Review: WALTER TROUT – Luther’s Blues – A Tribute To Luther Allison

 Review by Pete Feenstra on May 9, 2013
www.getreadytorock.me.uk 

Provogue [Release date: 10.06.13]

 ‘A Tribute To Luther Allison’ is a triumph of ambition, focus and sheer ability over any semblance of self doubt, as Walter Trout successfully captures Luther Allison’s essential spirit. Such is Trout’s intrinsic feel for Luther’s music and belief in his legacy that he interprets the best of the Chicago blues man’s catalogue with the requisite amount of passion and intensity it deserves.

In his PR notes Walter says he momentarily thought he’d taken on something too big, but his heartfelt performance allays any such fears.

There’s a significant career parallel at the heart of this album. Walter Trout much like Allison before him spends a considerable amount of time working in Europe. Luther made France his home before his American comeback in ’94 and the two met in Switzerland at the Montreux Jazz Festival which provided the location shot for the CD cover. And it is this sense of the blues in exile that permeates the album as a whole.

There are further links in that both artists shared the same label at different times and in James Solberg, Luther had a long term Trout style song-writing guitarist who pushed him towards blues-rock.

Given that Luther’s career spanned West-side Chicago blues, Motown soul, and blues-rock, not to mention a brief collaboration with Johnny Hallyday, the big question is what to leave out. Walter opts for Luther’s fully formed mid-90’s material with ‘Reckless’ and ‘Blue Streak’ providing the meat in the sandwich. He also adds a brace from ‘Soul Fixin’ Man’ – aka ‘Bad Love’ – and 1987’s ‘Rich Man’ to provide balance. The album finishes cleverly with Walter’s ripping self- penned ode to his hero on ‘When Luther Played The Blues’. Perhaps only the omission of ‘Serious’ is the one glaring omission on a well thought out project.

The album benefits from solid pre-prep work. The considered arrangements and thoughtful vocal attacks mirror Luther’s lyrical meaning and co-producer’s Eric Corne’s bright mix captures the snap. And in those moments when Walter engulfs himself in emotive songs like ‘Pain In The Streets’ his snakelike wiry guitar lines and delicate vibrato does his talking for him. 

Issued by Provogue as part of The Classic Blues Series, ‘A Tribute To Luther Allison’ showcases Luther’s development as a blues man with real presence. Walter successfully searches for Allison’s intensity and wrings out every last drop of passion with searing guitar work in an amalgam of all the elements that come naturally to him.

In going to the source material Walter cleverly beefs up the core riffs, alternating his own busy note flurries with Luther’s single note attacks. He explores deeply honed solos over a pulsating rhythm track in a blend of shuffles, soulful vocals, deep-blues and occasional funk.

The alcohol fuelled tale of ‘Cherry Red Wine’ is close to his heart and well suited to his impassioned style, while ‘Bad Love’ lights the fuse, just as it used to do in Luther live shows. Walter’s commanding vocal on the live in the studio take is bolstered by the great rhythm section of Michael Leasure and Rick Knapp, who do him proud on a frisson busting track of super charged intensity.

Trout’s phrasing conveys the emotional turmoil of the songs and he adds a soaring solo that would make Luther smile and annoy the kind of blues purists who always denied Allison’s role as a blues-rock crossover artist.

‘Move From The Hood’ is the most radical arrangement of all, as Walter transforms it into a power shuffle. He reaches for new levels of real intensity with the self-help integrity of ‘Big City’, on an archetypal Allison slow-grind topped by a coruscating solo.

Luther’s son Bernard Allison joins Walter on a jammed out duet ‘Low Down & Dirty, which features contrasting slide guitar and beefy tones, before gets down low on his own with some beautifully wrought notes on ‘Pain In the Streets’. And he saves his best vocal for the heartfelt ‘Freedom’.

This is an impressive album that fully realises its lofty ambitions of ‘reigniting interest in Luther’s work’. It’s music with a Chicago heart and a gospel soul, played by a West Coast blues-rock guitarist steeped in New Jersey intensity. Trout proves to be the ideal conduit for Luther’s contemporary take on traditional blues.

Truth be told, Luther Allison didn’t start writing great songs until the latter part of his career, and Walter Trout presents a coherent and superbly played snap-shot of one of the great unsung heroes of modern blues era. ****(4/5)

Review by Pete Feenstra

www.getreadytorock.me.uk


CD Review - Walter Trout "Luther's Blues"

Posted by Alan Harrison on May 30, 2013
www.nodepression.com

Classic Blues Rock tribute to a forgotten genius 

Wow; Walter Trout….there’s a name from the past; and he’s taken the songs of Luther Allison; who is probably the Bluesman’s Blues-man, and lit a fire under them.

Once described as a ‘guitar prodigy’ the guitarist is now regarded as a veteran, according to the Press Release and he will be, because he’s 62 years old. Not that you’d know it from the energy that tears through the majority of LUTHER’S BLUES. As a bit of a Blues-Rock fan, it’s a joy to hear Trout pay tribute to one of Blues Music’s most under-rated performers, Luther Allison.

Walter comes out with both guns blazing on album opener, I’m Back and the title itself is quite apt, as Walter takes no prisoners on this archetypal Chicago Blues tune.

Personally I fell out of love with Blues-Rock about 10 or more years ago when the emphasis went towards the rock end of the music with endless, mind-numbing solos that went on for days and Trout was guilty of that too. But here; he keeps everything in check; much like the Freddie King protégé Allison did and makes every passionate note sound as if it was going to be the last one he was ever going to play. Bad Love is a perfect example as Trout sounds like he’s going to cry as he forces the words out and his guitar playing teases towards ‘rock’ but never actually ventures over the line.

Any song titled Low Down and Dirty is going to get my attention and boy; is this one worth listening too as it swings and sashays like a fat lass on a Friday night.

The absolute highlight of LUTHER’S BLUES is Walter’s version of Allison’s signature tune, Cherry Red Wine and while it’s not actually note for note faithful to the original; as Trout pouts his very own note bending stamp on it; and will rekindle many a Blues fire among the Rock fans who buy his work these days.

While Luther actually recorded an album (on Motown of all labels) called Luther’s Blues; this album is made up of 11 tracks from across his career and might even equate to a Best Of; plus Trout closes the set with a very personal slow and soulful tribute with, When Luther Played the Blues which has playing and singing from deep within his heart and might be one of his finest moments on record.

www.waltertrout.com       www.luther-allison.com      Released USA June 11th  -  Europe June 10th

www.nodepression.com


Walter Trout - Luther's Blues - A tribute to Luther Allison

23 May 2013 // release date: 10 Jun 2013 // label: Provogue

Reviewer: Andy Snipper  www.music-news.com

I have lost count of the number of times I have included the line “mentored by the great Walter Trout” in a review of some new young fireball: Trout is a man who has been generous with his time and with his talent. This album shows part of the reason – he was influenced and mentored by one of the greats himself – Luther Allison.

Of all the peaks in Trout’s trajectory, his abiding memory of the late Chicago bluesman is perhaps the most literal. It’s 1986, and high above Lake Geneva, at the palatial Alpine chalet of late Montreux Jazz Festival Svengali Claude Nobs, lunch is being served. “So we’re up at the top of the Alps,” Trout recalls, “in this big room with John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and as we’re eating, Dr. John is serenading us on acoustic piano. I was sat there with Luther Allison, and we had a great talk.

“Luther was one of the all-time greats” Trout continues. “It was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. The energy and commitment that guy had - he was one of a kind. We played together once, at the Jazz Fest that year, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. That photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died in 1997, the idea of the album was planted in my brain." 

So we get Walter Trout playing numbers made famous by Luther Allison and the result is – inevitably superb but remarkable in that you begin to get an insight into how a Blues guitarist is made because you are listening to pure Walter Trout but as much as that you are also listening to Allison with all his passion and energy.

 It’s a potent mixture and Trout sounds as though he is desperately trying to do justice to Allison’s music.

“At times, I ask myself if I have taken on too much here?” admits Trout. “Like, am I actually capable of doing justice to this? To me, Cherry Red Wine is one of the all-time greatest blues songs ever written, and Luther’s original version is so unbelievably passionate and emotional that even to sing it was a daunting task. If I had my way with this album, it would reignite interest in his work, make people go back and check out the originals.”

I will admit that I hadn’t realised how much of a talent Luther Allison was and the result of listening to this album is that I have started to go back and explore his ‘stuff’ and great it is. But I have been listening to Walter for years and where he takes Luther’s music is even more so.

The callow youth that first heard Luther Allison in ’86 is now a grizzled veteran but he has his own sound and while this album definitely sparks interest in one of the greats it also stands alone as a cracker of a Blues album in its own right.

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www.music-news.com


Walter Trout Kicks it up a Notch With Luther’s Blues

BY CASEBEER – MAY 18, 2013   www.americanbluesscene.com

Just gonna toss this out there and get it out of the way. Walter Trout is a force to be reckoned with on the guitar. Not like you didn’t already know that but he seems to have catapulted himself up to another level. This level is being considered more than just a shredder. Of course, he’s been considered one of the finest unsung commodities in the music industry for quite a while now by some of us on the inside of the blues. We are well aware of what he is capable of when a guitar is placed in his hands. He just destroys. We’ve had the opportunity to see him do this from a few feet away and would highly suggest you do that too! Guitar aside for just a second though, his vocals on this release are better than they have ever been.

 On Luther’s Blues, to be released in June, Walter Trout & His Band pay homage to another fantastic musician that we have enjoyed for years, Mr. Luther Allison. The album starts out fast and furious with the throttle mashed all the way to the floor with “I’m Back”, just the way Allison would have wanted it but they also mix in some great slow stuff. “Cherry Red Wine” comes next and delivers an intoxicating dose of audio excellence. Trout’s vocals are absolutely perfect for this song selection and as we mentioned earlier, so much is always said about his axe capabilities that his pipes are often over shadowed. He belts out the tunes such as “Freedom” & “Chicago” with great power and digs deep for the soul. On “Chicago”, the bass line drives hard and the band builds the song into a frenzy at the end. Just the way we like it around here. Then, after that thrill ride, Walter and the band walk it way back down with the heart-wrenching soul blues gem “Just As I Am” and the vocals are once again fantastic. The musicianship front to back is top-shelf, the bass lines are thick and are at one with the drums. “Pain In The Streets” has got it all, the haunting Hammond accessorizing some seriously tasty licks and Walter is showing off more of his killer blues voice.

 Trout and his production partner Eric Corne have put together what could well be the blues release of the year, in our opinion. The bar has been set extremely high. It really has something for everyone, no matter what kind of blues you are into. We’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite on here, Tracks 1 through 13 are as good as it gets and the whole album flows real nice.

 Bottom line is this is a brilliant piece of work and I would stop what you’re doing now and order this album. You can thank us later and we’ll make it easy for you: Click here

www.americanbluesscene.com


WALTER TROUT: “LUTHER’S BLUES.” (PROVOGUE) Rated 10/10

May 10, 2013

UK RELEASE DATE 10.06.2013 When I heard that veteran US blues man Walter Trout was making his first ever covers record - all Luther Allison songs - I had mixed feelings. I thought it might be something best left well alone, as Luther was such an individual guitarist and American blues artist, sadly missed by us all after he died from lung cancer in 1997. There was only one Luther. Plus; Walter is known mainly for his hard- edged rockier side of the blues. Signed to Motown in 1972 for three albums, the only blues artist on the label, Luther made over a dozen albums in Europe. He left school in 1957 and formed The Rolling Stones, but didn’t feel it was a strong enough name for a band, so changed it to The Four Jivers! I photographed him maybe 18 months before he died, and he really was a towering musical force. I’d not seen or heard such a display of fretboard fireworks, soul-blues vocal and absolute command of a room, since I worked with the likes of Albert Collins, Albert King and indeed BB King. But I need not have worried about this CD. It is a magnificent job and perhaps a career defining moment for Mr T? I have seen him circa four times over the years, and can sometimes have too much of his loud and “in yer face” style of rockier blues – a former member of Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – but he has done much to spread the blues gospel around the world and is a huge talent. But here he squeezes every ounce of emotion, soul, passion and sweetness from the guitar and from his vocals. A very pleasing side to the man. I believe on these 13 tracks, we get the best vocal and guitar performances he has probably ever delivered on record.

That was the thing with Luther. One minute caressing you with a sweet, pain-filled soul meets blues vocal, and the next he could rip your spleen out with that ferocious attack on guitar. He was always light and he was always shade. But most of all, he was ALWAYS Luther. He never borrowed licks. Ever.Walter does the very same here. He doesn’t try to BE Luther. He is very much his own man on Luther’s songs, with huge restraint in approach. Respect and love for the man oozes out of every note, every nuance, and every vocal breath. Walter Trout’s story is equal parts thriller, romance, suspense and horror. There are musical fireworks, critical acclaim and fists-aloft triumph, offset by wilderness years and brushes with the jaws of narcotic oblivion. Of all the peaks in Trout’s trajectory, his abiding memory of the late Chicago bluesman is perhaps the most literal. It’s 1986, and high above Lake Geneva, at the palatial Alpine chalet of late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs. Lunch is being served. “So we’re up at the top of the Alps,” Trout recalls, “in this big room with John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and as we’re eating, Dr. John is serenading us on acoustic piano. I was sat there with Luther Allison, and we had a great talk.”“Luther was one of the all-time greats. It was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. Just the energy and commitment that guy had, he was one of a kind. We played together once, at the Jazz Fest that year, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. And that photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died in 1997, the idea of the album was planted in my brain.”For me, the one thing that binds Trout and Allison together, apart from the obvious blues genre; is that sense one gets as a member of their audience, that their lives depend on giving us a truly great performance. Night after night, gig after gig, tour after tour, venue after venue, big or small. No matter what shit they are going through off stage. Once they are plugged in and in front of the fans, it's showtime and nothing less than their best will do. Luther always gave, and Walter always gives 100% on stage. Well, that is also true here on this record. It sounds like he gave his all, from his heart and his soul on an absolute labour of love. It really is an outstanding record and deserves a Grammy nod for this fitting tribute to a true blues one-off. Luther would be proud.

Words SIMON REDLEY

SOURCE: www.bluesandsoul.com


Walter Trout's Tribute to Luther Allison

By Reverend Keith A. Gordon, About.com - Blues Guide

May 3, 2013

Over the course of a storied career that has spanned better than four decades and almost two-dozen recordings, Walter Trout has proven himself to be a damn fine blues guitarist. But Walter, too, has his heroes, foremost among them the late, great Luther Allison. On June 11, 2013 Provogue Records will release Luther's Blues, Trout's first ever covers album and a heartfelt tribute to his friend and inspiration. Featuring twelve red-hot performances, Trout has attempted to capture the electricity that surrounded Allison's best work and shot from his fingertips while also introducing a new generation to the great guitarist's incredible catalog of material.

In a press release for Luther's Blues, Trout reveals, "I've thought about doing this album for years. Luther was one of the all-time greats, and it was just an unbelievably potent thing to watch him perform. Just the energy and commitment that guy had, he was one of a kind. We played together once, and just as we walked offstage, somebody pointed a camera and we hugged and smiled. And that photo is on the cover of the CD. When he died (in 1997), the idea of this album was planted in my brain."

Luther's Blues was recorded at Entourage Studios in Hollywood, California with producer Eric Corne, who also chaired Trout's best-selling 2012 album Blues For The Modern Daze. The recording of the album was off-the-cuff and inspired. "Spontaneity is so important with this sort of music," says Trout. "Everybody was saying, 'Well, aren't you gonna get together and rehearse?', but you don't want to over-analyze or get too sterile. This album was all pretty much first or second takes. It's gotta have warts on it. It's gotta have a bit of grease in it."

Luther's Blues Track List:

CD and DOUBLE VINYL LP have the same tracks

1. I'm Back
2. Cherry Red Wine
3. Move from the Hood
4. Bad Love
5. Big City
6. Chicago
7. Just As I Am
8. Low Down and Dirty
9. Pain in the Streets
10. All the King's Horses
11. Freedom
12. Luther Speaks
13. When Luther Played the Blues

Source: About.com - Blues

Top photo by Brittany Fay, both photos courtesy Provogue Records

 


Blues For The Modern Daze - Blues For The Modern Daze - Walter Trout

Sep 28, 2012

Blues For The Modern Daze - Walter Trout

Loud, proud, and with thirty-nine years of musical experience locked in its grooves, 'Blues For The Modern Daze', is Walter Trout's twenty-first solo album. MORE...


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 26, 2012

Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze

Walter Trout's 21st release will please old fans and bring new ones. Just as Robert Cray has done, Trout is advanc- ing the blues into the 21st century - and not with updated cover tunes or 12-bar retreads. Rather he mines the modern world for topics, and family is the key.

On tunes "Saw My Momma Cryin'" and "Brother's Keeper," Trout explores the effects of hard economic times, while "Turn Off Your TV" and "Blues For My Baby" look at what the elec- tronic age has done to relationships.

As with a lot of today's country mu- sic, modern blues is much more a meld- ing of uptempo rock music with the traditional sounds of the older version. That is certainly true here, and Trout delivers a high-octane blues experience that moves the music forward but with a tip of the hat to the past.
Lyrics can be somewhat trite in the blues idiom, but Trout has something to say. Or rather, sing. His vocals are heartfelt, and delivered with an expres- sive, gravelly voice that can morph from whisper to shout with intensity and angst.

Using a Fender Stratocaster as his axe of choice, Trout takes extensive solo turns on most of the cuts and reminds listeners that he served in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and was for a time a member of Canned Heat. His fierce attack on the instrument, coupled with the percussive sound he gets from his Strat, means that sometimes his fleet-finger solos are close to the edge of musicality. But they never quite go over the top.

Trout mixes in the occasional acous- tic number to change the mood, and his pacing is such that the overall results closely capture a live performance. Recording and mixing are fine, with the vocals out front and the guitar singeing the speakers while the lyrics speak to your head. - Eric C. Shoaf

Trout mixes in the occasional acous- tic number to change the mood, and his pacing is such that the overall results closely capture a live performance. Recording and mixing are fine, with the vocals out front and the guitar singeing the speakers while the lyrics speak to your head. - Eric C. Shoaf

www.vintageguitar.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 18, 2012

4-star review of Walter Trout's new album published in the new issue of the UK's roots, folk and blues magazine, "R2: Rock N Reel".

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 02, 2012

You can go home again... to the blues 
By MIKE CHAIKEN

Sometimes you have to go home again.

And that's what Walter Trout did musically with his latest album "Blues for the Modern Daze."

After two decades plus of mining a sound that built upon the blues, without really being the blues, Trout has found his way back to where he started... hard core blues.

Walter Trout performs at Bridge Street Live next Wednesday.

In a phone interview, Trout said he started off as sideman playing the blues with the likes of Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker. The guitarist later ventured off to be a full- time member of blues groups such as Canned Heat and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.

But when he went solo, Trout said he decided he wanted to branch out. There was a touch of the blues in his solo work,. But he wasn't strictly the blues.

But after 20 albums, Trout said he had a longing to play pure blues once again. "To go back to what I do best," said Trout. Even though some

time has passed since Trout played pure blues, "It felt so natural."

The album came together quickly, said Trout, wrapping up in a mere two weeks.

The new album, although, it is the blues, doesn't touch upon the typical themes of the blues. The songs, as evidenced by the album's title, focus on the hazards of these mod- ern times.

When asked why he opted to take that particu- lar focus for the new mate- rial, Trout shared a story about a "crazy" ex-girl- friend he had back in 1976- 77.

Trout said the girl- friend wasn't a big fan of the blues. But she told him if he was going to sing the blues, he should stay away from two themes. One theme was, "My baby left me, I'm bummed out." And the other theme went something like "I'll buy you a Cadillac" if you sleep with me.

Trout vowed that he would stay away from both. And even though the crazy ex is long gone, Trout has kept that vow.

The decision to write about the modern world and what's going on, said Trout, was inspired by his old band leader John Mayall. Mayall, explained Trout, was always in tune with the current world situ- ation when he wrote his songs. For example, in 1969, Mayall wrote a blues song called "Nature's Disappearing," in which he tackled the environmental woes of that time.

When Trout heard how Mayall was able to expand the traditional topics of the blues, he said to himself, "This is cool."

Through the years, Trout said he has found a lot of inspiration from tak- ing this approach to song writing.

And when it came to pull together "Blues for the Modern Daze," he didn't want it to be stuck to the two themes he had cited earlier.

One track that stands out as a commentary on the modern day is "Lonely." The track's lyrics describe how people have their head's down texting people not in the room and talking loudly on their cellphones everywhere they go.

The song was based on a true story, said Trout.

Trout explained he was on tour and the bus stopped at Starbucks in an Illinois college. Half of the people in the place had their head down focused on the screen of their cell phone. The other half were screaming into their cell- phone.

"No one was talking to each other," said Trout, "except for me and my band."

"They were all wrapped in electronic com- munication," said Trout.

Looking at his sur- roundings, Trout said hestarted to scribble out the lyrics for "Lonely" on a napkin.

In press materials, Trout cites Blind Lemon Johnson as an inspiration for the current album. But it wasn't because of what he played but how Johnson was able to tell a story with his music, said Trout. "I was trying to tap into the essence of what the guy was doing... It was simple, emotional and spiritual." Trout said Johnson could reduce him to tears with his music "almost to the point of not speaking."

And what will happen when the guitarist arrives in Collinsville. Trout said fans can expect to hear lots of the new album.

The reason? "We wrote that album to be done live."

Walter Trout plays Bridge Street Live, 41 Bridge St., Collinsville on Wednesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 or $35. For more information, go to 41BridgeSt.com or WalterTrout.com

Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - Clarity In The Modern Daze

May 02, 2012

CLARITY IN THE MODERN DAZE: AN INTERVIEW WITH BLUES ICON WALTER TROUT

By Jeb Wright

Walter Trout has never been on MTV. He's never been a rock star. He does not have a marketing team on his payroll and he doesn't pay a wardrobe person to choose how he dresses on stage. He does, however, have a lot of fans.

Trout is one of the top guitarists in the blues/rock genre and with each album he gains more momentum. He recently released his 21st album, titled Blues in the Modern Daze, and it may just be the most complete album he has ever written. Now in his ‘60's, Trout is taking time to deliver very personal songs about his hard upbringing and his subsequent addictions, and songs on how he sees the world, now that he achieved wisdom.

Read on to get to know Walter Trout a little bit better than you did before. Trout, as usual, hides nothing up his sleeve and freely shares his triumphs and tragedies, hoping to help someone else along the way. In between, he tears it up on the guitar, leaving one in awe of his nature talent.

Jeb: I am enjoying the new album. Musically, there are a ton of great solos, a few songs that the Traditionists will even like and, lyrically, you really are laying it out there.

Walter: I think all of my records are very personal. If I go clear back to my first album, then I can say that every one of my songs has a story behind it. This one, I really almost set out to be an observer of what is going on in the world, almost like a reporter. I just sang about what I see going on in the world through my own eyes.

I wasn't sure if I should even use all of the lyrics. For instance, on the second song, "Lonely," I talk about Facebook and cell phones; I actually wrote that song at a Starbucks on a napkin. I showed it to my wife and I said, "Look at this, I can make a song out of this but it is kind of weird." She said, "No, it is great; go ahead and do it." I did it and it started me on the path, lyrically, to where I expanded my horizons on this album.

Jeb: I need to know how you came to be writing lyrics at a Starbucks on a napkin.

Walter: My final vice in my life, I've been clean and sober for twenty-five years, is strong coffee. When I get up, I want a double Espresso. The first thing the band and I do in the morning is to seek out a place where we can have a double Espresso to start off our day. I have a really nice machine in my house so I can have one when I am at home. Once I have my double Espresso then I am done with my coffee for the day but I need that one in the morning.

We got up that morning and we were in Illinois or Iowa...I think it was a college town because the place was full of people. I ordered and I was standing there waiting to get my coffee and there are people standing behind me and they are yelling in my ear. I turned around to see that they all had these Bluetooth things sticking out of their ears. I thought that they were all mentally ill and were talking to themselves before I turned around and realized that they were talking on a phone implanted in their ear. I looked around and nobody else in the place was talking, as they were all staring at computers. No one was talking to the person next to them and I just thought that it was weird. I'm from a different era. The band and I get like to get our coffee and sit down at a table and actually talk to each other. I grabbed a napkin and wrote the lyrics.

Jeb: You are not a technological guy, I take it.

Walter: I have had a theory for years that with every step we take forward with the next technological advancement, society takes a step backward, in certain ways. With each bit of progress that the world makes there is something that is given up. Granted, the internet and cell phones are expanding our means of communicating, but it also seems that people now need this electronic medium between them in order to communicate with others. I know a guy who wanted to invite his neighbors over to dinner and he sends them an email. I would just go over and actually invite them, face-to-face. I think this is all such a weird phenomenon.

Jeb: I have texted my wife when I am in the living room and she is in the kitchen and asked her to bring me a soda.

Walter: [laughing] See what I mean? There is an old movie called Inherit the Wind and it is about the Scopes Trial in Tennessee in the 20's. Spencer Tracy, the old actor, has one line where he says, "You can have airplanes now, but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline." To me, that sums the whole thing up.

Jeb: I get the title of the album, Blues for the Modern Daze now.

Walter: Technology is exploding at an incredible pace. You get a cell phone and less than a year later it is obsolete. I do not see where the technology is doing anything to increase our understanding, or our tolerance, of each other. I don't see it doing anything to increase our humanity. It just makes it easier for intolerant and violent people to find each other.

In other ways, I see how it is a great thing. My mother was a librarian and was surrounded by all of this information. Now, you have all of the information in the world at your fingertips, but I don't think that, alone, is making the world a better place. I would say it is making it an easier place.

Jeb: I think, musically, this album is very diverse, within the framework of the blues.

Walter: When I decided to write this album I wanted to be diverse. As you said, there are even a few songs that the Traditionalists might hear on the radio, and hear that they just listened to a song by Walter Trout and say, "Oh no, it can't be him." There are many ways you can do the genre of the Blues. There are many subcategories that you can explore. I really tried to keep the songwriting on the album very simple. There are no attempts of me trying to be clever on this album. In a certain sense, it framed me in when I decided to get rid of some of the bells and whistles and shit and just plow ahead.

Jeb: This may be one of your best albums. I think this may be my overall favorite Walter Trout album.

Walter: Why thank you, it is mine too. I have listened to this a lot and I am still feeling it. This is my 21st album. When people ask me, "What is your favorite album?" I say, "My 22nd album." I want to keep growing; I don't want to go backwards. I think this album is coherent as a statement from beginning to end and I think if flows. It goes in a lot of different directions and, in that way, it is like my live show. In my live shows I have always tried to take the listener on, what I call, The Rollercoaster. I want to take the audience through the ringer, emotionally. I want to take them on a journey and this record does just that.

Jeb: The opening song, "Saw My Momma Cryin'" is a great song. Is that a true story?

Walter: That song is a tribute to my mom. She raised me by herself. I had a step-father, but he had a lot of mental problems stemming from being a prisoner of war in World War II. He had been tortured, and he became a violent, alcoholic type of man. I loved the guy beneath all of that, but his problems meant that there was a lot of violence and abuse. We would run and move around to get away from him, but he would find us, apologize and then my mom would take him back. There was a lot of traumatic stuff going on. She struggled and did her very best.

A friend of hers heard the song and said, "Walter, the lyrics are sad but the music is not sad." When I think back to my mom, I don't get sad. I am thankful for what she did for me. She supported my efforts in music and she was always behind me. She believed in me and I was very happy that I got to have her as a mom. Today, on the band's Facebook page, I posted a live version of that song.

Jeb: Talk to me about "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Walter: I used to live with this lady and she always watched that show with Robin Leach. I would look at her and say, "Why are you watching this bullshit? It just makes you envious and not like your own life." One day, I told her, "I wish that just one time this guy would go out and do a show on ‘The Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown."

When it was time to do this record, as an observer of what was going on, I wanted to write something about the housing crisis, and the mortgage crisis, and how the bankers got us into this by giving people loans that they knew they couldn't afford and that they could not pay back. They put them in these houses that they couldn't afford and then they go and take the houses back and put these people out on the streets. I wanted to do it with a humorous slant. The song is kind of in the tradition of someone like Willie Dixon, who did a lot of tongue-in-cheek that had a play on words.

I have always had this thing in my band where after we do a gig we go, "Well, we're big time." I threw that in the song in the second verse.

I will tell you a story that I've never told anyone outside of my family. When I was 15 years old, I had to get out of that place, with the crazy guy. I decided to go to the Jersey Shore, which is where my biological dad lived. It was 3:00AM and I was a kid - I might have been 14. I hitchhiked into this town called Pleasantville, which was basically a ghetto. A car load of young black guys drove up and I thought that I was probably going to die, as it was, like I said, in the middle of the night, on a Saturday night, in the ghetto and I am 14 year old kid. They drive up and this kid leans out of the window and says, "Where you going?" I say, "I'm going to Ocean City." He looks at me, and then he looks at his buddies, and he says, "You're walking to your destination" and they all laughed and they took off. So, I put that line in the song. Right after that experience, I found a phone booth and called my dad and he came and got me [laughter].

Jeb: The song "Recovery" is very dear to your heart. I, too, have been clean and sober for years. It was very cool to hear a song written from the perspective of long term recovery. Most songs about addiction are more about the early days when life sucks.

Walter: I talk about how, at first, I tried to deny it and then I sang that sometimes I still get the craving. Anybody like us, who has been at it a long time, for years, knows that they still get the craving, once in a while. I will be at a gig and somebody is drinking a beer and I think, "God, I'd like to have a beer." I am honest enough with myself to know that if I have that bottle of beer then I am going to have to have a line of blow. If I have that line of blow then I am going to have to have a bottle of whiskey. I know that I just can't start.

I laid it all out there in that song and it is a very personal number. I played it for my gardener, who has about four years clean and sober. He was working on the front lawn one day and I said, "I want you to hear this song." He listened to it and the man broke down and started weeping. I think that song is, hopefully, going to speak to some people and mean something to them.

Jeb: I love the guitar solo in that song, as well.

Walter: In that song, I do a solo where I do a double lead, a guitar harmony, and that was an attempt to, musically, do the ‘before and after'. I put a lot of thought into that one instead of just doing a solo. I wanted it to be a musical representation of how the old you keeps walking right along side the new you, and how you can never forget that.

My sobriety day is July 9th. If I am doing a gig on that date, then I go up to the microphone and say something like, "Hey everybody, as of today, I have 25 years sober." After the show, a guy always comes up to me and says, "How are you going to celebrate being sober 25 years?" I say, "I am going to celebrate by going out tonight and getting totally shit-faced!" They go, "NOOO!" I laugh and tell them, "Don't worry, it was just a joke, man. I'm not going to do that."

Jeb: Sometimes, I think that a lot of people who relapse, just don't wait long enough for the miracle to happen.

Walter: I've got to be honest; I just couldn't imagine getting fucked up now. For instance, when I play gigs in Holland, and the place is so full of pot smoke that, after about an hour, I start feeling it. I start feeling a little effect and I actually hate it. I hate not being in control of myself. I, then, get paranoid and start thinking, "What if the place catches on fire?" I am not even stoned; I'm just getting a very small feeling of it because I am standing in a cloud of the stuff. I hate it. I want to be very fine tuned into what is going on around me at all times. I can't imagine getting fucked up and really being out of control. I have a lot going on now, however. I have a good career going and I have a beautiful family. I, now, have everything that I've ever wanted out of my life. I am 61 years old and having the best time of my life. I just can't imagine fucking that all up.

Jeb: Who is the song "Puppet Master" about?

Walter: It could be your boss, or it could be the people who run the country. It is not about anybody in particular. It is about people in authority and power and who have a heavy hand over those underneath them and demand obedience and authority and then, when they don't need you anymore, they just toss you away. It is a symbolic song. It was a poem that I had written. When I tried to expand it into song lyrics I had trouble making it into a song. My producer decided that we would just put some weird music behind it and that I would just recite it and then we would put "Money Rules the World" with it.

Jeb: Another song I want to talk about is "You Can't Go Home Again." I moved away from where I grew up at age sixteen and I get nostalgic about it.

Walter: You want to go back but when you get there you discover that it is not the same place you left. I wrote that song, specifically, for somebody that I don't want to name. I am very close to this person and they go through these very romantic ideas of where they grew up. When they go visit that place, after about a week, they can't wait to get the hell out of there and get back to California. It is a direct message to that person.

Jeb: Do they know it is about them.

Walter: No, that is why I won't name them [laughter].

Jeb: In the songs that contain your social commentary, I hear a lot of discontentment in your voice.

Walter: I think you hear that because there is a lot of discontentment in there. I am 61 years old and I am an old hippie. Back in the ‘60's, it was the Age of Aquarius and all of that bullshit and now we are passing the world off to the next generation and it is much more screwed up than it was when we got a hold of it. We didn't do so good. I find that the world is in a sad condition. This country, whether you're a right winger, or a left winger, is in a bad way, as nothing is getting done. There are people in the government that are only concerned about achieving power.

I am afraid that this country is turning into The Corporate States of America; they are doing great. I saw, yesterday, in the news that while the unemployment rate is still up, and people are still struggling and losing their houses, Goldman Sachs reported that their profits doubled in the last year. Big banks and big corporations are doing better than they have ever done in history while everyone else is taking it up the wazoo. It is a no brainer if you would just look around.

Jeb: Getting away from music for a moment, do you think it is too late?

Walter: I don't know. The first thing that has to happen is that we need to get the money out of politics. My wife is from Denmark. She is a Danish citizen, as are my children. In Denmark, it is illegal for corporations to donate to political parties and to political candidates; it is against the law. They understand that if a corporation gives a candidate a million bucks and then that candidate gets elected that they owe the corporation something. My wife does not understand the entire concept of lobbyists. In her country, if some corporation lobbied like we do here, then he would go to prison. The government is actually geared to the people there.

I find it interesting that the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street actually want the same thing, which is to get this country in order and give power back to the people of the country. They have different philosophies of how to do it but the ultimate message is the same.

I love this country. I grew up in Philly. My mom took me to see where the Constitution was written and we went to every single Revolutionary battlefield that was around. I want to see Democracy reborn. When I vote, I want it to have meaning. I don't want it to just be a facade.

Jeb: Let's end this interview on a positive note. Even with all of our issues in this country, we still have you playing live music across the land. You either love playing live, or you're as good an actor as Spencer Tracy.

Walter: You got the first one right; I love playing live. The greatest thing in my life is getting up and playing music in front of people. I am getting ready to take this album out on the road. I start the new tour May the 5th in Oklahoma and I will pretty much keep it going through November.

www.classicrockrevisited.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

May 02, 2012

Walter Trout "Modern Daze" Tour Dates
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon, About.com GuideMay 2, 2012

Blues-rock guitarist Walter Trout is hitting the road hard in support of his recently-released new album, Blues For The Modern Daze, which the Reverend says "is Walter Trout at his very best." Offering a little insight into the new album, in a press release for Blues For The Modern Daze, Trout says "my main inspiration for this album was the country bluesmanBlind Willie Johnson, an early blues innovator who recorded such timeless gospel informed blues numbers as "Soul of A Man" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine." His music is so beautiful, primal, direct and deeply spiritual that I wanted to feel it at my back when we were cutting these songs."
Trout continues, adding, "this album captures my interest in exploring a side of my music that's rooted in my first musical love, and it reveals something about me too. It sums up the thoughts and attitudes of somebody who is getting a little older and is feeling a little like he's a part of another era, with different values and a different perspective on life than often seem to be prevalent today. And I stand behind those values, like compassion, authenticity and honesty, as strongly as I stand behind my music."

As good as the record is, however, no mere magnetic tape can capture the energy and vitality shown by the man on stage, and if you like your blues somewhat edgy, guitar-driven, and with an intelligent populist slant, Trout is your man. Check him out when he comes roaring through your hometown.

www.blues.about.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 23, 2012

Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze (2012)
About.com Rating4.5 Star Rating
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon

Walter Trout's Blues For The Modern Daze

Guitarist Walter Trout has always been a working bluesman, a journeyman musician that dutifully put in his time with bands like Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, as well as playing behind legends like Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker before launching his own solo career in 1990. Through the years, and despite the ups-and-downs that a lengthy career will bring, Trout has seemingly remained humble, and always excited to climb on stage and perform.

A few years back, however, Trout began a transformation, subtle at first, but picking up steam through albums like 2008's The Outsider and the 2009 compilation Unspoiled By Progress, featuring the new track "They Call Us The Working Class." With the release of his 21st album, Blues For The Modern Daze, Trout's evolution seems complete - the singer, songwriter, and guitarist is now the populist voice of the blues, following in the footsteps of artists like Big Bill Broonzy, J.B. Lenoir, and Blind Willie Johnson, whose influence on these songs Trout has frequently cited.

Walter Trout's Blues For The Modern Daze

Blues For The Modern Daze opens with the scorching "Saw My Mama Cryin," a high-flying bit of bluesy social commentary that provides anguished insight into the working class struggle. Trout's tortured vocals convey heartfelt emotion while his guitar weeps and moans and screams with some intensity. Trout's solos here cut deep as the band delivers a solid groove, and the song rocks and rolls itself to an inevitable conclusion.

By contrast, "Lonely" is no less powerful a performance, the mid-tempo ballad-like rocker featuring a nuanced vocal turn and mournful guitar licks. Although it's a fine showcase for Trout's exemplary six-string skills, it's also a solid example of his songwriting chops and underrated, potent vocals.

The doom-and-gloomish "The Sky Is Fallin' Down" is a cautionary tale with a bonfire soundtrack that nearly rages out of control as Trout levels accusations and proffers his advice in the face of impending disaster, his dark lyrics matched by incendiary fretwork that threatens to ignite your speakers with its red-hot riffs, notes sparking from the fretboard. Trout's "Blues For My Baby" is a more traditionally-styled tune, with gorgeous piano tinkling behind the guitarist's smoky string-pulling. Close your eyes while listening to this one and you could easily believe that you're sitting in a West Side Chicago club circa 1964 or so listening to Magic Sam or Otis Rush wail on the blues.

Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous

For old-school classic rock fans, "Recovery" is a real find, Trout channeling his inner Robin Trower with a phenomenal six-string performance that matches Trower's swirling, Jimi Hendrix-inspired psychedelic-blues sound with a 1970s-styled, openly atmospheric blues-rock sound. A tale of romantic woe, "Recovery" literally wears its heart on its sleeve, the song drenched in the pathos of Trout's effective, emotional vocals and imaginative fretwork.

"Turn Off Your TV" is both insightful and humorous, Trout delivering a rollicking vocal performance above a slight boogie refrain, his lyrics pointing to the hypocrisy of commercialization and the overall absurdity of much of what one witnesses on the tube. Trout's guitarwork here is more upbeat and less provocative, delivered with energy and vigor while his hoarse vocals reinforce the song's themes.

Trout continues in his populist vein with "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous," a slow-burning blues tune with deliberately-paced guitar riffs and the constant joyful din of rolling piano notes on this reverse "rags-to-riches" tale that cautions the wealthy 1% that life isn't always a bowl of cherries, and that what goes up may one day come back down to earth. Trout's solos on the song are stunning, rich with tone and sharp-edged, infused with the spirit of the blues while still rocking hard.

Pray For Rain

The odd, albeit poetic spoken word piece "Puppet Master" offers Trout's somber vocals hauntingly applied above an evil keyboard riff, the brief interlude leading into the rampaging "Money Rules The World," a spot-on lyrical condemnation of the effect of unbridled wealth and corporate interference on the fate of the average person. A virtual theme song for the "Occupy" movement, Trout layers on the blues with delightfully-tortured guitarplay which frantically fire-dances above the song's locomotive rhythms. It's a 21st century rocker worthy of Hendrix but offering a contemporary blues edge.

"Brother's Keeper" is in a similar vein, a mid-tempo rocker with a gospel frame of mind that calls out the self-righteous in no uncertain terms, Trout's flamethrower guitar solos throwing fuel on an already out-of-control blaze.

The title track displays the Blind Willie Johnson influence that Trout mentions in talking about the album; the song's intelligent commentary delivered with a Delta blues vibe and gospel fervor. Trout's acoustic guitar gives way to squalls of cyclone-strength electric riffs, the singer shouting above an apocalyptic tango that reminds of Charley Patton's "High Water Everywhere" with doomsaying lyrics and powerful instrumentation.

The album ends with "Pray For Rain," a comparatively gentle performance delivered in an acoustic country-blues style that is no less effective for its seemingly innocent nature. Beneath Trout's spirited guitarplay and wailing vocals, however, you'll real concern and some metaphorical hard questions without easy answers.

The Reverend's Bottom Line

In the spring of 2012, a lot of words have been spilled out in print and online talking about Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball and the album's vague political and social commentary. While I'm not going to diss on the Boss, I'd argue that another New Jersey native has delivered the essential protest album of the year.

Walter Trout's Blues For The Modern Daze is smart, insightful, and 99% to its core, displaying an undeniable populist viewpoint while retaining the guitarist's trademark turbocharged blues-rock sound. As a songwriter, Trout has never been better, and his voicing of his social concerns - bolstered by an unbridled six-string rage - is delivered with plenty of heart and soul. This is Walter Trout at his very best, and we should all be listening... (Provogue Records, released April 24, 2012)

www.blues.about.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 22, 2012

Blues for the Modern Daze
Walter Trout
Label: Mascot Records
Release: April 24, 2012 Reviewed: April 22, 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love listening to the blues. I love listening to the classic blues tunes by the original artists as well as covers of the classics by a wide range of artists. However, I really get to jonesing when I hear some new blues - especially new blues that I think could become classics in their own right.

Walter Trout's 21st album, Blues for the Modern Days is just such a blues album. This album is chock full of future classics and is the kind of blues I would play if I could play blues guitar. I can't play the blues therefore I'm left to play vicariously through others - especially Walter Trout.

Sounding like it was recorded at the crossroads itself, Blues for the Modern Daze is the blues album of 2012. It's tight with intensity and drips with whiskey. It's down, it's dirty, it's gritty and it's great! In fact, when I first listened to this album a month ago, I felt like reacting like Snuffles the Floating, Treat Loving Dog from those old Quick Draw McGraw cartoons.

Every song on this album is great but here's the Boomerocity short list of favorites:
Brother's Keeper is on the top of the short or long list of favorites. The guitar work on this tune is especially lethal and should be registered as a deadly weapon. If I was writing a music dictionary, this song would be the definition of the blues. If this album was on vinyl, the space where this song is location would have already been worn smooth from playing. Love it!

Right on the heels of Brother's Keeper on the Boomerocity short list is Lonelyfor almost exactly the same reasons so I can't say much more than that. Man, I'm fighting the urge to float again just thinking about that tune.
The last tune on the Boomerocity short list of favorites is You Can't Go Home Again. It rocks, it rolls and is still one hunnert percent blues.

If you love blues, buy this album. It's that simple.

Randy Patterson

www.boomerocity.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 18, 2012

Walter Trout - Passionate About the Blues E-mail
Written by Alex Zaglin
Monday, 16 April 2012 01:18


Walter Trout is a Jersey Boy who relocated to the West Coast searching for opportunities to play Blues Music. I spoke with him about his new record, and also learned about his drive for success, literally (in a VW Bug!) and figuratively. 
Times Square (TS): You're a boy from the Jersey Shore; can you tell me about that background and how it influenced your music?

Walter Trout (WT): It was a great place to grow up. I still love it. I grew up in Ocean City and lived a block from the ocean. My grandfather was in charge of building the boardwalk and they still have a gold plaque up there with his name on it. Now I live in Huntington Beach, CA, and live a block from the ocean. I chose this town because it reminded me of where I grew up. There were tons of nightclubs to play in Jersey, all the way from Cape May to Asbury Park, and I did them all. I was in a well-known club band in the late 60's and early 70's, and we played all over there. There were some wild times back then, and I have some awesome memories.

TS: Did you experience culture shock when you moved out to California?

WT: I played in that band in Jersey for five or six years and made a decent living, but I wanted more. I came to the conclusion that I was either going to have to go to the New York of California. I worked in New York City singing jingles on commercials, and I thought it was kind of a small area for the music scene that would be hard to break into. I came out here to LA on a vacation and saw the massive area of the place. I saw that there was this incredible amount of clubs that were within a couple of hours away by car. I went back to Jersey and packed up my VW Bug with two electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, a Fender amplifier, a mandolin, and a trumpet. I had $150.00, and I took off I drove out to LA. I've been here since 1974.

TS: Your website says you're at a "creative and personal zenith." Can you elaborate?

WT: Somebody recently said to me, "this is your 21st album, which album do you think it's the best?" I said, "I think my 22nd is the best!" I hope that I'm going to be better in a year than I am now. I like to keep trying to improve. I like to try and stay vital and hardworking in my craft. I think this album is the best so far, but I hope that it's not downhill from here on.

TS: You've seen a big improvement in recording technology, right?

WT: I'm kind of old school. I don't really do the analog thing anymore, but I like to have my band go into the studio and play live. We set up in a big room where we can set up in a semicircle where we can look at each other. I keep the overdubbing to a minimum if I can help it. I think this kind of music is more dependent on the feel of the music much more than the technical perfection. If there's a little flaw here and there, musically, I tend to leave it in there. It adds humanity to the whole thing. The rawness is important in this genre.

TS: Your new record is called Blues for the Modern Daze, what did you have to adapt to make the sound more "modern?"

WT: What I decided to do was try to write an original blues album in the blues genre, but write my observations about the world we're living in and things I feel and believe. I also wanted to drill a little rock in there too so that people don't think it's too old-school and traditional. It's a play on words there, it is a little bit more modern blues, and a lot of the songs are concerned with 21st century stuff.

TS: What does your fan base look like?

WT: It's amazing, because as the years go on, I'm seeing more young people. Kids all the way down to ten years old want to hear guitar players, and I'm getting people up to 90 years old! There's quite a cross section!

TS: What can we expect from your upcoming tour?

WT: The shows will pretty much be based around the new record. I wrote the songs for them to play live. We'll still do some older stuff and blues tunes, but it's really going to be focused on playing this record live.

TS: What are some of your favorite venues?

WT: I've been asked that a few times, and I always give the same answer: the Paradiso in Amsterdam. It's a former church that's full of spirit and healing. Also, the sound in there is amazing. Every time we play there it's just amazing. They asked Keith Richards where his favorite place to play, and he also said the Paradiso. It's very special; I did my live DVD there, it's called Relentless.

TS: What does music mean to you?

WS: It means everything. When I was a kid, my childhood was quite insane. My mom was married to a guy who had been a Japanese Prisoner of War in WWII, and he had a lot of mental problems. We kept moving places trying to get away from him. When I discovered music, it became a refuge, therapy, sanctuary, and a way of expressing myself. It gave me self-respect, and it meant everything to me. I discovered the guitar at age ten, and that's all that's ever been there since then. A guy yesterday went on Facebook and said, "I'm a musician, but that doesn't define me." And I thought, well, it defines me!

Walter Trout plays a four-night gig at the Iridium May 18-21. For more info, go towww.theiridium.com

www.timessquare.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 17, 2012

Gotham Interview with Walter Trout, Round Two

This isn't my first time chatting with the great Walter Trout. So then why does it feel like it's the first time?

Trout is an ever-changing artist, always evolving, always maturing. Need proof? Next Tuesday, April 24th, Trout is releasing his 21st album in just over two decades, Blues for the Modern Daze. You're probably thinking, "How in the world could any artist released 21 albums without sounding stagnant?"

I don't have the exact answer, but I don't need it. I just sit back and point to Walter Trout. He is living proof. Album to album, he changes and he grows and he tries something new...Blues for the Modern Daze is his first 100% blues album. Twenty one albums into his career and he's still coming up with firsts.

Listen, I could sit here all day and tell you why Trout is one of the greatest guitarists alive today. How about I save you some time, though, and just let you find out for yourself. Check out the short montage of some of my favorite tracks from Blues for the Modern Daze, and then enjoy my chat with the living legend, Mr. Walter Trout.

And after you're done here, buy tickets to a show near you. You won't want to miss Trout live in action.

You're gearing up for the release of your new album, Blues for the Modern Daze, set to hit store shelves on April 24th. You're also gearing up for the country wide tour to support the album. What are you doing to prepare?

Right now, what I'm doing is I'm laying on my couch. That's about it. I just did 30 cities in a row over in Europe and I'm taking a short break. I just had a double espresso and an order of pancakes. I'm just going to take it easy here for a little while. Soon, I'll pack my suitcase again and pick up the band and here we go.

This is your 21st album...What's it like to sit back and realize that you've created more music than nearly anyone else around you in the industry?

I can tell you, when I was just in Europe, after I play I come out to the merchandise stand and I sign stuff for people. Every once in a while a guy will walk up and he'll have the 20 CD covers for me to sign. I'm signing them and I'm looking at them and I'm thinking, ‘My word, did I do all this?' I think back to the day when I couldn't get a record deal. I was struggling to get some record label interested in me, and now I'm signing 20 CD covers. I'm going, ‘Man, it's actually happened pretty quick.' It's gone by fast. I tour so much, and when I'm done touring my wife says, ‘OK, it's time to make another record.' But I can't complain. I wanted to be a musician. I'm a musician. I enjoy it.

Twenty one albums. You've been doing it for over two decades. But you're still experiencing "firsts" in your careers. Blues for the Modern Daze is your first pure, 100% all blues album. I've listened to the album front to back and I love it. I can feel your soul in it. What can your fans expect from this new album since it's a little different than what you've done before?

When it's me saying it's a blues album, my hardcore fans will understand that my take on the blues is a little different than "blues" players. This is my exploration of the genre. I refuse to do version number 85 of "Got My Mojo Working" and version number 163 of "Stormy Monday." A lot of guys out there when they say they're going to do a blues album they do the 15 blues songs that have been done to death. I wanted to write this album. Even though they're in sort of a blues genre and format, I tried to write songs about the world we live in and what I see going on. It's really my exploration of the genre. My take on it might be a little bit more rockin' than some people. That's just the way I approached it. It's my version of what it is.

When you say your version might be a little more rockin', that's completely obvious when fans see you live. There's no doubt the recording process is important to you, what with putting out 21 records. What role does touring play in your life and career?

When I first started playing in bands, back when I was like 16, the ultimate joy of all of this was getting up on stage with a band and play to people and look them in the eye as I play to them. When I see that the music is getting through to them and I'm up there on the stage, that is like air and water for me. That is something I need. That is something I feed off of in my life. The touring is incredibly important to me because it gives me the opportunity to play live to somebody. Stand up there with guitar in hand, play, and sing with everything I have. Hopefully, it's going to mean something to the listener.

Last time I saw you in New York, you played BB King's in Times Square. That was a great venue for your live show. This time around, you have a very special residency planned. Beginning May 18th, you play four nights in a row at the Iridium Jazz Club. Music lovers and guitarists know the importance of this club as it was the home of guitar legend Les Paul. He played there every Monday night up until his death in 2009. What's it mean for you to play at the Iridium?

That's almost a sacred place for a guitar player. Les Paul is the godfather of all of us who do this. I'm a Fender player, but Leo Fender didn't play the guitar. Les Paul not only invented the Les Paul guitar and multitrack recording and so much other stuff, but he was an unbelievable guitar player. That was really his thing. The fact that he played there up through his 90s, that makes it a shrine of the guitar for guys like me. To get to go there and do four nights in a row is a pretty amazing experience. I'm very excited about it.

You take on pretty specific subjects at times with your songs. On the new record, "Lonely" calls out people who waste time sitting in front of Facebook. "Money Rules the World," you say, well, just that...Money rules the world. Why do you decide to tackle modern and even political issues with your music?

I want to write about stuff I feel and stuff I believe. I'm affected by what goes on in the world. I'm not living in a bubble. I'm very in tune with what's happening and I try to be an observer of the world and I try to put my observations into songs. About a year ago, a young Italian stockbroker on CNN talked about the problems in Italy and the government. The stockbroker finally said, ‘Don't you understand governments don't mean anything anymore? The world is ruled by corporations and banks.' I watched that and I sat down and wrote that song in about five minutes. I would love to see the power in this country be in the hands of the people and not corporations. That's what I'm trying to say in the song.

Another specific topic is in your song "Recovery." You said that you hope this song inspires people who are going through the "same thing." Does this song about recovery come from personal experiences?

Definitely. Years ago, I went through severe addictions and alcoholism and the whole thing. I joined AA and still have a lot of friends there. I wanted to tell not only my story but their stories. That's what that song is. It's really an attempt at telling the story of going through addictions, going through recovery to get out of it, but also knowing that when you have an addictive personality, it's always there. It's always underlying everything you do. That's why the last verse says, "Sometimes I get the craving." That's always going to be there. As they say in AA, you go day by day. This July, it'll be 25 years for me to be clean and sober. But I know all I need is one drink and I'm back on the merry-go-round.

Wow. Congratulations on the 25 years.

Thanks, man.

On your website, you have an interview where you say that you like to think that you haven't hit your peak in life. What do you mean by that?

People will say to me, ‘This is your 21st album. Which is your best?' I say, well, I think my 22nd album is going to be my best. I'm looking toward tomorrow and not getting caught up in yesterday. I'm 61 and I know a lot of people my age who walk around like their life is over and they think back on their glory days of their youth. I think the best is yet to come. You've got to keep working and keep improving and keep growing. It makes life exciting.

Imagine how the world would be if everyone lived like that.

I just know I have to live like that. It keeps me excited to live that way.

Walter, thank you so much for your time. It's always a pleasure chatting with you. I'm looking forward to the shows at the Iridium.

You know, I've played there once before, last year. I fronted the Les Paul Trio. For three nights of the four night stay in May, I'll be appearing with my own band. On the fourth night, I'll be appearing with the Les Paul Trio.

Wow, that's great. I can't wait. Good luck with Blues for the Modern Daze. It drops on April 24th. I've listened to it and I love it. I think it is your best work and I can't wait to hear your 22nd album!

Thanks a lot, Chuck!

www.freegotham.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 15, 2012

Walter Trout

Blues For The Modern Daze

Review by Larry Toering
This is the 21st album Walter Trout has been involved in recording, but he only started making solo records in 1998. Before that (and since) he has been around with some of the best. He was in a version of Canned Heat in 1981, and then went on to play and record with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers from 1984 to 1989. This is an album that reflects a lot of things on Trout's mind as he grows a little older and captures certain significances that are both happy and sad, and puts them into great songs. Most of it is modern contemporary blues rock, but with plenty of traditional factors, as well. Throughout Trout does a killer job of mixing the two for this fine recording. He is a world renowned blues veteran who has been all over touring for 39 years, popular throughout Europe as well as America. This is the sixth recording he has done now for Provogue Records, from the Mascot Label Group. Some deep and very personal issues are covered, and it makes things all the more intense and interesting, coming from this very experienced artist.

Track by Track Review

Saw Mama Cryin
This opening track comes from deep down inside of Trout's personal life, as he tells his own story with no fear. He's backed by some hot straight forward blues licks to establish the overall vibe of this fantastic tune. The honesty comes through with every note, and you really feel what he's singing.


Lonely
Keeping the same groove this one is full of that modern touch for which Trout is going. With talk of electronic devices, Facebook and other comforts at public disposal that seem to detract from life as much as augment it. It's as if he is saying it must be lonely for those who choose to only communicate that way. More wonderful guitar playing is featured.


The Sky Is Fallin' Down
This is more of a shuffle with some great blues harp. The tempo is high energy and the whole thing is really worked up to a frenzy by the time Trout's guitar solo takes over. What a hot lead it is, as he solos away with seamingly effortless talent.This is a lot of fun. It is a killer display of virtuosity without stepping outside the blues box.


Blues For My Baby
Things get soft as a feather here with this nice little blues ballad. The vocals are very smooth and laid back, actually quite romantic in approach. This is a playful and soulful tune with a cool guitar motif and some piano to top it off. It's the longest track (one of several lasting more than six minutes each), so it serves as the token long-player. The feel is almost ragtime, with some cool guitar effects thrown into the mix. Still, it keeps mostly to roots, nothing modern in style.

You Can't Go Home Again
This one, on the other hand, is contemporary blues rock at its finest. The vocals and guitar are equally matched. While that's a case throughout the set, it really becomes apparent here. The vocals go up a notch in the process, making it all the more modern. This is where things start to really get killer.

Recovery
Taking things back down is not a bad idea when a track like this is involved. Trout goes deep into his own life to sing about his demons. One doesn't have to know that to feel the honesty coming through, as he lays it all out about his experience with addiction. It's a heartfelt effort with nothing but a positive message, played at a naturally slow pace. Lovely guitar lines enhance the melancholy feel of the tune with a shivering effect.


Turn Off Your TV
Taking the tempo back up a notch, this one has a title that pretty much speaks for itself. With a sort of country groove about it, this features humorous lyrics about too much TV being watched. This is yet another of the more modern accessible numbers featured here. This is probably the most purely fun track on offer.


Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous
A crunchy guitar intro begins this one, as they go back into a traditional blues. This is another sizzling hot track with some great piano backing.


Never Knew You Well
This is a great number with more of a soft rock feel. Although the vocals are smooth, they have a narrative storytelling vibe. Out of every track on the disc, this is one of the most satisfying modern numbers of all. It includes purely killer performances by everyone.

Puppet Master
Opening with a spoken voice telling what the puppet does beneath the master, this is just a forty second intro for the next track.

Money Rules The World
Instantly things go into a rocking wah wah guitar that proceeds to rip the ears apart, as Trout carries on about the root of all evil. This is one of the best moments found on the entire disc, and there are a lot of tunes here to compete with.


All I Want Is You
One slow traditional number seems to follow a faster modern one at every turn here, as things slow back down with this moody piece. It comes complete with a contagious warbling harp, and a slide solo. This is another one of the more captivating moments on offer, with some nice organ texture to add a bottom groove.

Brother's Keeper
Contemporary and fast once again is the ticket, and this time Trout lets loose with another long-player of stellar proportions. What a fine tune this is, about the relationship between brothers. Some of the best guitar work of the whole album is on display here with occasional volume swells. It's simply incendiary! This is another contender for the best number.


Blues For The Modern Daze
The title track is the most modern of them all, but starts off very traditional. In that way it tends to trick the listener before Trout goes into full on blues shred mode. Just after the mid-section he goes into a guitar vocal scat before repeating the chorus, and it has a cosmic effect. This is what the album is all about, as he comes on stronger than ever. Even the drummer is clearly having some of his best times here.

Pray For Rain
A slower closer could not exist, as this is by far the lowest tempo found here. It is placed most appropriately, as Trout pleads for rain at a very soft mumble that is very soothing and simply tops off the entire celebration of modern contemporary blues rock. It is an excellent closer to an excellent disc.

www.musicstreetjournal.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 15, 2012

WALTER TROUT, BLUES FOR THE MODERN DAZE
April 10, 2012 | by Admin
Being a well-respected blues journeyman carries a lot of weight with the title. The question is always, after years of blues guitar slinging, how do you interpret the genre this time out? If you're the writer, player, and singer, you have your job cut out for you.
Saw My Mama Cryin' is a slower paced piece with some clean guitar work. Lonely is a story/ballad, a tale of typical life on the road. The Sky Is Fallin' Down is a harp led slide played piece that affords tribute to the prophetic doomsday listeners out there. Blues For My Baby is a slow B.B. styled traditional piece with just enough piano, with some nice and quick licks thrown in. Recovery is a ballad that deals with personal issues that a lot of us can relate to. Turn Off Your TV is an upbeat direct statement to all couch dwellers. Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous uses piano and guitar to get explain sliding down from the top and hitting rock bottom. Puppet Master starts out in poem form and continues on in classic blues/rock formula. Money Rules The World is the rocker of the release with that nice "Jimi" feel. Blues For The Modern Daze deals with greed and delivers a warning. Pray For Rain neatly sounds like Delta blues, plain, simple, and straightforward.
Walter has written and performed virtually every style of blues and the blues/rock progression. As always, Walter offers up some traditional and also innovative guitar licks. One of his attributes is that he never muddies the song up with overkill string work, instead concentrating on minimal effects, and licks with maximum importance. A good idea always centers around a guitarist only using organ, piano, and harp as compliments, and not taking over a song. And as always, a natural storyteller, Walter openly shares his personal issues as well as his takes on relevant matters.
By RME

www.skopemag.com

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 09, 2012

Walter Trout's Blues for the Modern Daze - Top Shelf

The press release for Walter Trout's great new record, Blues for the Modern Daze, states that the album is his 'first pure blues album in 23 years as a bandleader.' So, you can maybe understand my surprise when I put on the CD and the first track sounded like a cool, lost outtake from Beck, Bogert, and Appice. This record rocks. It may be his 21st long player, but Trout sounds like a kid with something to prove, albeit a kid with 61 years of wisdom and experience.

"Well. you know, I played in a great power trio with Tim Bogert, and Bill Ward, the drummer from Black Sabbath back in '86 and '87," Trout states, "We played a lot at a bar right near my house in Huntington Beach, and I still have a great recording of a show we played together in Long Beach. We were called Blue Thunder, and for a while it looked like we might become really big, but...."

I knew that Trout had played with some of the greatest names in blues history, names such as John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulsom, Joe Tex, that he had joined the original Canned Heat in 1981, and then landed the ultimate blues guitarist gig - a slot in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers before going solo in 1989. I knew that famed BBC disc jockey Bob Harris had named him, 'the world's greatest rock guitar player,' in his bookThe Whispering Years, and that he had placed sixth on BBC Radio One's list of the Top 20 guitarists of all time. I hadn't realized that he almost went rock sensation with two of the most influential rockers in history.

"I had so many amazing jams with Tim, he was such a great, great singer and player," Trout said. "We did so many great old tunes, like Goin' Down, Howlin' Wolf tunes, Chuck Berry stuff, some really great times."

Blues for the Modern Daze is Trout's 21st album as a solo artist, and may just be his best. It defines everything that Walter has done over the last 23 years. His legendary six string gymnastics sit well amongst a diverse package of tunes that cover the gamut of blues for the twenty first century. 

Saw My Mama Cryin is the albums opening cut, and it flat out rocks. Recorded with his basic stage rig (a dependable Strat and a Mesa Boogie MK V), Trout's tones are huge, as are his lively licks, and his passionate vocals. This is the blues - but it's the blues as the blues exists in 2012, like Walter says, "I think that if Blind Willie Johnson was alive today, he'd have an electric guitar,  a bassist and drummer, and it would sound a lot like this."

Produced in North Hollywood by Trout and long time engineer Eric Corne, Blues for the Modern Daze features Trout's touring band of drummer Michael Leasure, bassist Rick Knapp, and keyboardist Sammy Avila, and they provide the guitarist with the perfect palette on which to paint his masterpiece.

"This record is the blues - just in the way that I interpret them. When I went solo, I tried a lot of different genres, experimented with many styles and approaches. I mean, the blues is a very wide umbrella, and this is my interpretation of the genre. The blues hasn't, and doesn't need to remain stagnant! The old stuff, well, I love all that stuff, but I don't feel the need to copy that. This album is like everything I have ever written and recorded - it's not an exercise in songwriting, it's personal, it's topical and timely."

Indeed it is - Lonely, the second track is a slow blues tune for our time. It tells the story of Walter standing in Starbucks, listening to the crowd talking all too loudly into their cell phones, but with no sense of connection. Topical and timely? You bet. Trout relates some good advice on blues songwriting given to him by a somewhat drunk and disturbed female friend some 35 years ago:

Walter relates,"She said that there were two things that I must, must avoid if I were to write blues songs. There were two themes I must absolutely avoid. First, I had to avoid, 'my baby left me, and I'm bummed out.' That was the first. The second, that was, 'I'll buy you a Cadillac, baby, if you'll sit on my face!'

"I've tried my best to stick by that, but really, I broke them both on this record! My wife is continuing her education and is pursuing a PhD. Well, she was somewhere at a seminar in Texas, and I did miss her, so I sat down and wrote, Blues for my Baby. Then I experimented with a Willie Dixon-esque take on the housing situation in this country for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. It's kind of a take on the whole 'great big Cadillac car' story! So much for the rules."

In keeping with the theme of modern problems, I asked Trout how his career was being impacted by the state of the recording industry and a world that downloads in lieu of purchasing. His answer was typically philosophical and measured with the wisdom of great experience.

"I have seen some changes over the course of my solo career," Walter states, "We used to do shows to advertise our records, in hopes of seeing big royalty checks from the record company. Today, we make records so we can then go out and do shows, and sell tickets. I just saw that Amazon is selling the new record for $9.99 - I don't make shit off of that. I try to explain to my kids, how vital it is to support the music they love by buying their records, but I know that a lot of downloading goes on. I think  that I am fortunate - blues rock fans are a bit more mature, and they enjoy getting to touch and see the records they buy. We've done a really nice job of packaging for this album, and I think the fans will really enjoy it, and it is a great value - nice photos, a cool booklet. This genre has really great and loyal fans!"

"I just did see something interesting on iTunes - it was a cover of a Led Zeppelin song by me that I knew I had never recorded. I bought it, and it was some terrible Led Zeppelin tribute band, and it totally sucked! I sent the record company several e-mails, but they haven't taken it down. It's not worth hiring a lawyer, and the way I look at it is that I worked awful hard for a long, long time, and I'm finally bootlegable!"

Trout comes across as a fellow who has worked hard, played hard, payed a great many dues along the road, and has lived to smile and tell the story.

I asked him about the obviously personal nature of the song, Recovery.

"Some would say that it's an overdone topic, I know I get a little tired of reading every other week about another celebrity that has written a book about how they lived through their addictions and came out the other side, but it's a true story. Recovery lasts forever. I was a heroin addict, I've been through it all, believe me - I've been sober for over 25 years, and I look at it every day, and still think about all the many friends I have had who didn't stop - they're mostly dead. I hope it might inspire people who are going through the same thing.

"When I get ready to do a new record, I often have a brief period where it's hard to get started - I get a little despondent, and think maybe that the ideas have dried up, that I can't do it. Then I hear the voice of my mother saying to me, very clearly, 'You are a musician. You make music, and it comes so easy and naturally to you.' After being on the road for eight or nine months, I'll take about a month off, then my wife reminds me that it's time to make a new record. I wrote this one in about three weeks, but I had worked out many of the lyrical ideas and concepts before that. Like Lonely - I had written that on a napkin while in line at Starbucks."

There are a great many other great songs on this album. Every tune is a memorable riff, a hummable melody, and several thousand great guitar licks that Walter Trout makes sound easy. I'll leave it to you, the listener, to get it and check it out for yourself. There are a great many treasures to be discovered, and I'll let you discover it in the same manner that I have. 

Blues for the Modern Daze is the best blues rock record that has found its way into my world thus far this year, and I would highly recommend you place your orders now. The record is full of great songs, Trout's always incredible six string wizardry, his gutsy vocals, and a boatload of great riffs and songwriting. He's about to embark on another year of touring, and doing what he does best.

I get it now. This is a blues record, it's just not an out of date replica of some old schtick. This is the blues as it lives and breathes today, and Trout is one of the finest bluesmen on the planet. If you've been a fan, you know of what I speak. If you're not, get this record and get on board.

SOURCE: http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/walter-trouts-blues-for-modern-daze-top.html

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Apr 06, 2012

Provogue Records artist: Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze

I have been listening to the soon to be released cd, Blues For The Modern Daze by Walter Trout for a few weeks now. Why have I been holding out on you you ask? The cd isn't going to be released until April 24th but I gotta tell you...it's burning a hole in my pocket. I think that it may be his best effort...ever! The recording opens with Saw My Mama Cryin, which reminds me a lot of a tune from Jeff Beck's BBA album from the early '70's. The format and melody are totally different but the groove is there and Trout really digs in and grinds out a great blues rock track.Lonely is along the lines of an Albert King track. No, Trout doesn't play King licks. He plays Trout licks. It is really great to hear him take these solid tracks and play spontaneous guitar riffs over them in a manner that has such warm feel.The Sky Is Falling Down takes a Robert Johnson like riff and again follows a different path. Feeling something new to play has never been a problem for Trout and his versatility on this recording continues to satisfy. You Can't Go Home Again takes on an Elmore James and Trout muscles it around with the greatest finesse. Many have tried and failed but this is a winner. This may be my favorite track on the recording. Trout resists the chance to play every note that he knows and hold a 2000 lb tiger back for a great slow blues. Turn Off Your TV is straight Trout. It follows the formula that he's used on a number of his titles before and it's a straight forward butt kicker with an extended guitar solo.Lifestyle Of The Rich and Famous comes right out of Muddy's house and it's a great blues cooker. It even comes equipped with full on Muddy style slide and hammer on's... it's great!Never Knew You Well pulls out some guitar riffs that I haven't heard in Trouts repertoire before.I particularly like the harmonics bends that he uses near the end of the track. Money Rules The World is a great track with wah with hints to Jimi but updated... very cool! You want guitar...we got guitar!Brother's Keeper is on of those tracks...you know the ones... where Walter just takes a hold of the guitar and makes it cry for it's mama.... well..this is it!!! My only complaint... not even 7 minutes long! Blues For The Modern Daze is a blues rocker again with roots in the Band of Gypsies. This is a great song and you gotta want more! Pray For Rain is a short little acoustic number that Walter uses to close out the cd. Very effective finish.

In case you couldn't tell.. I think this cd is great! I may say that from time to time... but I never say it when I don't mean it. Get your copy the day it hits the stand... you'll love it!!

Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

http://www.bmansbluesreport.com/2012/04/provogue-records-artist-walter-trout.html

 


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Mar 26, 2012

WALTER TROUT Blues For The Modern Daze Provogue (2012)

 

Walter Trout's 'Blues For The Modern Daze' is the essential blues album he's threatened to make over the last five years and he's finally delivered. It's got everything his fans would want from great songs to great playing and lashing of vigorous licks that bring the songs alive.

Apart from being one of the leading rock-blues guitarists of his generation the prodigious Walter Trout is that rare thing, a blues artist with something to say. His songs have covered the full spectrum of the human condition and he's penned contemporary anthems such as 'They Call Us The Working Class' and the post 9/11 boxing analogy of 'Go The Distance'.

He's also had a dig at the star system on 'Next Big Thing', uncompromisingly tackled greed on 'How Much Do You Want', dealt with personal alienation on both 'Life in the Jungle' and 'The Outsider', and more recently searched for spiritual reconciliation on 'Common Ground'.

And while in the past he may have self deprecatingly described himself as 'too rocky for blues fans and too bluesy for rock fans', on 'Blues For The Modern Daze' he takes the next logical step and focuses on the consistency of his song writing to bring real substance to the CD.

He's lost the star guests and outside producer that populated 'Common Ground' to go toe to toe with his tour band in the studio. And under the watchful eye of co-producer Eric Corne, Walter has cut some of the most essential blues of his career The meticulous attention to sonic detail brings out the magical guitar tones, the light and shade of the arrangements and enough of Walter's innate fiery passion to match the rigorous prep work. And though this isn't quite the first blues album of his career - that would be to overlook the limited edition 'Hardcore Blues'- it certainly is Walter's most mature record reflecting his concerted push towards more personal lyrics since the 'Livin Everyday' album.

The insightful songs come with a new found restraint and polish to his playing without losing any of the expected spark from his long time road band. It's an album with a linear progression that works its way round powerful rock blues outings, deeply entrenched grooves, stripped down 12 bar blues and an intermeshing acoustic/ and electric tableaux, as all roads lead to the bulldozing rock-blues title track that gives the album its sense of resolution. Walter ducks and dives with a series of high intensity solos built from the ground up. He throws all his qualities into the song and mixes them with real emotion as his guitar becomes an extension of his vocal phrasing.

The live in the studio set opens with a moving ode to his late mum on 'Saw My Mama Crying', which is a de facto sister track to his earlier career 'Please Don't Go'. He explores love songs like 'All I Want Is You' and reflects on personal redemption on the beautifully produced and emotively sung 'Recovery'. Above all the conceptual core of the album unashamedly asks the big question as to where we're all headed.

And after nearly 40 years of road work and 20 as a band leader in his own right, Walter has grown as song writer to become a perceptive chronicler of our times. The album speaks to us on different levels, be it the rib tickling lyrics of 'Turn Off The TV'; 'Turnoff your TV, they're just trying to sell you shoes, perfume, cars & bubblegum, coco pops and booze', or via his crying guitar on the title track centre piece.

The combination of meaningful lyrics in a blues idiom played by a scintillating guitarist with his road tested band is a potent force making this 21st album of his career his best so far

Trout is an advocate of the 'Bob Dylan school of recording' which tries to capture the moment and feeling of a song and that is just what this album achieves. His solos burn on 'Saw My Mama Cryin', he explores blues balladry on 'Lonely' and he gets low down in the alley on the guitar and piano duet 'Blues For My Baby'.

There's some unexpected unison guitar on the beautifully conceived and lyrically adroit 'Recovery' and he digs deep for a sweeping acoustic/electric groove and whispered vocals on the caustic 'Never Knew You Well'. And then as in keeping with the album's theme, he delivers a towering blues on another outstanding track, 'Brother's Keeper'.

But Walter also rocks hard, delivering some trademark bone crunching rock-blues licks and potent sing-along bv's on 'You Can't Go Home Again' and saves his most fiery fret work for the self explanatory 'Money Rules The World', a song on which for the first time in memory he uses wah wah.

This is an album that veers between lyrical torment and instrumental beauty. And if you didn't quite get the message of the songs so far, Walter spells it out on the brief spiky narrative of 'Master of Puppets', on which the characters may change but the status quo doesn't. The message quickly segues into the piledriving rock-blues of 'Money Rules The World' on which drummer Michael Leasure delivers his most aggressive drumming of his Trout career, while Walter makes his guitar cry as only he can

'Blues For The Modern Daze' is a blues album with a difference. It's full of meaningful songs with personal and political integrity and is fuelled by inspired playing that is by turns aggressive, emotive, expressive and always burns with intensity.

Damn right Walter's got the blues! But he's thrown out the clichés, blown away the cobwebs, and reconnected the genre with our daily lives and jammed it to its maximum potential.

He's one part an observer, one part a messenger and primarily a guitarist who can make his instrument speak form the heart. 'Blues For The Modern Daze' is a landmark album, the work of a mature recording artist and a citizen of the world searching for the truth and playing some of the best music of his career as a result.

*****

Review by Pete Feenstra

www.getreadytorock.com


 

Blues For The Modern Daze - CD Review

Mar 22, 2012

 

Written by  on March 22, 2012 in March 22, 2012Music Reviews - No comments

Walter Trout

"Blues For The Modern Daze"
www.waltertrout.com
Style (Blues)

By the 21st CD, I'd expect a musician to have figured out what works for them and what doesn't. And what I'm hearing in the new CD from Walter Trout is outstanding, excellently written and performed blues and I'd say Trout figured it out in spades. In my ears this isn't the blues meant to be appreciated in a dark and smoky room contemplating the hard times of life sucking down Marlboro's. Instead, what's different and what I like about Trout's 21st release is "new life" and "invigorating freshness" that stands up strong and lively in more high key settings. Trout's guitar playing is skillfully focused fitting wonderfully with his mature and scruffy vocals. Sometimes 15 songs on a CD are way too much but 15 isn't enough when the songs are this awesome.

Rating 4 ½ (Hidden Gem)

Editor's Note: Walter Trout performs at the 7th Annual Simi Valley Blues Festival on Saturday, March 28. For more info log onto www.simiblues.org

www.allaccessmagazine.com


Blues For The Modern Daze - Press Reviews

Feb 13, 2012

 

Sonic Shocks Tumblr – Walter Trout Announces New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://sonicshocks.tumblr.com/post/17546952740/waltertrout

 

Trout on the Hook with New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://gettothefront.co.uk/2012/02/trout-on-the-hook-for-new-album-and-tour/

 

Get Your Rock Out – Walter Trout: New Album And UK Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://getyourrockout.co.uk/wp/spotlight/walter-trout-new-album-and-uk-tour-dates/

 

Bman’s Blues Report – Walter Trout Announces New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

www.bmansbluesreport.com/2012/02/walter-trout-announces-new-album-and-uk.html

 

Classic Rock Radio EU – Walter Trout: New Album And Tour Details (Feb 13)

http://classicrockradioeu.blogspot.com/2012/02/walter-trout-new-album-and-tour-details.html

 

Uber Rock – Walter Trout Talks About His New Album – “Blues For The Modern Daze” (Feb 13)

www.uberrock.co.uk/news-updates/92-february-news-updates/3992-walter-trout-talks-about-his-new-album-blues-for-the-modern-daze.html

 

Stereoboard – Walter Trout Reveals New Album And UK Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/170594/9

 

Music Mafia – Walter Trout Announces New Album and UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://musicmafiauk.blogspot.com/2012/02/walter-trout-announces-new-album-and-uk.html

 

Hardrock Hideout – Walter Trout Announces New Album And UK Tour (Feb 13)

http://hardrockhideout.com/2012/02/13/walter-trout-announces-new-album-and-uk-tour/

 

Broadway World – Walter Trout To Release New Album (Feb 13)

http://tunes.broadwayworld.com/article/Walter-Trout-to-Release-New-Album-423-20120213

 

Classic Rock And More – New Walter Trout Album And UK Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://classic-rock-and-more.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-walter-trout-album-uk-tour-dates.html

 

Here Comes The Flood – Walter Trout: New Album “Blues For The Modern Daze” And Tour Dates (Feb 13)

http://blogger.xs4all.nl/werksman/archive/2012/02/13/735518.aspx

 

Gibson – Walter Trout Blues (Feb 13)

www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/News/walter-trout-blues-0213-2012/