From hellish childhoods to hometown salvation: Walter Trout still has a lot to say

Blues survivor Walter Trout reflects on struggles past and present on new album Ride

Walter Trout - Ride cover art
(Image: © Provogue)

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Veteran band leader and reformed hellraiser Walter Trout has harnessed his destructive impulses and turbulent emotions and forged a long and successful career. What more could he say on a thirtieth solo album? 

Quite a bit, it turns out. Setting the scene with Ghosts and dazzling single Ride, Trout revisits his escape from a hellish childhood at the mercy of a cruel stepfather and finding salvation in his home-town music scene (The Fertile Soil). 

Beneath the guitar heroics lurk serious and heartfelt lyrics, but the record is by no means a downer. Leave It All Behind revs with the thrill of the open road, while I Worry Too Much is squelchy funk in a Stevie Wonder vein. And Trout is an astute commentator on worldly troubles on So Many Sad Goodbyes and Better Days Ahead

To echo one of his finest moments as a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers: ‘I got me one life to live, I ain’t supposed to die yet.’

Claudia Elliott

Claudia Elliott is a music writer and sub-editor. She has freelanced for BBC Radio 2's Sounds of the 60s, Uncut, History of Rock, Classic Rock and The Blues magazine. She is a 1960s music specialist.