Walter Trout: Blues For The Modern Daze

Unsung veteran bluesman continues to deliver.

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The continued survival of the blues depends as much on the non-stop hard work of journeyman players like former John Mayall, John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat guitarist Walter Trout as it does on the last surviving Real Guys like BB King and Buddy Guy, or the commercial success of once-every-decade-or-two breakthrough performers like Robert Cray or Stevie Ray Vaughan, not to mention assorted White Stripes or Black Keys.

Gigging since his late teens, recently turned 62 and with literally dozens of albums under his belt, Trout is a seasoned live performer, an extraordinary guitarist, an ordinary singer and an occasionally surprising songwriter capable of pouring a heart-wrenching lyric into a standard vessel – check out this album’s genuinely moving slow-blues vehicles Recovery and Brother’s Keeper for evidence of how a composer with something urgent to say can utilise traditional forms for genuine emotional impact.

Elsewhere, Trout’s house-rockin’ thing suggests that it would be a cynical punter indeed who could walk out of one of his shows feeling that they hadn’t got their money’s worth; sometimes you could almost be listening to a less quirky ZZ Top.

Still, there’s an awful lot of blues out there, and this album’s primo appeal may be to those who’ve caught, and dug, Trout playing live.