Stricken with a disease that put him in hospital awaiting a liver transplant, Walter Trout was not about to go gently into the dark night. On his last album, Luther’s Blues, Trout played out of his skin in a tribute to late guiding light Luther Allison. This time round, the main focus – specifically on the title track, Wastin’ Away and The Bottom Of The River – is on Trout’s own predicament.
Cue impassioned playing and the death-defying metaphors of The Bottom Of The River – which, fittingly, invokes Delta mystery as Walter’s fiery electric, acoustic slide and lonesome mouth harp colour the blues.
Twenty-five years into his career, Trout knows how the blues comes in many flavours and moods. Epic covers of JB Lenoir’s The Whale and Chuck Berry’s Take A Little Time pay tribute to the roots of his world view. The latter features Walter’s former employer John Mayall, who is also on hand for Mayall’s Piano Boogie.
Add the ferocious Willie, a gripping takedown of industry dirty dealing, and the long, slow, sizzling and sensual finale Nobody Moves Me Like You Do and The Blues Came Callin’ is a fully rounded triumph in the face of adversity.