Monday, 7 April 2014

Record Review - Walter Trout

Published in the Shortlist section of The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday April 4.

Walter Trout & His Band
Luther’s Blues
Provogue Records

While Walter Trout isn’t a household name, his pedigree is indisputable. Having played with Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulson, Canned Heat, and held the coveted lead guitar spot in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in the ‘80s, Trout is a sideman par excellence, one of the slickest electric blues guitar players in the world today.

He’s also carved a niche as a solo artist, which is where Luther’s Blues comes in, being his own homage to old friend and fellow blues slinger, the late Luther Allison. Featuring 11 Allison originals, as well as a spoken word piece and a Trout original (When Luther Played The Blues), it’s a comprehensive look at a stellar player, interpreted by another.

While a lot of the record could be described as guitar masturbation, it’s so tastefully done, you can’t deny it’s entirely called for. Trout is in incendiary form; whether hurtling through sonic space (most of the record), or slow bluesing (Pain In The Streets and Freedom), he pulls new meat from old bones. Good stuff.

Samuel J. Fell

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