Walter Trout ‘ALIVE in Amsterdam’
With songs pulled from every era of his five-decade career, the ‘ALIVE in Amsterdam’ set is potent stuff indeed, from the stinging Luther Allison cover “I’m Back,” to the plaintive B.B. King tribute “Say Goodbye To The Blues,” which builds from neck-tingling guitar swells to a stunning virtuoso climax. ‘Battle Scars’ is well-represented by the harmony-bolstered rocker “Almost Gone” and the raucous “Tomorrow Seems So Far Away,” while Trout is joined by his son Jon for “Rock Me Baby,” and even finds time for a fistful of fan favorites, including “The Love That We Once Knew” and “Marie’s Mood.” “You can hear that a guy yells out for ‘Marie’s Mood,’” he laughs. “I actually hadn’t planned on doing that one…”
But Trout has made a career-long habit of throwing us curveballs. A native of New Jersey, his practical schooling began in earnest when he arrived in Los Angeles in 1974, and promptly earned his reputation as an A-list sideman, backing John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Finis Tasby, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, Percy Mayfield and Joe Tex. In 1981, he joined the remaining original members of the legendary Canned Heat, but the real turning-point was his five-year tenure with British blues giant John Mayall, who invited Trout to become the latest in the Bluesbreakers’ lineage of guitar greats (including Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor).
Trout founded his own solo band in 1989 and cut his debut album ‘Life In The Jungle’ that same year, rapidly becoming a chart-topping star in Europe. His first stateside release, 1998’s critically heralded ‘Walter Trout,’ made him a fixture of the US blues-rock scene. Released in 2015, ‘Battle Scars’ is his 18th album on the Netherlands-based Provogue label, and his 42nd overall, including pre-solo recordings with Canned Heat and the Bluesbreakers.
Over the decades, Trout has accumulated numerous honors. He is a three-time winner of the Overseas Artist Of The Year title at the British Blues Awards, and a three-time Blues Music Awards nominee. In 2015, he won the Sena European Guitar Award, an honor he shares with acclaimed past winners like Brian May, Steve Lukather and Slash. Trout’s six-string prowess also earned him the #6 slot in BBC Radio 1’s Top 20 Guitarist listeners’ poll.
Now, in 2016, ‘ALIVE in Amsterdam’ marks the latest twist in this fascinating bluesman’s tale, and the chapter that we all prayed would come to pass. Urgent, impassioned and electrifying, it’s a live album to treasure, and the perfect appetite-whetter as Trout heads out on tour this year, stopping off at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals in the US and Europe.
Walter shows you magic in the studio, of course. But it’s on the stage where he truly comes alive. “I get into the energy and the moment and the excitement of it all,” he says. “I think I’m a very different guitarist live…” (originally posted on waltertrout.com )