Walter Trout

Unspoiled by Progress

Now 58, blues/rock guitarist/vocalist Walter Trout takes a look back here at his 20-year career as a solo artist. After having spent five years in the ’80s with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Trout’s star rose brighter in Europe than here in the United States, thanks to a Danish producer who financed his 1989 solo tour. Seventeen albums on primarily European labels followed. Netherland’s Provogue Records specializes in “guitar-heavy blues rock,” and that’s what’s on offer here. The earliest track, 1991’s “Life in the Jungle,” detailing urban violence, dates from an Amsterdam concert and features the Hammond B-3 of Danny “Mongo” Abrams. Abrams is also on six other tracks and really shines on the ripping Don Nix song “Goin’ Down,” with Sammy Avila—Trout’s current B-3 man on the rest. (Trout, in fact, is probably the only guitarist who has an organist in his band, and for that I give him top marks.) Mixed in among the vintage songs are three recorded last March: “They Call Us the Working Class,” with the follow-up line “but we ain’t workin’ no more,” a bitterly ironic look at the current economic situation; “Two Sides to Every Story,” an acoustic blues inspired by Lightnin’ Hopkins; and Buddy Guy’s “She’s Out There Somewhere.” There’s something here for both blues and rock fans.