As we all know, Walter Trout is back with a vengeance. He is playing with passion and ferocity, performing like he has a new lease on life, because in fact, he does. His gratitude has translated into the best playing Trout has favored his fans with in years. What makes this especially sweet for Trout and his fans as well, is that he had to learn how to play guitar all over again from scratch.
Folks out there who have not seen Trout live, and witnessed the juggernaut he has become, are truly missing out! For these fans, the new album, ALIVE In Amsterdam is the closest they can get to being there. The album, out on June 17th on the Mascot Group/Provogue Records label, consists of two discs containing 16 tracks. This music has heart, it has soul, it has balls, and it’s performances are as honest as any artist could ever share with their fans.
Trout himself has said, “We were rocking. If people are expecting a laid-back show, that’s not what they’ll get. This is potent stuff. That whole tour was kinda triumphant for me. Just to be back, after what I went through. But also to be playing with a renewed energy and commitment.” Watching him perform on this tour, it is hard to believe the two years Trout recently spent battling back from his illness, and all the struggles associated with that fight.
The first track has Marie introducing Trout to an eager audience in Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre Carré. From then on, there is a passionate, incendiary display from a man at the top of his game, loving life, and what he’s doing. This album features selections spanning Trout’s five-decade career.
Friends, there are no “filler” tracks on this album; its’ all inspiring, and impressive. That said, we did have our favorites. “Help Me” is a steady onslaught, with a nod to John Mayall with its background motif. Trout dedicates the beautifully slow, forlorn, and articulate “Say Goodbye to the Blues” to his friend, the late B.B. King. We are treated to two narratives from Battle Scars; “Almost Gone,” talks about being on death’s door and the toll the battle has taken, and “Tomorrow Seems So Far Away” tells us what it’s like to be almost out of time and hope, waiting for a life giving new liver. “Haunted by the Night” closes out disc one, and features stunning guitar lines.
Disc two serves up world class performances as well. One of the tracks we enjoyed the most is “Rock Me Baby,” a smoking barn burner that has Trout’s son Jon joining him onstage on guitar. We also enjoyed “Marie’s Mood” immensely. This perennial crowd favorite is graceful, elegant, and captivating. “Serve Me Right to Suffer” is a slower blues featuring fiery lead lines that never disappoint. Disc two closes with “The Love That We Once Knew,” another audience favorite with superb chording, a spot-on solo, and Trout nailing the vocal.
ALIVE In Amsterdam is a must-have. You can pre-order, or wait until the album is released on June 17th. ALIVE In Amsterdam will be available as 3LP, 2CD & Digital.