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Walter Trout: Live Trout

Guitar wiz Walter Trout is a blues-rocker who broke into the game with the John Mayall Blues Band before unleashing his monstrous chops as a solo artist. He strikes with a vengeance on Live Trout, a two-CD set recorded at the 2000 Tampa Bay Blues Fest with his band, The Free Radicals. Trout comes out of the chute with his wheels screeching on “I Can Tell,” then proceeds to take it up a notch on “Walkin’ in the Rain.” His reading of the slow blues “The Reason I’m Gone” is infused with high drama and hot licks, while his message on the Hendrix-inspired “Livin’ Every Day” is imbued with hope and optimism. For sheer toe-curling blues power in a Stevie Ray Vaughanish vein, there’s “Finally Gotten Over You” and for something completely different there’s a tender rendition of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” Trout and The Free Radicals are not for everyone. Blues purists will be put off by the metal bombast of “Gotta Broken Heart,” their heavy-handed version of “Serve Me Right to Suffer” and the raucous rock ‘n’ roll of “Good Enough to Eat.” Thirty years ago, Johnny Winter was reaching young audiences with this same kind of super-charged energy and dazzling licks. Trout is speaking that same electrifying language to a different generation.

Originally Published