Walter Trout - 'Alive In Amsterdam' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 10, 2016    
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A cracking album from one of the true gents of music.

If you have any love for the genre of music called the Blues, you will then, of course, have heard of guitar legend Walter Trout. His fifty-year love affair with this style of music has translated into a career spanning forty-two albums and record sales in their hundreds of thousands.

However, you'll also know that Walter Trout was stricken with liver failure and Hepatitis C in 2013; his prognosis was, to say the least, very grim. Thankfully Trout underwent a successful liver transplant in early 2014 and after a period of rest and recuperation returned to the music scene with the release of last year's wonderful autobiographical 'Battle Scars' album.

He then made a triumphal return to his first love, which is live shows, and to celebrate this return to performing, Trout and his band decided to record a new live album. One that he hoped would show his new found fire and joy of life. The venue for this celebration was the Royal Theatre Carre in Amsterdam and as Trout remembers himself "I hadn't felt this 'Alive' onstage for quite some time and we just tore the roof off that place".

My advice then is that if great guitar playing is your thing, sit down, pop this double disc release in the player and revel in what is a master class in how to play the Blues. It is also a master class in how to wring emotion and delight out of each note and the sheer pleasure of playing music just for the love of it.

As for the songs, after a short intro from his wife Marie, it's all systems go for Trout and his excellent band who hit us with glorious renditions of 'Help Me', 'I'm Back', 'Say Goodbye To The Blues', 'Almost Gone', 'Tomorrow Seems So Far Away', 'Haunted By The Night', 'Fly Away', 'Rock Me Baby' (where son John Trout joins him onstage for a guitar duel) and the stunning 'Marie's Mood', a song not originally in the set but when a member of the audience shouts out for it, Trout says "Yeah. Why Not?" and launches into a breath-taking version of the song. And that's only some of the story, as there are another six tracks to contend with.

As a long-time fan of the man I found this to be a very emotional album to listen to. Not just because it shows that you can overcome adversity and conquer it, but because it also shows that music does have healing powers. That, along with the love of his family and friends, is the main reason why Walter Trout is back today. A cracking album from one of the true gents of music.

Ian Johnson

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