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Walter Trout - 'Blues For The Modern Daze' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e5/b5/4e/2697_waltertroutbluesforthemoderndaze_1346406345.jpg Hot

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I don't think you will hear a finer blues album this year.

Walter Trout is now into his sixth decade and ‘Blues For The Modern Daze’ represents his twenty-first release of a very productive and celebrated career. Schooled in the traditional Blues from an early age and putting much deference to the past, Walter cites seminal country gospel-bluesman Blind Willie Johnson as his main inspiration for this album. ‘His music is beautiful, primal, direct and deeply spiritual. I wanted to feel it at my back when we were cutting these songs’ says the Ocean City, New Jersey native. Having been a member of Canned Heat and sharing six-string duties with legendary Coco Montoya in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, he also shared the stage with John Lee Hooker for a time and invited a pre worldwide acclaimed Joe Bonamassa amongst others to play on his 2006 album ‘Full Circle’ marking him as a well respected member of the Blues community.

‘Saw My Mama Cryin’ is the opening track and first single which features an upbeat but traditional twelve-bar style and traditional lyrics yet with his distinctive electric blues picking on the solo followed by a modern take on the blues ballad with ‘Lonely’ featuring contemporary lyrics centred around ‘lonely’ people who only tend to interact with others on the internet through Facebook and other social media as well as mobile phones. In summing up regarding this album Trout states that ‘It sums up the thoughts and attitudes of somebody who is getting a little older and is feeling like he’s part of another era, with different values and a different perspective on life that’s prevalent today’.

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‘The Sky Is Fallin’ Down’ allows Trout to indulge in groove-laden stomping blues-rock with harmonica enthused accompaniment whilst continuing the flavour with a driving ZZ Top tinged ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’. ‘Blues For My Baby’ is a slow, traditional mean and moody number of which there are a few as you would expect including ‘All I Want Is You’ and ‘Pray For Rain’ that conjures up images of the mississippi delta. ‘Recovery’ has a lilting acoustic refrain with lovely perfectly referenced guitar tones underpinning a melancholic lyric as elsewhere you get a jaunty, uptempo jazzy blues ‘Money Rules The World’ with upfront bass and a mean solo. There’s an interesting Lynyrd Skynyrd feel to ‘Never Knew You Well’ where Walter uses overdrive through his Fuzz-Tone to give it its southern rock tinge whilst switching to distortion on ‘Brother’s Keeper’ as the subtle hammond in the background underpins this dirty distorted heartbreak blues number.

Walter goes all mid-tempo on the title track whilst indulging in a blazing solo where-by the amusing traditional ‘Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous’ features the oft-repeated line ”Had a big house and a whole lot of women and I swear that I never slept alone”. Referencing the sixties and seventies can never be a bad thing. Oh the nostalgia!

In summary: I don't think you will hear a finer blues album this year.

Carl Buxton

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