Walter Trout & his band – Luther’s Blues – A tribute to Luther Allison

walter trout & his band - luthers blues - a tribute to luther allisonAmerican Blues guitarist Walter Trout has had a long and impressive career including stints with Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as well as a long solo career that has seen him release 22 solo albums.  It’s surprising then that after 25 years as a solo artist he’s only now releasing his first album of cover versions.
Unusually this isn’t a selection of songs from various different artists, instead all the songs covered are by the same artist – Luther Allison,  That gives the album much more of a focus than you’d normally get with an album of covers.

While many blues fans will already be familiar with Luther Allison and his music, a lot of people won’t be, so an album like this one really serves as a way for more people to discover his music.  Many people will have only started listening to the Blues via artists such as Joe Bonamassa who has wide appeal, so when he does a cover version then if people know it’s a cover they might check out the original and discover some classics, but covers aren’t often obvious to spot unless you look at the CD booklet carefully, whereas Walter Trout’s album makes it clear on the cover that this is a tribute to Luther Allison, so more listeners are likely to move on to listening to Luther Allison after hearing this.

The album contains twelve songs.  If you’re looking at the track listing you’re probably thinking to yourself that there are actually thirteen listed, but one of those (Luther speaks) isn’t a song – it’s just a recording of Luther Allison talking.
The songs are superb – as you’d expect, after all Luther Allison didn’t get to release more than 20 albums over a 30 year career without being an extremely talented musician.  The songs chosen for this album include what is probably his best known song ‘Cherry red wine’, which is the only song from this selection that I knew the original version of.

The last song ‘When Luther played the blues’ is not a Luther Allison song – instead it’s by Hans Theessink, but is a perfect song to include on the album as it’s such a great tribute to Luther Allison who sadly died in 1997.

Walter Trout sounds fantastic here – his voice is just perfect for the Blues – that classic mournful sounding voice that you automatically associate with the blues.  There are quite a few guitar solos in these songs, and as with the rest of the guitar work here,  Walter Trout does an excellent job.  I particularly like the guitar at the start of ‘Pain in the streets’ – it just seems to carry so much emotion and feeling, so when the mournful vocals start it just sounds like a natural continuation.

It’s a fantastic album for Blues fans old and new, and I hope that it will lead more people to check out Luther Allison’s work.  You can spend your whole life listening to lots of different music and still miss some amazing stuff, so albums like this that point you in the direction of great music you might have missed otherwise are a very good thing.

‘Luther’s Blues – A tribute to Luther Allison’ will be released on 10th June on Provogue records.

Rating: 9.5/10

Track listing:

1. I’m back
2. Cherry red wine
3. Move from the hood
4. Bad love
5. Big city
6. Chicago
7. Just as I am
8. Low down and dirty
9. Pain in the streets
10. All the kings horses
11. Freedom
12. Luther speaks
13. When Luther played the blues

Tour dates:
Tivoli Theatre, Wimbourne
Wednesday October 30, 2013
Box Office: 01202 885566
Email: boxoffice@tivoliwimborne.co.uk
The Tivoli Theatre, West Borough
Wimborne Minster, Dorset, BH21 1LT
www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk

The Robin 2, Wolverhampton
Thursday October 31, 2013
Tickets: £16 (advance), £17 (door)
Box Office: 01902 401211
20-28 Mount Pleasant, Bilston
Wolverhampton, WV14 7LJ
www.therobin.co.uk
Online Booking: www.ticketweb.co.uk

London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Friday November 8, 2013
Tickets: £22.50 and £25.31
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Door time: 7.00pm
Shepherds Bush Green, London, W12 8TT
www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk
Online Booking: www.ticketweb.co.uk

Picturedrome, Holmfirth
Holmfirth Blues Splash
Saturday November 9, 2013
Tickets: £22.00 Door time: 4.00pm
Five of the absolute best international touring Blues based guitar bands.
Walter Trout, Mitch Laddie, Virgil & The Accelerators; Ben Poole & Federal Charm.
Market Walk, Holmfirth, HD9 7DA
www.picturedrome.net
Online Booking: www.ticketweb.co.uk

The Ritz, Manchester
Manchester Blues Splash
Sunday November 10 2013
Tickets: £22.00 Door time: 4.00pm
Five of the absolute best international touring Blues based guitar bands.
Walter Trout, Mitch Laddie, Virgil & The Accelerators; Ben Poole & Federal Charm.
Whitworth Street West, Manchester, M1 5NQ
www.mamacolive.com/theritz
Online Booking: www.thegigcartel.com
Box Office: 0844 478 0898

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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