This year should be a year of celebration for Walter Trout as it marks his 25th year as a solo artist. A tour was planned but had to be cancelled as he’s currently ill and awaiting a liver transplant. Since his health problems have been going on for several months, I wasn’t expecting a new album just yet, but it’s a tribute to how much he enjoys playing that he’s made the album despite his poor health.
The album contains 12 tracks – 10 new songs from Walter Trout, one written by John Mayall, and a J.B. Lenoir cover (The whale)
Brief comments on a few tracks
The album opens with “Wastin’ away”. Having lost 100 pounds in weight (over 7 stone) due to his illness then the lyrics “Looking in the mirror, but I don’t know who I see, No I don’t, so I take another look baby, but it still don’t look like me”, make perfect sense. The song really is very autobiographical and it’s good that despite lines like “Feel like I’m wasting away” there is a sense of defiance throughout the song – this doesn’t sound like somone who is just going to lie back and fade away.
The lyrics for “The bottom of the river” are a real metaphor for the struggle Walter Trout is going through. The lyrics tell of a man who is dragged down to the bottom of the river by the current and faces death by drowning until a voice inside him says its not his time to die and he then realises he has a lot to live for and fights to regain the surface and cheat death.
The John Mayall penned track is actually more a jam than a song, as Mayall plays some boogie woogie piano and Walter Trout and the band join in.
The album ends with “Nobody moves me like you do”, a lovely song with great heartfelt lyrics.
This is a fantastic blues album. Walter Trout’s illness has clearly had an impact on the album – the pain and emotions that go with the illness have been written into the album, with the music and lyrics carrying so much power and emotion. It really is a superb album, and totally deserves top marks. If you’re a fan of the blues then this is an essential addition to your album collection.
The Blues came callin’ will be released on 2nd June 2014 via Provogue records
1. Wastin’ away
2. The world is going crazy (and so am I)
3. The bottom of the river
4. Take a little time
5. The whale
7. Mayall’s piano boogie
8. Born in the city
9. Tight shoes
10. The blues came callin’
11. Hard time
12. Nobody moves me like you do