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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Provogue Records artist: Walter Trout - The Blues Came Callin' - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 10, 2014), The Blues Came Callin', from Walter Trout and it is nothing short of super. This release, marking Trout's 25th anniversary as a solo artist is a nice addition to his catalog. Opening with blues rocker Wastin' Away, Walter and his troupes sound tight and ready to rock. A slight melodic tip to Humble Pie's I Don't Need No Doctor, Walter sings I Feel Like I'm Wasting Away as he fires up his strat like a flame thrower. The World Is Going Crazy (And So Am I) has a rhythm putting me in mind of The Shape I'm In (The Band) but Trout is nothing about that laid back country rock stuff and much more about the hot running blues. Stepping up again he shows that there is no loss of imagination or feel. The Bottom Of The River opens with acoustic guitar/resonator guitar work. Developing a heavy bottom and with the addition of harp, the intensity slowly grows until Trout is full out on electric guitar. Take A Little Time is a sweet shuffle track with nice boogie piano under the melody. A Chuck Berry/Keith Richards like guitar solo crowns this track and it's really a lot of fun. The Whale is a straight up rocker with hot blues riffs. Willie is a smokin' boogie track with screaming harp and Trout playing in tandem. This is one of the hottest tracks on the release. Mayall's Piano Boogie is a cool track of course featuring strong piano work in front. Trout lays back in the wings as the melody develops stepping up with slick Texas style guitar riffs. Very nice! Bound to be one of the most popular tracks on the release, Born In The City, has a solid slung blues pace directed by a solid bass line (like Fool For Your Stockings). Trout really takes over on this track with crisp vocals and the best guitar riffs on the release. Instrumental Texas shuffle, Tight Shoes has a SRV swagger and Trout really knows how to walk the walk. This is an excellent track and one that definitely see strong airplay for the right reasons. Title track, The Blues Came Callin', is born out of the sound of John Lee Hooker even featuring some traditional Hooker riffs. All electric, all the time, John Mayall takes a nice walk on the keys leading up to one of the fiercest solo's on a Trout release in a while. This is Trout swinging his axe at his best. Hard Time is a blues rocker with a light funky twist. Trout really hits a cool slot on this track. Egged on by a funky drum beat, Trout holds back using rhythmic dynamics rather than faster fingering. Very nice. Wrapping the release is another slower blues track along the lines of "Help Me". Nobody Moves Me Like You Do has a modified bass line built over this classic blues vamp and it's terrific. Again Trout holds back and allows the track to breathe as he sings the melody with only small licks of fire. Then he slowly lets out the leash and lets the big dog eat. If you love blues and want to hear Trout play fine explosive but spontaneous blues guitar solos, this is a great opportunity.

 I suspect if you have been following my report of even a casual fan of the blues you know that Walter is battling liver disease. This release was recorded throughout 2013 and is finally ready to hit the road running. here's well wishes that Walter is soon on the road to recovery.
Currently in production and scheduled to be shown in the summer, the exclusive documentary features Walter talking in depth about his life and music. Also featured in the documentary are many of the people who influenced Trout personally and professionally. To coincide with the release of the album, Provogue Records has orchestrated an extensive concert tour, a collectible re-issue limited edition vinyl series, and a book biography. "The Blues Came Callin'" will be available on 180 gram vinyl, CD, and as a limited edition CD/DVD combo. The DVD will contain a 2014 full-length documentary about Walter Trout.

 Walter is currently hospitalized and in urgent need of a liver transplant! Walter has been battling severe liver disease bravely for the past many months. He has continued touring and recording until a few weeks ago - he loves playing for people, and it has been the best medicine for him. We were given hope that medicinal treatment could reverse his condition but we now know that this hasn't worked. His liver has failed, and doctors say his survival depends on receiving a transplant. He is at UCLA in and out of Intensive Care, which is a prime facility for liver transplants. Walter has health insurance but this will not cover the full cost of his treatment. The medical expenses, co-pay, medication, after-care, etc. are going to be immense. Walter will need to cancel much of the tour planned for 2014 leaving him and his family with little income. By helping support this effort, you can help give Walter peace of mind and focus solely on his health and recovery before, during and after the transplant. The timeline is uncertain at this point. Waiting for a suitable liver donor in the hospital can be a lengthy and costly process of many weeks or even months. There will be considerable cost for rehabilitation, re-training and physical therapy post-surgery Quote From Walter's Wife Marie: "Thank you for coming here and sending your love towards Walter. It means the world to him and to me to feel surrounded with your love and prayers at this difficult time. Walter has lost 100 pounds and most of his muscle tissue in the past year, and suffered much pain. It has been heart wrenching to watch him go through this. He has tried to put on a brave face for us all - he has kept playing, composing, singing, touring, and recording because music and communicating through music has always been his life line.. But he has reached the point, where he is too sick to stand up or even hold a guitar. Thank you again on Walter's behalf for your love and support." - See more at:

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