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Walter Trout - Blues For The Modern Daze

Mascot Music Production and Publishing

15 tracks

Walter Trout has been an icon in the blues and rock worlds for his fierce guitar play and stratospheric performances. Some of his recordings have leaned heavily toward the rock side of things, but this album is deeply entrenched in his love for the blues and contains fifteen exceptional, brand-new songs, all of which were written by Trout. This is an outstanding effort top to bottom: great music, lyrics and performances. I think this is one of Trout’s best overall efforts- from first listen to the many subsequent ones I found myself just wanting to hear these songs again and again.

The album starts off with a great cut with a driving beat- “Saw My Mama Cryin”. Walter gives us a traditional AAB blues tune with a long, straight ahead chorus telling a story of his mother and her perseverance. Midway he transitions into a wicked guitar solo that is a great compliment to an outstanding opening cut, setting the table (so to speak) for many more outstanding tunes.

Walter does some social commentary and shows some displeasure with things going on, his blues for the modern “daze”. Lonely” is a slow blues that comments how lonely people must be because they are “staring at their computers and yelling in their phones”, an apt commentary on the facelessness of many peoples’ lives today. Pollution and the environment are the focus of “The Sky Is Fallin’ Down”, another hot cut with another mean guitar solo. “Recovery” is a soulful ballad with vocals, guitar and B3 just laying feelings and emotions out there. In “Turn Off Your TV” Trout tells his listeners to avoid being marketed to by turning off their idiot boxes so you can think for yourself.

“Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous” bemoans the previous life of the rich and famous turning into a life of living as the poor and unknown. “Puppet Master” is a 45 second spoken poem on how the puppet master wants control and casts off uncooperative puppets because millions more are waiting in the wings. Trout immediately blasts off into “Money Rules the World” after this, a high strung journey into the ionosphere that nicely ties in thematically to the poem before it. The title track starts off acoustically and then blasts off into a large scale electric assault. Walter obviously feels strongly about many issues of the day and expresses himself with great emotion and feeling in his songs here. Hot, hot stuff with a message to boot.

Cuts like “Blues For My Baby” that are mostly instrumental offer some great stuff, too; the piano playing back and forth with Trout’s guitar is pretty nice and his guitar “solo” goes on and on for the big ax aficionados. He closes the set with “Pray for Rain”, all acoustic with perhaps more commentary on climate change as crops are dying due to the lack of rain and the poor farmer who can’t deal with things. Emotional stuff.

Space and time limit comment on every track but suffice it to say that this is a great set of songs from start to finish. The guitar solos are immense yet they, too, make statements. This is my favorite album of Trout’s in many years- great song writing, poignant statements and superlative performances. Certainly this is one of the best albums of 2012. Trout’s fans will eat this up and those new to Trout will see the master at the top of his craft. Most highly recommended!!!

Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and work with their Blues In The Schools program. He resides in Byron, IL.

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