I’ve been listening to Walter Trout for around thirty years now, and in all that time I don’t think he has made a ‘weak’ album or one that comes over as filling out a contract. Even when, a few years back, he was literally dying from liver disease and waiting for a new liver, the albums he made that bracketed the new liver are both brilliant and deeply emotional journeys.
‘Ride’ is instantly recognizable as a Walter Trout album. The guitar playing is, of course, the focal point and very much in the style that garnered the review “too many notes played too fast”, but he also plays some beautiful slow and sensitive Blues that go right to the heart. I wonder if there is any other guitarist who can produce emotion from his weapon as naturally as Trout? He is joined by Johnny Griparic on bass, Michael Leasure on drums and Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis on harmonica and keyboards.
Every track on here seems to be written from the heart, whether it is an out and out rocker such as the title track with some superb harp playing from Zig Zag Andreadis, a piano driven belter like 'Leave It All Behind' or a tub thumper like ‘Ghosts’, all low down swampy drums and howling harp. His vocals still come straight outta New Jersey and there is no-one quite like him to put over a tear-jerker like ‘Follow You Back Home’.
My favourite track on this release is probably ‘Better Days Ahead’, a low, slow Blues that builds into a massive ballad with his most powerful vocals and some stunning riffage but there isn’t a track that feels like filler or that doesn’t have a whole hearted performance behind it.