Anyone who claims to be a fan of Blues/Rock will know Walter Trout. Approaching 70 Years old, his history as part of Canned Heat, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and many iterations of the Walter Trout Band is legendary. His rescue from alcohol and drug dependencies by meeting Carlos Santana and the help of his wife is well chronicled as is his liver transplant in May 2014 and the recovery that involved re-training his brain to walk, talk and play guitar. His is the absolute epitome of the Blues.
So to his 31st album (aside from the albums with John Mayall) ‘Broken’. His playing was once described as “too many notes, played too loud” and he is still capable of tearing out a high speed solo, but he is also capable of playing some intensely soulful Blues - 'Love Of My Life' - and his voice is brilliantly suited to the highly emotive songs on the new album. Such as the collaboration with Beth Hart (herself a damaged angel) on the title track.
“All of us are broken. But no one is beyond repair.” It's a philosophy that Walter Trout has lived by and even now, with the world more fractured than ever – by politics, economics, social media and culture wars – he chronicles the bitter schisms of modern life but refuses to succumb to them. The album is anything but ‘broken’. He has a positive and confident sound to most of the tracks here, filled with power and assertiveness. This whole album feels like Walter Trout back to his prime. Angry, yes, but empathetic too and the whole album bristles with righteous annoyance at the state of our world.
There are a couple of other collaborations – with Will Wilde (harmonica) on ‘Bleed’ and with Dee Snyder on ‘I’ve Had Enough’ – but most of the music is pure Trout and bloody fine it is too.