2019, Mascot Label Group/Provogue
The blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one’s aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-comic lyricism. As a form, the blues is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.
Walter Trout is a bluesman. Walter Trout was able to get up when he was affect by a illness that seemed to have left him no hope and he did it through music, the power of his guitar and his desire to grasp to the blues as the only one way out: he ran quicker than Hellhounds on his trail? Or did he scare them with the powerful solos of his stratocaster? We have no way of knowing it. The only sure thing is that Survivor Blues is one of the most interesting and true rock-blues albums of 2019, an album not appropriate for those who don’t like blues guitar and great solos.
“Me, My Guitar and The Blues”, the opening song, is a stance, a weeping hymn to the blues and life which doesn’t lack a six strings that has no intention of keeping in the back and, actually , his supremacy roars like a black lion for the whole album. “Nature’s Disappearing” is a slightly jazzy shuffle, that recalls Robert Cray’s elegant blues.
Trout, as a seasoned musician, knows how to play with the styles of his genre and proves it: by continuing to listen we can find “Be Careful How You Vote” with an attack very similar to what SRV did – and it is not for everyone to compare a guitarist of this kind – the song then overflows, spreads, turning into a classic blues with groove; it makes the head move and uses up the listener also through a twist harmonic that duets with the guitar for large tracts, challenging and pressing it to have the dominance of the scene.
“Please Love Me”, a impossible request not to listen to, especially if it comes from a grate shape stratocaster that spreads rumbling sparks scattered with the romantic honey of Trout’s voice that becomes lingering and sly. Lastly, Trout knows very well that in every blues album a broken heart cannot be missing, the painful call of a lonely lover in the cold of the night, who with a heavy heart asks only to be loved; for this comes “Sadie”, a lingering song that also keep the listener calm.
Analyzing the long-play we see how the New Jersey guitarist in this work makes a real declaration of love to the genre giving us not a simple well-made cover cd, but songs become their own, introjected into the soul and then exposed to the public.
In order to do this he chooses unconventional songs, the less famous and praised, those on the margin of great artists’ production, and he proposes to the public made them new thanks to a blues rock, made of inflamed guitar solos and a raspy voice – along the same lines as Buddy Guy -. They are the sign of this great bluesman and they get together during the whole album as in “Woman Don’t Lie” with the collaboration of Sugaray Rayford, perhaps the best of the entire album. There are three instruments in this song that stand out and make it unique: the voices of the two singers who duet and launch extremely sensual and masculine hoarse and barking cries, and the guitar that comes in, always with the effect, launching its own clear notes.
In order to complete the album produced by the mythical Doors’ guitarist, Robby Krieger, in his sunny studios and who also appears as a guest star in the delta blues “Goin ‘Down To The River” by embarking in solos that intersect with those of the absolute protagonist, is a gift that every lover of the old-fashioned blues should do.
- Me, My Guitar And The Blues
- Be Careful How You Vote
- Woman Don’t Lie (feat. Sugaray Rayford)
- Please Love Me
- Nature’s Disappearing
- Red Sun
- Something Inside of Me
- It Takes Time
- Out Of Bad Luck
- Goin’ Down To The River (feat. Robby Krieger)
- God’s Word