WALTER TROUT: ALIVE IN AMSTERDAM

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Bernard gets to grips with the blues legend’s latest live effort

For me Walter Trout has always been about the live performance. His albums, of which he’s released many in a long career, seemed only to serve as the focus of each tour. On stage he’s always delivered and justly earned a reputation as one of the great live acts. As for his recorded music, well I don’t think he’s ever made a bad album but then I don’t think he’s ever made a great one either. Until that is, last year’s Battle Scars, the album that came about after his long and well publicised illness. After miraculously pulling through following a liver transplant, his writing became inspired and provided what I think his records had always lacked and that is the songs in depth.

This new live album, recorded in November 2015 at Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre Carre, is a joyous celebration and not unreasonably contains plenty of songs from the Battle Scars album. The band, including Walter’s son John on guitar on several tracks, completely nail the music and aside from the usual live album complaints (drum solo anyone?), it’s a faithful document of that moment in Walter’s life. After the opening shred of ‘Play The Guitar’, ‘Help Me’ and ‘I’m Back’ launch proceedings in fine style. ‘Say Goodbye To The Blues’ slows things down before the Battle Scars tracks are played. That album is so strong that seven of the songs are included here and are all faithfully reproduced on stage before a nine minute ‘Rock Me Baby’, ‘Marie’s Mood’, ‘Serve Me Right’ and ‘Love That We Once Knew’ complete the set.

It’s a great live album that Walter’s fans will love and if this is how he currently sounds, we should all be going to his UK shows this year.

8/10

 

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