metal talk
Walter Trout: 'We're All In This Together'
Out Now: (Mascot Label Group)

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland
5th September 2017

walter trout

Legendary guitar man Walter Trout had more reasons to be blue than most a few years ago. Life threatening liver problems took him right to the edge, but he survived to tell the tale and put out some searing, intense blues albums to document his struggle, including 2015s 'Battle Scars'.

Now he's ready to move on and has done so with a project close to his heart. Back in 2006 he did the 'Full Circle' album which featured a plethora of guest stars. Now he's gone one step further and enrolled fourteen A-list guys to play with him on one song each on this collection, titled 'We're All In This Together' as a nod to the difficult times we all live in right now.

When I say A list, I'm not kidding. When you have Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Randy Bachman and John Mayall among the guests on an album, it tends to get blues and rock fans' attention.

The album is of course littered with great moments and brilliant playing, especially in the guitar department. Anyone with a love for the instrument couldn't fail to enjoy the licks traded back and forth by Trout and Eric Gales on 'Somebody Goin' Down' or the great lead lines which liven up 'Gonna Hurt Like Hell' and show that Kenny Wayne Sheppard has plenty of blues rock credentials.

However I tend to find that the blues needs to have an injection of some real personality and fire to really get into my soul and with all the big names on this album and the often searing playing of the man with a fish in his name I would expect this album to be full of that, yet somehow it isn't.

'She Steals My Heart Away', with Edgar Winter on board, starts meekly before the excellent lead work and saxophone playing give it the fire it needs. 'Ain't Goin' Back' with Sonny Landreth is a bit too polite in it's blues rock shuffle mode to really get the pulses racing and while no one can ever fault the playing or singing of the great Warren Haynes, using it on yet another version of 'The Sky Is Crying' kind of throws away the opportunity.

There is plenty to enjoy on this album; the collaboration with Randy Bachman on 'Got Nuthin' Left' is a total joy for example, I just expected a bit more of that fire everywhere else. That's the curse of working with all that talent - expectations get very high. I felt slightly disappointed by the end of this. Check it out and see if you agree.

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