There is a very true saying that “What goes round, comes round”. In the case of Walter Trout you can add the ingredients of consistency, relentless road work, and above all the epithet “inspirational guitarist and charismatic performer” to explain why after thirty five years of treading the boards professionally, Walter is finally being recognised as a rock blues heavy weight.
At the time of writing “Full Circle” made its Billboard Blues chart debut at number 2, and it is pleasing to report that the album is everything fans had hoped for.
This album is in fact Walter’s first studio album for five years, albeit the 2003 “Relentless” live recording did premier 14 new tracks. “Full Circle” is also surprisingly his first all blues album.
The cast list reads like who’s who of both Walter’s career thus far and the contemporary blues scene in general. John Mayall, Jeff Healey, Joe Bonamassa, Bernard Allison and Coco Montoya are just some of the blues heavyweights that join Walter for this timely musical summary of his hard working career.
But it isn’t just the stellar names that sparkle here. Certainly “She Takes More Than She Gives” - the deep blues opener with John Mayall - sets the standard for everything that follows. John’s nasal vocals act as the perfect foil for Walter passionate singing, while Mayall’s intuitive piano lines dip in and out of Walter’s big toned solo. The following single release “Working Overtime” featuring Jeff Healey is a sledgehammer power riff affair that will appeal to all blues rockers. But it is the ideas that underpin the project that make this album so good. Walter has tried to write and play in the style of his guests, and for the most part the concept works admirably. Who would have imagined the light and shade of the swing inflected jump blues of “Slap Happy” with former Canned Heat guitarist Junior Watson” or the down home harp led blues of James Harman’s “A Busy Man” on a Walter trout album. Walter also swaps powerful electric lead guitar for acoustic resonator with old buddy Eric Sardinas, and rounds off the whole project with DJ Larry Keane recalling his New Jersey musical influences as a neat coda to the whole project.