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(2008 - Ruf Records)
Review Date: December 2008
by Robert T. Murphy
"The Outsider" perfectly describes Walter Trout's latest CD. Walter has been described in the past as too bluesy for rock & roll and too rock and roll for the blues. These same people need to listen to this CD which should cause them to take another listen. The songs are excellent, and while Walter can blast out a blistering guitar run with the best of them, my opinion is that he is first and foremost an excellent story teller. He incorporates bits of pieces of everyday and sometimes not so everyday life into his songs, which add an extra bit of humanity, which elevates his songs significantly above the "my wife and dog done left me" blues. This CD has risen to be one of my favorite CD's in general and one of the best Walter Trout CD's in my collection.
Some samples from the CD:
'Welcome to The Human Race' is straight ahead medium tempo rock & roll with Walters trademark guitar soloing all over it. One thing Walter can do is play guitar and this is a good example. 'The Next Big Thing' is a look at the music industry and how they promote "The next big thing" each week. The song opens with acoustic guitar and tells the story of the new "fast gun" on the block, relating the guitar slinger to the gunfighter mentality. About a minute and a half into the song, the electric guitars come out and the song gets heavy for a verse and this works back to acoustic and back to electric to finish up. The end of the song has a Beatles flair to it. 'All My Life' is one of the best songs on the CD, mixing accordian (of all things), acoustic guitar, bass and drums with Walter's storyline vocal in a great shuffle feel. YouTube has a wonderful video of Walter putting this song together in the studio. (Search for Walter Trout & All My Life and you will find it!) 'Child of Another Day' is Walter telling a various stories of meeting people that life has passed by and are living in the past. This is an interesting song as you can visualize the people that Walter has met throughout his career and brings to life in his song. 'The Outsider' is Walter commenting on his career and how he has always been an outsider (the whole too bluesy for rock & roll and too rock and roll for the blues!) This is a slow to medium tempo 12 bar blues with trademark Walter Trout guitar and powerful vocals. There is plenty of music on this CD as you have 13 songs to choose from as your favorite.
Bottom Line: Great guitar work, powerful vocals, and great songs with humanity and soul in a wide range of styles. If you haven't heard Walter Trout, this would be a great CD to start. If you are a fan of Walter Trout, this CD will be a must have for your collection. I give it five out of five stars.
Guitar and vocals - Walter Trout
Bass - James Hutch Hutchinson
Drums - Danny Aronoff
Produced by John Porter
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