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Walter Trout

Blues For The Modern Daze

Review by Larry Toering

This is the 21st album Walter Trout has been involved in recording, but he only started making solo records in 1998. Before that (and since) he has been around with some of the best. He was in a version of Canned Heat in 1981, and then went on to play and record with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers from 1984 to 1989. This is an album that reflects a lot of things on Trout’s mind as he grows a little older and captures certain significances that are both happy and sad, and puts them into great songs. Most of it is modern contemporary blues rock, but with plenty of traditional factors, as well. Throughout Trout does a killer job of mixing the two for this fine recording. He is a world renowned blues veteran who has been all over touring for 39 years, popular throughout Europe as well as America. This is the sixth recording he has done now for Provogue Records, from the Mascot Label Group. Some deep and very personal issues are covered, and it makes things all the more intense and interesting, coming from this very experienced artist.

Track by Track Review
Saw Mama Cryin

This opening track comes from deep down inside of Trout's personal life, as he tells his own story with no fear. He’s backed by some hot straight forward blues licks to establish the overall vibe of this fantastic tune. The honesty comes through with every note, and you really feel what he's singing.

Lonely

Keeping the same groove this one is full of that modern touch for which Trout is going. With talk of electronic devices, Facebook and other comforts at public disposal that seem to detract from life as much as augment it. It's as if he is saying it must be lonely for those who choose to only communicate that way. More wonderful guitar playing is featured.

The Sky Is Fallin' Down

This is more of a shuffle with some great blues harp. The tempo is high energy and the whole thing is really worked up to a frenzy by the time Trout’s guitar solo takes over. What a hot lead it is, as he solos away with seamingly effortless talent.This is a lot of fun. It is a killer display of virtuosity without stepping outside the blues box.

Blues For My Baby
Things get soft as a feather here with this nice little blues ballad. The vocals are very smooth and laid back, actually quite romantic in approach. This is a playful and soulful tune with a cool guitar motif and some piano to top it off. It's the longest track (one of several lasting more than six minutes each), so it serves as the token long-player. The feel is almost ragtime, with some cool guitar effects thrown into the mix. Still, it keeps mostly to roots, nothing modern in style.
You Can't Go Home Again
This one, on the other hand, is contemporary blues rock at its finest. The vocals and guitar are equally matched. While that’s a case throughout the set, it really becomes apparent here. The vocals go up a notch in the process, making it all the more modern. This is where things start to really get killer.
Recovery

Taking things back down is not a bad idea when a track like this is involved. Trout goes deep into his own life to sing about his demons. One doesn't have to know that to feel the honesty coming through, as he lays it all out about his experience with addiction. It's a heartfelt effort with nothing but a positive message, played at a naturally slow pace. Lovely guitar lines enhance the melancholy feel of the tune with a shivering effect.

Turn Off Your TV

Taking the tempo back up a notch, this one has a title that pretty much speaks for itself. With a sort of country groove about it, this features humorous lyrics about too much TV being watched. This is yet another of the more modern accessible numbers featured here. This is probably the most purely fun track on offer.

Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous

A crunchy guitar intro begins this one, as they go back into a traditional blues. This is another sizzling hot track with some great piano backing.

Never Knew You Well
This is a great number with more of a soft rock feel. Although the vocals are smooth, they have a narrative storytelling vibe. Out of every track on the disc, this is one of the most satisfying modern numbers of all. It includes purely killer performances by everyone.
Puppet Master
Opening with a spoken voice telling what the puppet does beneath the master, this is just a forty second intro for the next track.
Money Rules The World

Instantly things go into a rocking wah wah guitar that proceeds to rip the ears apart, as Trout carries on about the root of all evil. This is one of the best moments found on the entire disc, and there are a lot of tunes here to compete with.

All I Want Is You
One slow traditional number seems to follow a faster modern one at every turn here, as things slow back down with this moody piece. It comes complete with a contagious warbling harp, and a slide solo. This is another one of the more captivating moments on offer, with some nice organ texture to add a bottom groove.
Brother's Keeper

 Contemporary and fast once again is the ticket, and this time Trout lets loose with another long-player of stellar proportions. What a fine tune this is, about the relationship between brothers. Some of the best guitar work of the whole album is on display here with occasional volume swells. It’s simply incendiary! This is another contender for the best number.

Blues For The Modern Daze
The title track is the most modern of them all, but starts off very traditional. In that way it tends to trick the listener before Trout goes into full on blues shred mode. Just after the mid-section he goes into a guitar vocal scat before repeating the chorus, and it has a cosmic effect. This is what the album is all about, as he comes on stronger than ever. Even the drummer is clearly having some of his best times here.
Pray For Rain

 A slower closer could not exist, as this is by far the lowest tempo found here. It is placed most appropriately, as Trout pleads for rain at a very soft mumble that is very soothing and simply tops off the entire celebration of modern contemporary blues rock. It is an excellent closer to an excellent disc.

 
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