Walter Trout and the Free Radicals: Live Trout
Ever since the horrible and untimely death of Stevie Ray Vaughn, America has been searching for its next true guitar hero. Many great players have come along in these past 10 years but none possessed all of the elements necessary to claim the crown from the fallen king. SRV was the complete package: technical wizardry, passionate vocals, great supporting players, strong original material, and all of the intangibles, including what some call magic, and others call electricity. He could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck even on an off night.

A few short months back, a plane from Europe brought the heir apparent back to his native US soil. He had been abroad for many years, first
as a member of Canned Heat and later of the famed John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. For the past several years, he had been playing as a solo act before enormous audiences throughout Europe and other parts of the world, as well. But, now at near 50 years of age, he had come home to America, perhaps unaware that it would be to attend his coronation.

"Live Trout" is Walter Trout's sword in the stone, signifying his declaration as rightful heir to the throne. It is a 2 CD set, recorded live in March 2000 at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest. It is, quite simply, a guitar driven blues/rock masterpiece. On these mostly original tracks, Trout plays with fiery intensity, reminiscent of the late Roy Buchannan. His vocals are soulful and dripping with emotion. The band is excellent, featuring long time bassist Jimmy Trapp, Paul Kallestad burning up the B-3, and the top notch percussion of Bernie Pershey. I will not even try to pick favorites in this set, as there is just too much tremendous material here from which to choose. However, I do find myself repeating "Gotta Broken Heart" a good bit as I listen to this wonderful collection of power packed songs.

Finally, an important point bears mentioning: I have heard that along with the incredible talent with which he was entrusted, Stevie Ray was also a nice young man who later became a deeply spiritual person. It only stands to reason that the successor to his throne should also be such an individual. I had the distinct pleasure several months back of spending some time speaking with Walter Trout at a show in Louisville, KY. He spoke to me of his love for both God and family and frankly admitted to the crowd that night that God had given him a second chance following his own struggle with substance abuse. I found him to be both gracious with his time and an engaging and sincere conversationalist. I left him that evening with the statement to him that I had come as a fan of Walter Trout the musician, but was leaving as a greater fan of Walter Trout the person.

May God grant you eternal peace in His presence, Stevie Ray. Rest well, for your mantle is in most capable and deserving hands.

"Live Trout" is available at most local retail music stores and numerous online sites. If you live abroad, the "sister" European Mascot-Provogue release "Face the Music" (another live set with some of the same songs as "Live Trout") is also available at many similar locations.




The Band:
Walter Trout: guitar and vocals
James Trapp: bass
Bernard Pershey: drums
Paul Kallestad: Hammond B3 organ

Tracks:
Disc 1: 1. I Can Tell 2. Walkin' In The Rain 3. Say What You Mean 4. Reason I'm Gone, The 5. Come Home 6. Walter Speaks 7. Livin' Every Day 8. Let Me Know

Disc 2: 1. Finally Gotten Over You 2. Gotta Broken Heart 3. Walter Speaks Again 4. I Shall Be Released 5. Serve Me Right To Suffer 6. Good Enough To Eat

Web site: Walter Trout & the Radicals
© Bluesrockers 2001