Get this crazy baby off my head!


Walter Trout

Walter Trout - Livin' Every Day - 1999 - Ruf

Famed BBC disc jockey Bob Harris once called Walter Trout “the world’s greatest rock guitarist” in his book The Whispering Years and won Walter sixth spot on BBC Radio One’s list of the Top 20 guitarists of all time. Walter was 14 years old, when his brother brought the first album by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band into his family's New Jersey home. Walter's future guitar style was to be influenced by the magic of the twin guitars of Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, and Paul Butterfield's gut-deep harmonica and vocal performances. Walter's mother also played discs by Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, John Coltrane, Bo Diddley and many other soul and blues legends. Walter first started playing the blues seriously when he came to Los Angeles in 1973 and got gigs behind artists like Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Finis Tasby, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, and Percy Mayfield. In 1981 he joined the remaining original members of Canned Heat. However, the real turning point in his career was his time with the legendary British blues giant John Mayall. Along with Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, Walter became part of the Bluesbreakers’ famed list of great guitarists. In 1984 he shared guitar with Coco Montoya in the Bluesbreakers creating an explosive guitar dynamic that helped the Bluesbreakers regain their rightful place as one of the great touring bands on the international blues circuit. In 1989, Walter led his own band and released his debut "Life In the Jungle" album, which earned him a reputation as one of the great blues guitarists on the European scene. He has become one of the greatest and most respected guitarists on the American blues-rock scene today. In an interview in 2009, Jerry Fink asked Walter "What do you say to purists?" He replied with "I say go listen to whomever you want. I can’t be bothered with trying to please everybody. I’m trying to be an artist and expand myself as a person and explore my talent and my possibilities and I’m trying to basically have a good time doing what I do. The purists I couldn’t give a (expletive) about. I think they’re racist. When they come up with, “You’re a white guy. You can’t play the blues,” I think you need to go tell Yo-Yo Ma he can’t play classical music because that’s the music of white Europeans. “Yo-Yo Ma, take your Stradivarius and go home.” That’s the same mind-set. You gotta get past that (stuff). You really do. I played with John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Percy Mayfield, Lowell Fulson, Bo Diddley and Detroit Junior. I have a long list of old black guys I played with. I respect them and love them and look at them as inventors and innovators, but they didn’t come out and try to imitate anybody. And I’m not going to try to imitate anybody. We’re all second generation here. If you want to get into the thought process, the real thing in the blues is a black guy from Mississippi or Chicago and if you’re not that, just be who you are, be true to yourself. Quit imitating people. I just don’t have time for the purists. I didn’t go into this to try to please some prejudiced dude and fit into his preconceptions and his intellectualizing. Art’s not about your brain, it’s about your heart. You either feel it or you don’t". Walter has also said that "I always listened to the blues, probably more than anything else. I loved playing it on the guitar, but I loved everything. I’d just as soon listen to Joni Mitchell as listen to Howlin’ Wolf. I like them both". On “Livin' Every Day” the brilliant guitarist plays dynamic fiery leads throughout the album, as well as a few lyrical and sensitive solos. Arguably, the balladic tracks lessen Walter’s guitar power but nonetheless this is a great album for fans of great of blues guitar. Listen to Walter’s s/t 1998 album and check out Walter Trout & Friends “Full Circle”, Walter Trout & The Radicals “ Vegas Live”, Walter Trout, Omar Dykes, Popa Chubby, & Michael Lee Firkins “Jimi Hendrix Music Festival (live)” on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 157 Mb]


1 Livin' Every Day 4:40
2 Let Me Know 4:54
3 Playing With A Losin' Hand 4:11
4 Sweet Butterfly (Sophie's Song) 4:51
5 I Thought I Heard The Devil 4:22
6 Through The Eyes Of Love 4:59
7 Nothin' But The Blues 5:12
8 City Man 2:29
9 Fool For Love 5:02
10 Say What You Mean 5:10
11 Apparitions 6:52
12 Junkyards In Your Eyes 4:26
13 The Love That We Once Knew 4:53
14 Prisoner Of A Dream 5:15

All tracks composed by Walter Trout


Walter Trout - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Jim Trapp - Bass
Ernest Williamson - Piano
Paul Kallestad - Hammond B3
Bernard Pershey - Drums, Percussion
Jim Spake - Saxophone
Scott Thompson - Trumpet
Wally Bass, Bertram Brown, William Brown, Jackie Johnson - Background Vocals


Walter Trout enjoys pockets of support in the United States, but he is a veritable rock and blues god in Europe, where he routinely headlines major tours and releases albums to great critical acclaim. A slashing, intense guitarist, his work echoes the experimental freedom of Jimi Hendrix, the jammy sting of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the speedy phrasing of Eddie Van Halen. An impassioned singer who handles both hard rockers and slow blues, he is one of the last great purveyors of the sweat-stained art of rock showmanship.Born in Ocean City, New Jersey, on March 6, 1951, Trout inherited a love of music from his parents. "I was really lucky in that, even though my parents were not musicians, they were both incredible afficionados and lovers of music," he told Contemporary Musicians. "I heard it in the house all the time. There was anything playing from Duke Ellington to Count Basie to John Coltrane to Bill Monroe to Hank Williams to Ray Charles … you name it. I remember my father taking me to a black jazz club in Atlantic City when I was a little kid to see a pianist named Ahmad Jamaal…. My dad also took me to see Gary U.S. Bonds and Chuck Berry on a bill. My mom took me to see James Brown, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Andy Williams, Lou Rawls. I also saw the Philadelphia orchestra on many occasions." Trout's first instrument of choice was the trumpet, which he began learning before he had turned ten. To encourage the boy, his mother, an English teacher who read poetry aloud to him, set up a special meeting with one of the youngster's idols. "When I was ten years old, my mom arranged somehow for me to spend an entire afternoon hanging out with Duke Ellington and his orchestra," recalled Trout. "I got to hang out with them in their dressing room. I was an aspiring trumpet player and I got to sit down and have guys like Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, and Paul Gonzales talk to me about jazz and music. Then Duke Ellington sat down on a couch with me and talked about the music business and what I could expect if I went into it. One of the things he told me was, 'Always keep your focus on being an artist and don't look for the glory. Try to have a career of longevity and not be a one-hit wonder. Concentrate on being the best that you can be on your instrument and think of it as an art and not show-business.' It was an amazing day." His parents' divorce marred the boy's seemingly idyllic situation, and young Walter was later emotionally scarred by the constant drunken turmoil created by his stepfather. As a result, he launched himself into music, switching over to guitar once his older brother, Ed Jr., tired of the one he owned. Overnight, Trout's musical interests changed. "That was the year that Dylan's first album came out. They had Hootenanny on televison. I got into the folk music thing and I was a big fan of the Chad Mitchell Trio." Many folk performers of the early 1960s included blues tunes in their repertoire, so the leap to that genre seemed natural for Trout, who recalled that his brother Ed continually encouraged his new areas of musical interest. "He brought home an album and said, 'Sit down and listen to this guy play the guitar.' It was the first Paul Butterfield album which featured Mike Bloomfield on guitar…. That changed my life. The trumpet went away and I knew what I wanted to do right then." Initially Trout performed solo, playing his first gigs in restaurants as an acoustic act. Egged on by the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960s rock-blues explosion, Trout played various spots in New Jersey, including the Steel Mill—which launched Bruce Springsteen—with a local aggregation called Wilmont Mews. A recording of the group from 1972 appeared on the Deep Trout compilation, and showed the youngster sounding quite polished. Hoping to make a name for himself, Trout moved to California in 1974 and began asking to sit in with other bands. Ironically, his first regular job didn't require his services as a guitarist. Sitting in with the Jive Bombers, a local country and bluegrass combo, he was told that they already had a guitarist, but needed a singer. After singing a couple of Hank Williams standards, he was hired as a regular vocalist, but was repeatedly told they didn't need another guitarist. With his first paycheck he bought a white Fender Stratocaster, and asked that he be allowed to play it on stage. Reluctantly, the other Jive Bombers acquiesced. Trout recalled with a chuckle: "I got up and played a song and they got all excited, 'You didn't tell us you could play like that!' That night I ended up as the lead guitarist. By the end of my tenure there, I eventually turned them from country bluegrass into a band that played Chuck Berry and early Stones. They ended up losing their regular gig because they went too rock 'n' roll." All the exposure did Trout some good. Soon he was playing clubs with various rock and soul bands, including J.E. Davis and the Boys. This led to some gigs playing behind established touring industry stars such as Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers, Joe Tex, Percy Mayfield, Big Mama Thornton, Pee Wee Crayton, and O.B. Wright. "Once I got my first sideman job," Trout proclaimed, "I was never without work." He backed up Big Mama Thornton, and John Lee Hooker, who was also on the bill, asked Trout to play a set with his band. Trout explained, "So, I got up and played and ended up in his band. Through playing with his band, I get heard by some members of Canned Heat and they say, 'We have a tour of Australia and Henry [Vestine] is drinking too much, would you do the tour?' I did the tour and ended up with a four-year gig." Trout injected some much-needed life into Canned Heat, whose days as an influential combo ended with the 1960s. In return he received some studio and overseas touring experience. This, however, exacerbated his drinking problem. "I drank to escape the pain of my youth and the pain I was feeling," he explained to Contemporary Musicians. "I was running from a lot of my past." Trout landed a gig opening for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and ended up playing a set as second guitar to Mick Taylor. Mayall later added Trout to his group, but the thrill of recording and touring with Mayall was no match for Trout's hard-drinking ways. Finally, in 1987 a disgusted Carlos Santana, one of Trout's musical heroes, confronted the New Jersey guitarist about his constant inebriation and musical sloppiness. Ashamed, Trout finally quit drinking. Once sober, Trout's guitar technique improved dramatically and he began wondering if a solo career would be viable. One night in Denmark, Mayall was too sick to perform. Trout and fellow Bluesbreaker Coco Montoya filled in and brought the house down. Afterwards, a promoter offered Trout a chance to record and tour under his own name. By the end of his first solo tour, Trout was playing major venues to packed houses. Recording for the Provogue label, he even scored a hit, a single called "The Love That We Once Knew," which became a number one hit in Europe in 1990. It was re-recorded on Livin' Every Day in 1999. Overseas, Trout was a star who toured with Elton John and had a video on European MTV's power rotation. But American record labels still weren't buying. "I think that here in America, this type of music is taken for granted because it's everywhere and I think a lot of people in this country have even turned their back[s] on it," the performer declared. "It's just part of everyday life in America. In Europe it's not. They're still kind of in wonder when you come out and play it with the feel that Americans seem to have." Trout hoped to solve his greatest career conundrum—blues labels thought he was too rock, rock label thought he was too blues—by signing with Silvertone in 1994. However, the American independent label promoted poorly in the States and not at all in his European base. Fortunately, fellow Bluesbreakers guitarist Coco Montoya suggested he get together with producer Jim Gaines, who in turn got Trout onto the German Ruf label. A prolific songwriter with a knack for non-traditional lyrics, Trout has done his best work for Ruf, and his releases have sold well worldwide. In return Ruf has given the artist creative carte blanche. "[Ruf] has never once said anything about material," Trout stated. He added that the label has said, "'Here's a budget. It might not be a lot, but here's what I have. You make it work. You go make me a record. You do your job and I'll do mine.'"For the most part, Trout likes spontaneity in the studio and on stage. Many times songs are discussed rather than formally arranged or rehearsed. "Actually, it's the John Mayall thing of finding musicians that have chemistry, and then they play together naturally," said Trout. "A lot of that doesn't even have to be spoken, it's just felt among the four of you. It's definitely instinctual." Whether recording or playing a live gig, Trout still sings with every gutcheck emotion at his command. Asked if he finds that approach difficult to maintain, the singer responded: "You know what, it's not difficult to keep meaning it, because for me it's therapy." He described how his music has drawn on and then reflected his emotionally difficult and sometimes violent childhood, his parents' breakup and the problems with his alcoholic stepfather. "If you listen to a song of mine called 'Collingswood,' [from Relentless] it's in there. It took me thirty-five years to write that and when I wrote it, I had a nervous breakdown. So, the music and guitar became therapy for me. It became an outlet, a refuge, and a sanctuary." Today, Trout's personal life is far more serene than the memories he calls up for audiences night after night. Now managed by his wife and occasional co-writer, Marie Trout, and touring with his three sons—whose band occasionally opens for him—the singer-guitarist is more successful than ever. In 2006 he released Full Circle, a guest-star laden album that featured Trout in top form performing duets with the likes of Mayall, Montoya, Jeff Healey, Finis Tasby, Guitar Shorty, and Joe Bonamassa. It became his fastest selling album in the United States to date. He has even figured out a definitive response to blues purists who criticize his hard-rock leanings. On tour he sells T-shirts at the gigs: "I want everybody to know what they're in for so I don't have to hear about it," he explained. "So on the front [the shirt] reads: 'Walter Trout and the Radicals.' On the back of the shirt in big letters it says: 'Too many notes! Too loud!' (Laughter.) Sometimes a purist will come up and say, 'Man you played too many notes and you're too loud.' Then I'll hand him a shirt and say, 'I'm glad you understand what I'm trying to do.'" © http://www.answers.com/topic/walter-trout-1

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