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The Outsider

Walter Trout

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Album Review

Walter Trout is an electric bluesman who has logged in lots of experience as both a sideperson (including work with John Mayall) and as a leader of his own bands (including the Free Radicals). As the reference to Mayall might suggest, he also adds a healthy dose of classic rock to his blues on The Outsider, working in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix's "Red House" and, in general, Stevie Ray Vaughan. The slow, rocking blues of the title track, in fact, may remind one of "Red House" or "Texas Flood." This isn't to accuse Trout of being derivative so much as to note that he, like many blues artists, is working within well-worn traditions that place more emphasis on creating an individual voice within the limits of that tradition than leaving the tradition behind. To that end, the Eastern underpinning of a song like "Sanjay" works much better for establishing Trout's talents than the title track. Likewise, the acoustic "Turn Your Eyes to Heaven" offers an easy-flowing, open-ended musical space that mimics the spirituality of the lyric. One of the primary strengths of The Outsider is its eclecticism within the blues-rock tradition, an approach that shows Trout's range, but also one that prevents one musical style from becoming too dominant. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: 06 March 1951 in Ocean City, NJ

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

New Jersey-born blues-rocker Walter Trout spent decades as an ace sideman, playing guitar behind the likes of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, and Joe Tex. In 1981, he was also tapped to replace the late Bob Hite in Canned Heat, remaining with the venerable group through the middle of the decade. While filling in one night for an ailing John Mayall, Trout (also a Bluesbreaker for some five years) was spotted by a Danish concert promoter who agreed to finance a solo tour. Assembling his own backing...
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The Outsider, Walter Trout
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