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Full Circle

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Album Review

In his mid-fifties at the time of this album's release in 2006, Walter Trout seemed to be in a reflective mood. His 2005 album was a collection of older, previously unreleased tracks from various stages in his extensive career. This follow-up finds him reconnecting with many artists he has worked with, laying down newly recorded originals. In fact, this is Trout's first studio recorded disc of fresh material since 2001's Go the Distance. As the Full Circle title implies, the guitarist rounds up some musicians/friends he has played with for a spontaneous set of performances. The liner notes explain that some of these tracks were unrehearsed first takes, and the heightened energy level throughout reflects that. Also impressive is that Trout was eye-to-eye with each artist, as opposed to projects where guests lay down solos at various times in different cities and never see each other. The disc kicks off in fine, heated form with John Mayall sharing vocals and guitar and adding harmonica to a fiery eight-minute slow blues workout "She Takes More Than She Gives." Trout restrains — slightly — his propensity to pummel more notes per minute than the next guy, infusing greater passion into his playing as evidenced by the swampy blues-rock of "Workin' Overtime," featuring Jeff Healey. Fellow fret shredders of his genre such as Bernard Allison, Coco Montoya, and especially Joe Bonamassa add predictable firepower with their contributions and seem to spur Trout to new heights. In this heavy company, it's refreshing to hear him shift into a jazzier mood with Junior Watson on "Slap Happy" and even go acoustic on "Firehouse Mama," where he trades hyperactive riffs with neighbor Eric Sardinas. Harp master/vocalist James Harman (who, with his burly face and long white beard looks more like Moses everyday) and organist Deacon Jones bring comparative subtlety to the proceedings and alter the groove to a less frenzied attack than when Trout is trading licks with his guitar buddies. Guitar Shorty, Little Feat drummer Richard Hayward, and noted DJ Larry Keene — whose articulated fast talking can be compared to Trout's own style on guitar — also appear, the latter for a spoken word title cut finale that could have been left on the cutting room floor. Deep blues fans will still probably shy away due to the album's guitar heavy appeal and Trout's tendency to overextend his furious solos. But for the blues-rocker who loves a rugged blast of electricity and barrages of notes played with no-frills intensity, this is arguably Trout's most listenable, impressive, and diverse album yet.

Customer Reviews

Walter Rules!

Walter Trout is a great player and i great guy. My band had the opportunity to open for him at the snowbird rock and blues fest. it was a great time. this album is great! i beleve all the songs are duets, including one with my fav guitar player joe bonnamassa on it. Good Stuff!

Hot Handed Man

I write for a Blues Magazine (Blue Monday) and have seen a good share of the best and i will tell you now there is few that can match Walter's intensity on stage, this guy is "Man On Fire" in the 1st degree. This disc is one of his finest and gives you a good representation of what you'll get onstage. High wattage Blues. Can't miss on this one folks.

If you like guitar blues, and you haven't heard Walter, you're missing everything!

I too had the opportunity to share a stage (albeit not at the same time) in Jasper Georgia a few years back. I have the same amp because of him. (Mesa Boogie Mark IV) I told him that after the gig, and he stopped dead in his tracks and showed me everything about how he gets his phenominal tone. He is the most underrrated talent on guitar in this country. His music is the epitome of stellar blues guitar. It ain't about the speed, it's about the feeling. Walter hits the mark every time. This is a superb recording with superb musicians joining one of the all time best!


Born: March 6, 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...
Full Bio
Full Circle, Walter Trout
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Customer Ratings