Electric Blues
Return to Review Index

European Discography
Walter Trout
and the Free Radicals
Face The Music / Live Trout
Provogue - 2000 / Ruf - 2000
Visit the Official Walter Trout Website
AMG Artist Bio/Discography/CD Reviews
Review Published June 15, 2000

Discography/Sound Clips
Face The Music
  1. Got A Broken Heart
  2. Hard Time Blues
  3. The Reason I'm Gone
  4. Come Home
  5. Marie's Mood
  6. Too Much Biz
  7. Obstacles In My Way
  8. Tired Of Sleeping Alone
  9. On The Rise
EB Rating - 5.0
Live Trout
  1. I Can Tell
  2. Walkin' In The Rain
  3. Say What You Mean
  4. The Reason I'm Gone
  5. Come Home
  6. Walter Speaks
  7. Livin' Every Day
  8. Let Me Know
  9. Finally Gotten Over You
  10. Gotta Broken Heart
  11. Walter Speaks Again
  12. Serve Me Right To Suffer
  13. Good Enough To Eat
EB Rating - 5.0
    Two releases, one recorded and released in Europe and the other in the US, and both packed with music featuring Walter Trout in his best environment... a live setting. I was preparing to review the European release, Face The Music, when I learned of plans to record Live Trout for release in the US. This presented me with quite a dilemma. Face the Music is an awesome CD, definitely worthy of mention. But I knew I'd want to review the US release as well, and the CDs would likely be too similar to feature individual reviews of each CD. So, my resolve to the dilemma was to cover them both in a single review.
    The CDs are in fact very similar in some respects, but different in others. The audio quality and clarity of both CDs is top notch. The songs for Face The Music were taken from various European concerts during 1999. The benefit of this is that the best performance of each song could be included, resulting in a 'cream of the crop' set list. And an impressive set list it is. I have all of Walter's CDs, and Face The Music contains some of his most inspired performances. On the other hand we have Live Trout, a double CD recorded at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest in March 2000. No pick and choose for this one, but all the energy and emotion of one balmy night in Florida. Different approaches, very similar results... both are excellent recordings featuring great renditions of many of Walter's best songs. And to make a good deal even better, his band, the Free Radicals, are an excellent, rock solid group of musicians.
    There are only three songs that appear on both CDs, so it's worthwhile for fans to seek out both of them. All songs are originals except for two on Live Trout. Mentioning this emphesizes Walter's songwriting ability, which is often over-looked in favor of his guitar skills and intense, emotionally super-charged performances. Walter has written many excellent songs and I can think of several that there was simply not room to include.
    I should speak to the uninitiated for a moment. Walter Trout is first and formost a guitar player, and his playing is up front and heavily featured on both of these discs. If you are considering either of these CDs, you'd better be a BIG fan of blues-rock guitar, because you are going to get it by the truck load. Even when compared to his guitar slinging peers, Walter's lead breaks are longer and more frequent than most. Having said that, he is not only a guitar player. Walter's vocals are excellent, and his voice is well suited to the blues. He also has a great stage presence and develops a very strong connection with his audience, taking command of the crowd's attention with the show's opening riff and not letting go until he's left the stage.
    I have not seen every great guitar player that's ever graced a stage, but over the years I have seen quite a few of those routinely considered to be top guns. The combination of incredible guitar, energy, intensity and passion Walter puts into his show is unsurpassed. That is a very stong statement, but is likely to be contested only by those who have not seen him perform. And based on reports I've received of his performances from around the world, this is the way it is every time he sets foot on stage. Walter Trout, it seems, is always "on".
    Needless to say, I strongly recommend either/both of these discs to every fan of blues-rock guitar.

Return to Review Index