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WALTER TROUT Unspoiled By Progress Provogue (2009)

Walter Trout

In the rock/blues guitar idiom there can be few greater torch-bearers over the last 20 years than Walter Trout, and it's fair to say that a career retrospective is well overdue.

So here it is - in a manner of speaking - although I feel he's rather sold himself a little short here with a 14 track single CD. Come on Walter! - there's surely enough great material for a lavish 4CD box set!

Still, there's good stuff in small parcels - and this is truly great. There are 14 tracks dating from 1991 and including three brand new cuts with his current band. In fact it's one of these new tracks that kicks off the album in fine style. 'They Call Us The Working Class' has Walter's trademark riffing and sizzling guitar all over it - a foretaste of the banquet to come.

Track 2, 'Going Down' is an unreleased studio track from 1991 and sums up the context of the whole album and what Walter is trying to achieve - that is, a sort of greatest hits if you like, but doing it by unreleased live, radio and studio sessions rather than how they appear on his albums.

Everything that follows is an absolute gem, but special mention must be made of two cuts in particular: the scintillating blues jam of what is almost Walter's signature tune 'Finally Gotten Over You' - eleven minutes of plank-spanking heaven - and the poignant 'Sweet As A Flower', notable for Sammy Avila's wonderful Hammond playing but mostly as long time friend Jimmy Trapp's final live appearance on bass before his untimely death in 2005.

With all of Walter's releases you always worry that he's going to change and get all modern on our asses, but as the title says - he's unspoiled by progress, and we hope that continues for a very long time.


Review by Alan Jones

Best of 2009

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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