One time Bluesbreaker and Canned Heat man, Walter Trout has been firing out solo albums for a long time now, but they've always felt a bit incomplete to me. So, it came as a particular delight to sit down with the new one, and find myself hitting the repeat button when it came to an end. For this might just be the best album of his career.
From the opening, autobiographical, 'Welcome To The Human Race' onwards, it's a constantly unfolding pleasure. It's also the album that sees him straying further away from his Blues rock roots, something that may find a few old time fans drifting away. Even I had a bit of trouble with 'The Next Big Thing', a 1968 Beatles style radio rocker. But when he comes up with songs as inspired as the British Blues boom inspired 'Don't Wanna Fall' or the heavy boogie of 'The Love Song of J Alfred Bluestock', then he makes me a very happy man. In the company of a new set of musicians - veteran drummer Kenny Aronoff, best known for his time with John Mellencamp, bassist James "Hutch" Hutchinson and pianist Jon Clearly, both from Bonnie Raitts band, - along with a superb production job from John Porter, this may be the moment where Walter Trout finally gets his just rewards.
Fans of his Blues days will find solace in 'Can't Have It All', and those who admire him as much for his singing as his playing should find a happy place in 'All My Life' and 'The Next Big Thing', where the stripped down sound allows his voice ample room to roam. Best for me were the moments where he out-Warrens Warren Haynes on the soulful 'Don't Wanna Fall' and 'Child Of Another Day', where he revisits the theme of forgotten war veterans, something Trout holds strong feelings for. The most consistently enjoyable album he's ever recorded, there really is something here for everyone.