Blues-rock Firebrand Walter Trout to Play The Strand Theatre on Sunday, November 14
It was on his 38th birthday on March 6th, 1989 that Walter Trout went to John Mayall’s hotel room to tell him he was leaving the band. “We were in Drachenberg, Sweden in the Symphony Orchestra Hall, and I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m 38 years old. I probably can stay in this band as long as I want to because John and I are best friends. He loves me, and he loves what I do, but if want to have a solo career, and I want to write songs and want to perform, how long do I wait before I stop? By 38, a lot of guys have already had their big peak and they’re trying to recapture their glory years, right?
“So, I went to his hotel room after the gig, and I said, ‘I’m 38 years old, and I love you very much, but I’m going to have to leave the band.’ I knew it was a gamble, and you know what he said to me? He said, ‘I understand what you’re doing, and I support you and best of luck to you, Walter, but you need to know, if you go out, and you try to have a solo career, and you fail, don’t call me and ask for the gig back because by then I will have someone else in my band. So, once you leave the band, you’re gone. Just keep that in mind.’”
Now at age 70 Trout has released 16 albums under his own name and Mayall has retired. Trout’s first two albums in 1990 and 1992 sold more than 100,000 copies. He took home the Song of the Year BMA in 2016 for “Gonna Live Again” and the Rock Blues Album of the Year in 2016 for Battle Scars. In 2018 he won Rock Blues Album of the Year for We’re All In This Together. His 2019 CD Survivor Blues debuted with two consecutive weeks on the Billboard Blues Chart at number one and stayed in the top ten for twelve weeks.
Trout’s most recent release Ordinary Madness is a mature blues/rock tour de force that breaks new ground with some of the best playing since Stevie Ray Vaughan’s last recordings. “All Out of Tears” from Ordinary Madness recently took The Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for Song of the Year. The song almost didn’t happen.
“Me and Marie (his wife) were in Memphis for the IBCs (International Blues Challenge), and we saw Teeny Tucker. And we said, ‘Hey, Teeny, it’s good to see you. How are you?’ And she told us that her son had just passed away. We were like, ‘Oh, we’re sad to hear that and she looked at us and she said, ‘My heart is crying, but my eyes are clear because I’m all out of tears,’ and I immediately said to her, ‘Is that lyric from a song? Is that something that you’ve read,’ and she said, ‘No, I’m just telling you how I feel,’ and I immediately said, ‘Let’s write a song about losing a loved one. Let’s use those lyrics, and let’s dedicate that song to your son.’
“So, Marie and I and Teeny wrote that song very quickly, and the thing was the album was already finished, and we got home from Memphis. Marie said, ‘You’ve got to put that song on the album,’ and I said, ‘But the album is about done. It’s already mixed. This means I have to rent the studio. I have to get the band and the producer back in there and have the producer mix it. It has to be mastered. Then, we have to add it to the record,’ and Marie said, ‘Well, whatever you have to do, you have to do it.’
“So, I called the producer, I rented the studio, I called the band. We went in, and we recorded that song in about two hours, pretty much live only because of the insistence of my manager, Marie. Let’s not call her my wife. Let’s call her manager. She said to me, ‘That song has to be on there. That song has a universal message because everyone out there has lost or is going to lose someone they love, and that is a universal message you’re giving them.’ And so I went back in the studio, did the song, and we sent it to the label and said add this to the record, and it ended up winning Song of The Year at the BMAs, you know?”
Ordinary Madness is a rarity in that it is a mature example of blues/rock from a white artist who has gone through the kind of angst usually only experienced by black artists who, because of their color alone, face more difficult obstacles than white artists who play the blues.
Willie Dixon called blues truth. Rock on the other hand exploits the explosive energy of youth. Putting the two together can be a slippery slope. Walter Trout has a lifetime of hard knocks. He bares his soul in truth without losing the excitement of youth.
He’s a cat who’s lived more than his 13 lives from a violent childhood to heroin addiction, a near-death liver transplant that left him with brain damage, and being ripped off by record companies to the extent that he couldn’t afford a decent car. Marie is his angel, his savior, the love of his life, his manager, his lyricist, the mother of his three boys. His recent albums have the depth and sweeping complexity of semi-classical masterpieces. How can music be so hard and be as cerebral as the classics at the same time? It sounds like an oxymoron, but he’s a mature blues rocker.
Walter Trout plays The Strand Theatre at 210 Main St. in Hudson Falls on Sunday, November 14 at 3:00 p.m.. Tickets are $30 available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5158312.
Please note this performance is requiring all fans to be fully vaccinated or to provide PRINTED proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the event.
All ticket holders must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks after final dose) and provide proof of vaccination by showing either the original vaccination card or a printed copy of the vaccination card before entering the venue. Masks are recommended.