Walter Trout wheels out the old, the new, the borrowed and the blues at the Wylam Brewery in Newcastle.
When it comes to blues guitarists there are few greater than Walter Trout. Currently touring in support of his latest studio album We’re All In This Together, the legendary bluesman returns to Tyneside for the second time inside of 18 months.
There is a nice flow to this evening’s performance. As Trout and his uber-talented band take to the stage they kick back and settle into their stride with a couple of feisty standards, before showcasing a track from Walter’s forthcoming release Survivor Blues. This takes the shape of Jimmy Dawkin’s emotive slow blues number “Me, My Guitar and The Blues” and on the strength of this song alone, Trout’s forthcoming covers album is set to be one to watch out for when it drops in January.
Trout quickly switches gears with the up-tempo “Till I’m Satisfied”, which in turn showcases the talents of new keyboard player Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis, who seems to be settling into the band just fine. At one point in the evening, Trout even compares his latest recruit to the great John Mayall himself due to his ability to skilfully grapple with both Keys and Harmonica at the same time.
The Cambridge dictionary defines the blues as ‘a type of slow, sad music, originally from the southern US, in which the singer typically sings about their difficult life or bad luck in love’. Walter Trout’s autobiographical album Battle Scars in which he narrates his hard-won, life-or-death struggle waiting for, and ultimately receiving, a life-saving liver transplant, fits this definition perfectly. Early in the show, Trout sinks his heart and soul into a pair of rather emotive numbers from the aforementioned release with the cathartic “Almost Gone” and “Cold, Cold Ground” both featuring.
For Trout’s latest album We’re All In This Together, the legendary bluesman recruited a whole raft of his esteemed friends and colleagues to participate on the album. This same spirit of friendship and camaraderie is also present at the Wylam Brewery this evening, as mid-set Walter invites to the stage a trio of musical guests.
First up is Willie Edwards from opening act Willie and the Bandits who joins the band for a slide fuelled rendition of the Elmore James classic “Dust My Broom” before the musical baton is passed onto to the North East’s own guitar virtuoso Mitch Laddie. The pair comes together beautifully during a blistering rendition of Trout’s collaboration with John Mayall by way of “The Blues Came Callin’”. The latter of which being a fitting tribute to Mayall on his 85th birthday.
Last but not least, long-time collaborator Andrew Elt joins the band onstage during an explosive airing of “Playin’ Hideaway” which quite literally blows the dome-shaped roof off the Wylam Brewery. Elt remains on stage for two further numbers including the heartfelt “Take Me Home” and a Relentless airing of “Mercy”.
A hard-hitting drum solo from Michael Leasure ushers in Trout’s take on Freddie King’s timeless classic “Going Down”, which in turn closes out the main set. Following a brief interlude, Trout brings the night to a close with a smouldering rendition of Canned Heat’s “Bullfrog Blues” with a side of Rory Gallagher.
This evening those in attendance at the Wylam Brewery witness a two-hour musical tour de force that celebrates life, love, friendship and music. The whole evening is expertly orchestrated and executed by one of the masters of the blues genre Walter Trout.
Event Date: 29-Nov-2018