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Walter Trout: Common Ground

img  Tobias Fischer

59-year-old Trout’s guitar has a rare Clapton-like fluidity to it, but he doesn’t advertise his age in any way, either with his Bon Jovi-ish voice (he’s a Jersey-ite) or his breed of blues-rock, which has a Muddy Waters tinge to it that Kings of Leon wouldn’t necessarily throw out of bed.

He’s done time with everyone, too, from John Lee Hooker to John Mayall to Percy Mayfield – impeccable credentials that aren’t just empty badges of honor but the wages of real talent. I like how this album was done in a technical sense, eschewing throwback Ampex tape recorders and other unnecessary hindrances; the mix is crystal-clear, not zapped with high end, just a simple capturing of greatness. Harmonica-driven mud-blues hard-charger “Maybe A Fool” leads off, followed by the balladic “Open Book,” a real pleasure to listen to if only because of its lack of Clapton-style mawkishness.

Full of slide, country-burner “Her Other Man” would have easily fit on any recent Bon Jovi record, while “Hudson Had Help” settles into some genial hony-tonk that, again, benefits greatly from a full-budget sound.

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Walter Trout
Homepage: Provogue Records

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