Walter Trout & the Radicals at Big Cities

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118539060712565.jpg’, ‘Photo by Martijn Barth courtesy of‘, ‘Walter Trout & the Radicals take the stage at Big Cities Lounge, 905 E. State St., Tuesday, July 31.‘);

Walter Trout & the Radicals take the stage at Big Cities Lounge, 905 E. State St., Tuesday, July 31.

Guitarist/vocalist Walter Trout kicked off his Full Circle 2007 World Tour in May. His first new studio work in five years, Full Circle (Ruf Records) was named “CD of the Year” by Blueswax magazine. Walter also appeared on a new Jeff Beck tribute album, Freeway Jam—To Beck and Back (Tone Center/July 17). Other guest guitarists on the disc included John Scofield, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Mike Stern, Warren Haynes and Chris Duarte.

Full Circle is the realization of Walter’s long-held dream to invite musician friends from his more than 35-year career to compose and play together with him. Featured artists include John Mayall, Jeff Healey, Coco Montoya, Bernard Allison, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Sardinas, Guitar Shorty, Junior Watson and James Harmon.

Full Circle is a celebration of the diverse styles within the blues genre, an inspired journey of musical magic by master musicians creating “on-the-spot” compositions in the studio. No studio gimmickry, just “one-take” performances that demonstrate Walter Trout’s appreciation and utter mastery of all shades of the blues.

Walter Trout never regarded playing the guitar about fitting into category or pleasing the critics. Walter discovered as a young man that playing the guitar was his way of expressing the heartache, the frustration, and the pain he was feeling as a shy teen-ager growing up in a turbulent household. Walter became dedicated to the vision of becoming a professional musician, not for fame and fortune, but to honestly and passionately use his talent to express his feelings and communicate with his audience on an emotional level.

It has always puzzled Walter that some critics have wanted to brand and label the style of his music. Is it “blues” or is it “rock”? To Walter, it has always been about honest expression, and he found that, between musicians, there were no such boundaries, and he wanted to show how the different approaches within the blues genre co-exist and mutually enhance each other. This was the starting point for Full Circle!

With Full Circle, Walter wanted to find the “sweet spot” of musician interplay by jamming and playing with friends as the ultimate in fun and freedom of expression. He also wanted to acknowledge each player’s unique sound, and then add the Walter Trout touch to their approach. The players were not invited to “pay homage” to the “style of Walter Trout.” Quite the contrary! So consequently, what you hear is the diversity of blues, and the flexibility of Walter Trout…having a really great time making music with his friends—friends who are some of the best in the business.

Walter Trout has known many of his guest artists since early in his career. The old photos included with the CD’s extensive liner notes tell the stories of many friendships formed through Walter’s beginning as a side man with John Lee Hooker, through the world tours with Canned Heat and John Mayall, and finally through Walter’s now 17-year career as a renowned artist in his own right with many years of sold-out European tours, almost a decade of touring in the USA, and hundreds of thousands of records sold worldwide.

All the music on Full Circle has been done live in the studio with all the players facing each other to enjoy the full interplay between the musicians, and also to arrive at a very honest and authentic feel. Any imperfections have been left to stand for the sake of the feeling. No guitar fixes. Many songs were left to stand without rehearsal and are first takes! With Full Circle, Walter Trout celebrates where he is, where he has been, and where he is going.

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

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