Walter Trout is the beating heart of the modern blues rock scene. Respected by the old guard. Revered by the young guns. Adored by the fans who shake his hand after the show each night and after five decades in the game, Trout remains a talismanic figure.
Trout began his journey as a musician in New Jersey, where the young guitarist was drawn to maverick songwriters like the Beatles, Dylan and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse. In 1974, he moved to California to be a sideman for greats like John Lee Hooker and Percy Mayfield and then became the lead guitarist for Canned Heat. From 1984-1989, he was the lead guitarist in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and then formed the Walter Trout Band. All along the way, he was crafting songs.
But, however fast or far a man travels, he can never truly outrun his past. Some memories that Trout examines on his newest 2022 album, Ride, are long-distant but eternally poignant. On the new album, he found himself eyeing the horizon and the green shoots of his triumphant late career.
By now, Trout knows that nobody ever really leaves their old selves behind. But with Ride providing an emotional release-valve – both for its creator and his loyal listeners – perhaps this veteran artist can reconcile with his past, accept his future and live in the present as it unfolds. “I think you can interpret this album title a few different ways,” he concludes. “I mean, this album is definitely a musical ride and I certainly tried to cover a lot of ground. But, really, life is kind of a ride too, isn’t it? And I want to live mine to the fullest.”