Walter Trout “Alive In Amsterdam” was recorded live at The Royal Theatre Carre on November 28th 2015 to an obviously appreciative audience delighted to have Walter Trout playing at his best after a battle with life-threatening liver disease, and this double album gives us a man obviously making the most of his newfound lease of life.
This 16 track double album gives the sound of a concert that I am sure the audience here will remember for a long time to come as, after the introductions, the classic sounds of “Play The Guitar” set the tone for the rest of the show as we explore the many styles and shades of Walter Trout’s music; it’s all here, classic blues, rock, country, and soulful sounds like “I’m Back”.
One of the obvious crowd pleasers on disc 1 is Walter’s heartfelt homage to his musical hero and later friend the great BB King who Walter so fondly remembers taking time to talk to him for over an hour when he was 16 years old when all he asked for was an autograph. Little wonder then that the people of The Netherlands voted “Say Goodbye To the Blues” their number 1 blues song of all time for over five years running.
“Omaha” is an at times dark and very personal song about Walter’s time in hospital in Omaha...one that you really have to listen to the lyrics on.
“Tomorrow Seems So Far Away” is a great sounding song in classic style and takes on a very personal touch when Walter is joined on stage by his son Jon to the applause of the audience, and by now it is so obvious on this live album that the audience are completely behind Walter and his band as they join in “Playin’ Hideaway”
My favourite track on disc 1 is right at the end though...”Haunted by the Night”. A haunting song with lyrics that tap into all of our darkest fears that the night can bring.
Disc 2 gives us some classics including the almost haunting at times sounds of “Marie’s Mood” and the more country sounding “The Love That We Once Knew”, but the stand out song for me here is the wonderful “Please Take Me Home” .
“Rock Me Baby” also gives us a father and son guitar jamming session as son Jon joins everyone on stage again.
Walter Trout “Alive In Amsterdam” is officially released on June 17th and you can pre-order direct from http://waltertrout.com/gear and of course get tour date information for the current “Battle Scars” tour.
Live albums may be taken a bit as “everyone does one” now and a constant stream of online videos may be commonplace to people now, but those of us old enough to remember vinyl records will also remember that a live recording was always something to look forward to from your favourite band (if they ever did an official release) as there was always something that extra about the package that you somehow never quite got on a studio album. This double album is a great addition to that “live show” recording tradition and shows that, after a lifetime in music that has seen him play with many music legends, Walter Trout can still deliver the goods himself in a live performance.
Walter Trout will be playing at The Queen’s Hall here in Edinburgh on October 22nd 2016.
Review by Tom King