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Single Review : Walter Trout – Bleed

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Reviewed by Taf Rock for MPM

Walter Trout – a name that needs no introduction to the blues aficionados amongst the listening audience. Now aged 72 Walter has been at the forefront of the American blues/rock scene for the majority of those seven decades.

Coming to prominence during the mid-80’s through his five-year stint with the iconic John Mayall as part of the Bluesbreakers Walter embarked on his solo career way back in 1989, releasing his debut Walter Trout Band album Life In The Jungle that very same year.

Never one to rest on his laurels Walter constantly strives to move forward, lusting to create new music he is forever looking to evolve and take on the challenge of something new, creating fresh product for his ever hungry legions of fans whilst at the same time satisfying his insatiable appetite to contribute to the blues/rock movement that has served him so well.  

Step forward BLEED. Believe it or not according to Trout’s drummer Michael Leasure this is the very first time Trout has played a blues boogie on all 31 albums he has been a part of. Quite remarkable really given Trout has performed alongside John Lee Hooker and was part of Canned Heat between the years 1981 and 1984. In typical Trout fashion he takes the familiar format and elevates it to new stratospheric heights. Blues harmonica virtuoso Will Wilde providing the spark to ignite the gunpowder with a scintillating performance.

Will Wilde isn’t just any harmonica player. He uses the gob iron as a guitar substitute. Any man who performs the Gary Moore epic Parisienne Walkways on harmonica as part of his live set can hold his own alongside any rock or blues guitarist. It almost seems a natural step for Trout to invite Wilde to the front of the stage on this latest single.

Walter opens proceedings setting the tempo before Wilde joins in keeping up the breakneck pace of this blues rocker. It’s not long before Wilde is at the forefront raising the hairs on the back of your neck, urging you to get to your feet and leap around in unison with the music. Walter’s distinctive vocal takes over – ‘You used to love somebody but they left you down and out’.

The typical tale as told in umpteen blues songs over the decades but the combined force of Trout and Wilde provides a whole new dynamic to the well trodden blues boogie format. ‘To be prepared for love…you must be prepared to bleed’. It wouldn’t surprise me if blood was spilled during forthcoming live renditions of this frantic and furious number. ‘Filled with fear … you might get burned’. Appropriate words for such a ferocious release.

Already astounding on his chosen instrument Will Wilde is encouraged to ‘play your harmonica son’ by Trout. And he literally blows you away with the ensuing lead break stealing the limelight from Walter as encouraged to do so – no mean feat to push such an outstanding guitar talent as Trout into the shadows. The harmonica, such a humble instrument at times, but in Will Wilde’s possession it’s turned into a weapon that attacks the listeners senses as it produces spine tingling and breathtaking sounds.

Fittingly Walter emerges from the shadows to have the final say as he leads the band in a celebration of blues rock boogie style. ‘So many have been wounded … You either win or lose’. From this reviewer’s perspective I can only see winners when it comes to material of this quality. This track the lead single from Walter’s forthcoming album entitled Broken and scheduled for a March 1st release.

The album features guest contributions from ex Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and blues powerhouse Beth Hart and is described by Trout as ‘raucous, wild and poignant’. One listen to BLEED and you’ll get the raucous and wild part. I look forward to Walter and his guests providing the balance come March 1st.

Released 1st March Via Provogue / Mascot Label Group
Pre-order here

‘Broken’ by Walter Trout
1. Broken (feat. Beth Hart)
2. Turn And Walk Away
3. Courage In The Dark
4. Bleed (feat. Will Wilde on Harmonica)
5. Talkin’ To Myself
6. No Magic ( in the street )
7. I’ve Had Enough (feat. Dee Snider)
8. Love Of My Life
9. Breathe – written by Richard Gerstein
10. Heaven Or Hell
11. I Wanna Stay
12. Falls Apart


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