Walter Trout,
Full Circle
(Ruf, 2006)

Full Circle is one fine album. Walter Trout, a veteran of 35 years in the music business, invited a few friends to come into the studio and play -- facing each other, live, at the same time, without overdubs or layering.

It's a jam, rather than a recording session; most of the songs are first takes, imperfections have been allowed to stand and some songs were not even rehearsed.

Marie Trout, who wrote the liner notes, describes the project as a "celebration of where the blues world is, where it has been and where it is going. It is about breaking down the barriers between 'blues purists' and 'blues rockers.'" She's right. That's exactly what the CD accomplishes -- as well as making you want to get up from your computer and dance or sing or take up an instrument or simply let the joy spread through you.

Walter Trout can play. Add a few of his mentors, influences and friends and you've got blues paradise. John Mayall, Coco Montoya, the late Jeff Healey, Bernard Allison, Guitar Shorty, Richie Hayward and more are on hand, and all are at the top of their game. Trout is wise enough to recognize that all he needs to do is stand back and let the talent shine, and he does; these guys do not play supporting roles: they have not been assembled to make Trout look good. They all contribute equally to a fine demonstration of where the blues is today.

And let me tell you, you're going to want to be there with it.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

18 October 2008

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