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'Battle Scars'   

-  Label: 'Provogue/Mascot Group'
-  Genre: 'Blues' -  Release Date: '23rd October 2017'

Our Rating:
If it's top notch blues albums you're after then this one should do the trick.

Walter Trout rose to prominence with a five year tenure with British blues giant Mayall followed by critical acclaim in the U.S. with "Walter Trout" (1998). Walter has been a bit poorly recently what with liver transplants n' all. "Battle Scars" is essentially the document of his near brush with death and when I say near I'm talking about the final journey down the tunnel of light, brothers and sisters.

Walter Trout is really here to testify and tell us about his good fortune as much as his bad luck. This could easily tip over into something a bit sickly but this is a genuine blues album. Stripped of all sentiment.

The songs are good and the playing is immaculate. Once Marie (Trout's wife and manager) suggested he revisit the experience the songs came in a flood. "Omaha" first about wondering if you will be the next one on the ward to die. Uplifting opener "Almost Gone" continues the theme and we get to hear Trout's roaring harmonica which is liable to make any blues song even more bluesy.

There is a nice balance on the album with more gentle tracks such as "Please Take Me Home" reminding me of Clapton circa "461 Ocean Boulevard". "Playin' Hideaway" is the double Z Toppers in "Afterburner" mode. "Haunted By The Night" is based on one of those circular desert blues style riffs I really dig. Lying on a bed pumped full of disturbingly strong drugs can be a bit discombobulating, no doubt.

"My Ship Came In" is about having to miss a huge tour after finally getting the label backing he had waited all his life for. Another key track is "Gonna Live Again" which is an acoustic number and not something everyone gets to say I guess? Walter is addressing himself on this one I think? He has a pact now with all the people who contributed to his medical expenses. Let's hope it's not a Faustian one.
  author: Leo Newbiggin

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TROUT, WALTER - Battle Scars