Walter Trout

Live Trout: Recorded at the Tampa Blues Fest March 2000

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No overdubs, no sweetening, in fact, no extra music to flesh out this relatively slim double disc (available at a single price) that clocks in at a combined total of only 96 minutes: Welcome to one full Walter Trout performance, complete with between song patter as well as every note -- and there are a lot of them -- the guitarist played at this March 2000 show. Filled with blistering, unrefined, and unadulterated blues-rock, Trout has been playing shows identical to this for years in Europe where he is a fairly major star. The accomplished guitar slinger unfailingly delivers the sizzling six-string goods, especially in concert with his gritty yet undistinguished voice and frenetic leads. On his second live album, but first easily available in the States, Trout pulls out all the stops, shifting from the stinging slow blues and soft-loud dynamics of "Finally Gotten Over You" and "The Reason I'm Gone" to the all-out grinding swamp of "Gotta Broken Heart" and the meat and potatoes Chuck Berry by way of Johnny Winter rock and roll of "Good Enough to Eat." Tough, roughshod, and passionate, Trout, who had gone without sleep for 24 hours before this show, doesn't sound a bit fatigued. The liner notes state that this even adds an edge to this performance. A sideline into Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" adds some much needed subtly and a bit of gospel flavor to the proceedings, but Trout works best when his lightening fingers, brawny sustain, and hot dog fret runs are given free reign. It's all sweaty, powerful, and uncompromising, but without a unique voice, either vocally or instrumentally, Trout remains a gifted, hard working, undoubtedly scintillating live performer without the idiosyncratic edge to pull away from a pack of equally talented blues rockers.

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