“Walter Trout’s ‘Broken’: A Journey Through Hope, Resilience, and Unbridled Blues Brilliance”

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Review by Glen Parkes

For the last half-century, however rocky his path, hope and resilience have always lit the way. The beat of Walter Trout‘s unbelievable story is well-known: the traumatic childhood in Ocean City, New Jersey; the audacious move to the West Coast in ’74; the auspicious but chaotic sideman shifts with John Lee Hooker and Big Mama Thornton; the raging addictions that somehow never stopped the boogie when he was with Canned Heat in the early-’80s.

Walter Trout’s latest release, “Broken,” on Provogue Records, serves as a testament to the enduring spirit that has characterized his remarkable career. While some may nostalgically point to Trout’s mid-’80s guitar pyrotechnics with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, it is his solo journey since 1989 that has truly defined him as a bluesman. His ability to craft songs that reach for a greater truth, constantly surging forward, has earned him accolades at various ceremonies, solidifying his place as a vital contributing artist in the blues genre.

It’s a peerless creative streak underlined by the guitarist’s regular triumphs at ceremonies, including the Blues Music Awards, SENA European Guitar Awards, British Blues Awards, and Blues Blast Music Awards. The iconic British DJ ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris spoke for millions when he declared Trout “the world’s greatest rock guitarist” in his 2001 autobiography, The Whispering Years.

In “Broken,” Trout continues to evolve, refusing to rest on past glories. The album was recorded at Kingsize Soundlabs in LA with longtime collaborator and producer Eric Corne, marking their 15th collaboration. Trout reflects on their synergy, stating, “Eric and I just have a way of working, man. A friend who came into the studio and watched us said, ‘Man, you guys are like a machine.’ It’s unspoken.”

A few collaborators joined Trout for the first time. “I thought my friend Beth Hart could relate to the title track, Broken,” he says of the warrior princess whose fiery vocals coil with his own. “Dee Snider from Twisted Sister put up a live cut of me on his Twitter and said: ‘Listen to this fucking guitar hero’. We started talking and became friends. He came into the studio, and I knew I had to write him a song.

The album introduces new collaborators like Beth Hart and Dee Snider, bringing fresh perspectives to Trout’s blues canvas. “Broken,” featuring Beth Hart, showcases the fiery intertwining of their vocals, while “Bleed,” featuring Will Wilde on harmonica, adds a new dimension with a lively boogie vibe.

With gallows humour, Trout notes that his new album opens with a track called Broken and ends with one called Falls Apart. He can’t deny the link between the personal and the socio-political mood in the air, and as such, between those two bookends lie some of the most raw and bruised songs of his career. Still hope leads the way with the notion that music can help us overcome brokenness – one note at a time.

The tracklist is a poignant journey through Trout’s reflections, from the wistful “Talkin’ To Myself,” inspired by hits from his youth, to the tender instrumental “Love Of My Life,” dedicated to his wife Marie. The album’s opening and closing tracks, “Broken” and “Falls Apart,” acknowledge the link between personal struggles and the broader socio-political climate, presenting some of the rawest and most bruised songs of his career. Yet, hope persists, as music becomes the beacon to overcome brokenness, one note at a time.

‘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

Walter Trout’s “Broken” is not just an album; it’s a testament to the enduring power of blues, a journey through resilience, and a celebration of hope. Each track, carefully crafted, contributes to the narrative of an artist who, despite the adversities, keeps pushing boundaries and delivering music that speaks to the soul.

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