Walter Trout: The Blues Came Callin’ Review

2014 should have been a grand celebration of Walter Trout’s 25th year as a solo artist. Instead Walter Trout has come down with a liver disease that has caused him to spend his time in the hospital waiting for a liver transplant instead of celebrating. Recorded over the last year, The Blues Came Callin’ is a collection of 12 songs that collects Walter’s thoughts about mortality and life.

“Wastin’ Away” opens the album with his typical muscular blues rock punch and squarely deals with Walter’s illness. He’s not going to give up even though he’s lost over 100 pounds due to his liver problem. Things don’t slow down from there as he transitions into the rocking political statement of “The World is Goin’ Crazy (And so Am I).” “The Bottom of the River” starts with a dobro line and a theme about a drowning man who comes to the realization that it’s not time to die and that he needs to fight for the surface. Pertinent subject matter considering what Walter has been through lately.

“Take a Little Time” is a ’50s style Chuck Berry sound. Things pick up again with “Willie,” which is a contemptuous indictment about management in the music business. On “Born in The City” Walter again lets the guitar step forward and do most of the rocking. “Tight Shoes” is an instrumental in the style of Freddie King.

For a while, Walter used to tour in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and he was a big influence on Walter. John is who turned him on to the late great Chicago bluesman J.B. Lenoir. “The Whale” is an updated cover of one of Lenoir’s lesser known tracks and is intended as a tribute to Mayall. Mayall also guests on the album and is quite evident on two tracks in particular. John lends his organ skills on the traditional blues title track “The Blues Came Callin’” and his playing clearly starts out “ Mayall’s Piano Boogie.”

The album closes out with “Nobody Moves Me Like You Do,” a track written for his wife. Walter describes it as his gift to her. Trout offers, “To play my music for people has become even more important to me. When I think about looking out into the crowds of people and connecting with everyone on a soul level, and sharing the experience of music with them, this is what keeps me fighting to get back: My family and my music is my lifeline. These days, it means more to me than ever before.”

Let’s hope that he gets through this hard time and returns to entertaining us all for a long time to come. You can still help Walter achieve that comeback by visiting

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Nobody Moves Me Like You Do
– Wastin’ Away
– The Blues Came Callin’
– Born In The City

The Big Hit

– Nobody Moves Me Like You Do

Review by Kevin O’Rourke

Pre-order the album: Amazon | iTunes

One thought on “Walter Trout: The Blues Came Callin’ Review

  • December 15, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    No one “comes down” with liver disease. Hep-C caused cirrhosis and eventually liver cancer. Walter needed a transplant for a disease he had to have contracted over 30 years ago. I know. I’m a blues harp player who’s now 65 and have liver cancer and end stage cirrhosis. I am so happy to have heard that Walter received a transplant and is doing well with his new liver. I’ll bet he’s back to performing within a few more months.


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