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Walter Trout - Alive in Amsterdam

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There is a subtle but meaningful message contained in this 2-CD set's title; singer and guitarist Trout almost died while waiting for a liver transplant a few years back, so this effort, recorded on his comeback tour, is knowingly called Alive in Amsterdam as opposed to Live in Amsterdam. That reference by the man himself aside, it is now time to get back to talking just about this incredible player's talent. Trout wrote most of the 14 songs found within and about half the material from his latest studio album Battle Scars is performed, including the forceful blues rocker "Almost Gone" and the Southern rock-tinged "Tomorrow Seems So Far Away." These songs come in the middle of the set and are bookended by career-spanning favorites and covers. And as Trout says after receiving a roaring welcome as he's introduced, "Since I can't think of anything to follow that incredible ovation you just gave me, the only thing I can think of to do is to play the guitar." Play he does as the show opens with a take on Willie Dixon's "Help Me" where Trout sets the mood by playing a fiery intro. Luther Allison's "I'm Back" follows and it too is a scorcher; audience members aware of Trout's previous struggles with health will understand why the singer shouts "Here's a song with a message!" as the cut begins. Other highlights include a rousing take on BB King's "Rock Me Baby" where Trout duels on guitar with his son Jon Trout and the dreamy "Marie's Mood," played in response to an audience suggestion. Fans certainly prayed for Trout during his ordeal and those prayers were answered in the hospital room; clearly they've been answered on stage too.


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