Artist: Walter Trout
Reviewed: March, 2011
Common Ground is 19th solo project (if you also count his work as The Walter Trout Band, Walter Trout and the Radicals and Walter Trout and the Free Radicals) by blues great, Walter Trout, and is a must have CD for the blues enthusiast. The former Canned Heat and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers guitarist serves up some of the best new blues that can be had today with this great disc.
Every song on Common Ground were excellently written by Trout and delivered with a performance and passion one might expect from someone who has just discovered the blues. It’s that love and passion for his blues craft that endears Walter’s fans to him and will ensure that he will have a loyal following for the rest of his career.
I have several personal favorites from this disc. Open Book is a woeful tune that cries out for a second chance in love. The guitar work tugs at the listeners emotions on several levels. It’s worthy of a few hits on the repeat button to be sure. Another favorite is the Allman Brother-esque, Her Other Man. A subject that is a staple of the blues, adultery, this particular tune is a crowd pleasure during Trout’s shows. It’s also an ear pleaser in the privacy of your own personal listening environment, wherever it might be.
By far the most moving and compelling tune is the title cut, Common Ground. Built on a beautiful, melodic guitar foundation, the words of the thought provoking lyrics send shivers down my spine every time I listen to it. The song is a cry to God for peace, acceptance and harmony in the world that can come from only Him. If my copy of this album had been on vinyl, I would have already worn the grooves off of the part of the platter that this song was cut on, it’s that good.
Song For My Guitar could easily be a song about a long relationship with a lover. On second thought, that’s exactly what this song is but the focus of the affection is on Trout’s guitar. While you non-musicians my laugh, I happen to know lots of musicians who feel just this way about their guitars. You guitar players will want this CD just for this song. I guarantee it.
If Common Ground was a machine gun magazine loaded with bullets, each cut is an armor piercing round and not a dud or blank in the clip. Every song is worth several hits on the replay button. Download this CD today. After giving it a few listens, I can just about assure you that you’ll be saving your milk money to buy Trout’s entire body of work. He’s that good.
Written by Randy Patterson