"I think blues music is the basis for all modern rock and roll and gospel and country and jazz: it all comes out of the blues," proclaimed blues legend Walter Trout. "The blues is music that is stripped down to the bare essentials and over that deceptively simple format you have a limitless possibility of self-expression and that's what I love about it. I mean, it really is the basis of all of us as musicians."
Trout has recently released All in This Together, an appropriately titled album considering each of the tracks on the record features guest performances from some of the biggest names in music, including Joe Bonamassa, Kenney Wayne Shephard, John Mayer and Warren Haynes.
"I just started calling up some buddies of mine," Trout shrugged modestly, "and the response I got was amazing. The list of guys was really awesome and they all gave their very best too. For instance, if you listen to the title track with Joe Bonamassa it's absolutely blazing."
Rather than have the guest performers write their own material and risk having the final product be a disjointed mishmash of different personalities, Trout instead elected to write the parts himself and send them to each artist but admits that he did write each song tailored to the individual.
"I wrote the songs and wrote them with each artist in mind so I would sit down and think to myself I need a song for this guy, what should I write or I needed songs for that guy so that was kind of fun," he enthused. "I had to really tailor the songs to each artist and try and write something that should showcase their strengths and also my strengths so it was a bit of a challenge but it was also really fun."
Because of the geographical problems presented by assembling musicians from all over the world, Trout used a unique approach to the process that allowed his guests to record in their own time and at their own leisure.
"There are fourteen cuts on the album and four of them were done in the studio with the band and the other ten had to be sent out and they would do their parts and then send the tracks back and I think it came out awesome," he explained. "You would have a hard time knowing that they're not actually in the room together with my band. It really came out well."
'We're All In This Together' feat Joe Bonamassa
While conceding the finer details of putting the album together were at times exhausting, Trout credits his wife with playing a large role in its eventual success.
"Musically it was easy," he said, "but the logistics of it all... all these guys are out touring and trying to pin them down and when they can do it and what city they're gonna be in and that was up to my wife and she did an amazing job. She had to be the liaison with all of these guys and figure out their schedules and find them studios when they had a free day and find them an engineer and then hook that engineer up with my producer so he could send the track and she had quite a bit of work to do. It was an epic gig that she had. I just had to play and sing and write songs which is easy for me but she had a rough gig and rose to the occasion and did amazing."
Trout's career began in the late 1960's and after nearly half a century of performing says he still has as much drive and passion as he did when he started.
"Well it's limitless, isn't it?" he replied when asked what keeps him interested after all this time. "No matter how much you learn there is always more to be learned and if you keep that in mind it never gets boring. You're never gonna be as good as you can be. You're never gonna hit your peak and if you ever start feeling like you've hit your peak and you can't get any better you might as well quit because it is a limitless thing. I still sit and practice. I still sit and try and figure out different things on the guitar and it's never... music is never boring man, it's always exciting and even after coming up on fifty years I've been doing this it is still very exciting to me."
With his fiftieth anniversary looming in 2019, Trout laughs when asked if he has made any plans for special celebrations.
"Well I'm just hoping that I'm still alive," he chuckled. "I don't take anything for granted so I don't know. I honestly haven't thought about it. I don't look much further any more than I've got a tour coming up and I'm leaving in four days to go to Europe and I just wanna get through that tour and still be alive and I will look to the future from there."
Grab you copy of 'All In This Together' HERE on CD and HERE on Vinyl!