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Walter Trout, born in Ocean City, New Jersey, on March 6, 1951 is an American Blues/Blues rock guitarist.

He played with Canned Heat, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton and was a member of the legendary John Mayall's Bluesbreakers before starting his own band in 1989. His band is called Walter Trout and The Radicals and performs more than 200 times a year.


At the age of twelve he received a guitar from his brother and although he had not played the trumpet without merit for years, it soon went forever in the suitcase. In the beginning it is mainly The Beatles who encourage him to play the guitar. Also people like B.B. King and Muddy Waters have a big influence on him, but guitar player Paul Butterfield has the most influence. Trout says about him: "He plays things three times as fast as another, and I will always try to match that style". In his first (school) bands, however, the young Trout does not play the guitar, but the harmonica. At that time he played with his band in the same circuit as another band called Steel Mill. The singer and guitarist of that band was Bruce Springsteen, who would later become one of the biggest rock stars. When Trout was sixteen, he moved from Atlantic City to New Jersey and had the opportunity to work as a guitarist in a band. This was the band of Louisiana Red, with which he plays together for four years.

In 1973, Walter moved to Los Angeles, where he plays in various club bands for a number of years. During this period he also gained a lot of experience with artists such as John Lee Hooker, Joe Tex and Percy Mayfield. In 1979 he became a guitarist with Canned Heat. He played in that band for five years when he met John Mayall in 1984 and started playing in the The Bluesbreakers. He also played in this band for five years when one evening in 1989 he took over the singing part of John Mayall, because he was too sick to perform. A few people from a small Danish record company were so impressed with his vocals and guitar playing that afterwards they offered him to put together their own band and undertake a tour through Scandinavia. Trout thinks about the offer for two weeks and resigns from John Mayall on his birthday. Walter put his own band together with Jimmy Trapp on bass guitar, Daniel 'Mongo' Abrams on hammond organ and drummer Leroy Larson. They tour through Scandinavia and record their first album in 1990, entitled "Life In The Jungle".     In addition to a number of studio songs, this album also contains four live songs, recorded during the Midtfyn Festival in Denmark.

Solo career

The second album, Prisoner of a Dream, is released half a year after the debut album and is the band's first truly complete studio album. Drummer Klas Anderhel was behind the drums during the recordings of the album and during the accompanying tour. In October 1992 "Transition" was released, the band's third album. This time Bernie Persley was behind the drums and he will not soon leave. After three albums, the livealbum "Life, No More Fishjokes" was released with a collection of the best Trout songs and a number of songs from others. In 1994 the album "Tellin 'Stories" was released with Martin Gerschwitz behind the keyboards. He had taken over the place of Daniel "Mongo" Abrams. Especially the song 'Please Don't Go', which is about the death of Trout's mother, leaves a deep impression. The sixth album, "Breaking The Rules", was released in 1995 and was produced by Trout himself, because he now wants to be in control and to get the real Walter Trout sound on the album.

In 1997 a new studio album was released. It's called "Positively Beale Street" and was recorded in Memphis with producer Jim Gaines, who has previously produced albums for Stevie Ray Vaughan, Huey Lewis & The News and Steve Miller. On this album Rick Elliot is behind the drums, because Bernie Pershey is no longer able to play drums for health reasons. Rick Elliot also goes on tour with the band, but in 1998 Persley returns to the band. Martin Gerschwitz decides to step out of the band to continue working on his solo projects and his replacement is Paul Kallestad, who used to play a hammond organ just like 'Mongo'. The band goes on tour again and leaves a smashing impression.

In 1998, the band releases its "Positively Beale Street" album with there new record company Ruf Records in the United States, entitled Walter Trout.     It contains the same songs as on "Positively Beale Street", but the order of the songs is slightly different, and so is the cover and the booklet. In 1999 the album "Livin 'Every Day" is released. This album was also recorded in Memphis, together with producer Jim Gaines. For the first time, Paul Hallestad, the new Hammond Organ player, can be heard on a Trout album. The group name has been changed to Walter Trout and the Free Radicals. Two live albums were released in 2000, namely "Face the Music (live on tour)" and "Live Trout". The latter is a double album recorded at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival in March 2000. In May 2001 a new studio album is planned. In January 2001 the name of the band changed again, because a band in America already bears the name 'The Free Radicals'.

The new name is: "Walter Trout and the Radicals". The name of the new album is "Go The Distance" and was in stores from May 22, 2001. Paul Hallestad is no longer a part of the band and has been replaced by Bill Mason. Just after the new album, Persley left the band; he wanted to spend more time with his family. It is a coming and going with the band, Bill Mason has already been replaced by Sammy Avila. Behind the drums it is also hit: Kenny has done his job and has been replaced (very) briefly by Wess Johnson. Because over time this Wess Johnson did not really fit into the band, Joey Pafumi took his place at the beginning of April 2002. Mid May 2003 the band records a real live CD/DVD in Paradiso in Amsterdam. The DVD went on sale at the end of August under the title "Relentless". The entire year of 2004 is spent touring and no album from the band is released.

Early 2005 the compilation album "Deep Trout" was released: The Early Years of Walter Trout. On this album are, as the subtitle suggests, songs from the beginning of Trout's solo career when he was still under contract with the Provogue label. In addition to these, there are also a number of special songs on it, including an old recording from 1973 of the song 'So Sad To Be Lonely', in which Trout can be heard singing and playing guitar in his then band.               In America this same album, with a few other songs, is released by Trout's current record company Ruf-Records. On August 24, 2005, bassist "from the first hour" Jimmy Trapp dies from the consequences of a major stroke. Because he had been sick for a long time, there was already a replacement for him in the person of Rick Knapp. After Trapp's death, Knapp stays with the band, and he appears to have a fresh, energetic influence on this. In no time he gained his own place in the band. For the year 2006 two projects are in the pipeline: first a jam album, on which, apart from Trout and the band, a number of other well-known guitarists will play a part, and a new studio album, for which Trout already has many new songs that he has prepared while touring in 2005. At the moment Trout is labeled by the Dutch record company Provogue.


In March 2014, Walter´s wife Marie wrote the following message on Facebook:

Walter asked me to post this here: 'My heart breaks to post this message. We have waited to be sure, but Walter's doctors have confirmed the diagnosis: his condition has deteriorated, and Walter's liver failure is spreading. If he does not get a new liver in the coming months, he will not make it.

During this debilitating illness, he did release the album "The Blues Came Callin'" in 2014. Where years have been anticipated and worked towards the 25-year anniversary of Walter Trout as a solo artist in 2014, benefit performances were given simultaneously by music friends from all over the world. world.   The goal was to raise as quickly and as much money as possible for the treatment of Walter who was awaiting a liver transplant. After 8 months of waiting, Walter received the liver transplant and after a long recovery, Walter was again on stage on 15 June 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. About this debilitating disease and recovery Walter wrote the album "Battle Scars" which was released in 2015.

Musical influences

Walter claims to have been influenced by Paul Butterfield. On April 2, 2007, Trout stated at Theater Romein in Leeuwarden that he was successively influenced by three events:

The release of the first album by Bob Dylan,

The performance of The Beatles on February 9, 1964 during the Ed Sullivan Show

Listening to Paul Butterfield for the first time.

He was awarded the Sena Performers European Guitar Award in 2015.

Official Website

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Walter Trout Band

1989 Life in the Jungle (re-released in US in 2002)

1990 Prisoner of a Dream

1992 Transition

1992 No More Fish Jokes (live album)

1994 Tellin' Stories

1995 Breaking The Rules

1996 Jimi Hendrix Music Festival (Janblues)

1997 Positively Beale St.


Walter Trout and the Free Radicals

1998 Walter Trout (same tracks as Positively Beale St.)

1999 Livin' Every Day

2000 Face The Music (Live on Tour)

2000 Live Trout

2001 Go The Distance

Walter Trout and the Radicals

2001 Go The Distance

2003 Relentless

2005 Deep Trout: The Early Years of Walter Trout

2006 Full Circle (featuring guest artists)

2007 Hardcore (self released recording of the 'Power Trio' playing live in Europe)


Walter Trout

2008 The Outsider

2009 Unspoiled By Progress: 20 Years of Hardcore Blues (previously unreleased tracks and three new songs)

2010 Common Ground

2012 Blues For The Modern Daze 

2013 Luther's Blues 

2014 The Blues Came Callin 

2015 Battle Scars

2016 Alive In Amsterdam

2017 We're All In This Together

2019 Survivor Blues