When it comes to Walter Trout, survival is an understatement. Hot on the heels of his 2017 all-star hit #1 billboard blues album, We’re All In This Together, Walter knew he had high expectations to meet for a sequel. He reflects, “It was really overwhelming. How do I follow that up? I’ve always respected guys who went out on a limb, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan. So, I came up with this idea to cover old, obscure songs that have hardly been covered. And that’s how Survivor Blues started.” What resulted is a blues covers album inspired by Walter’s five decade career, and the trials and tribulations that preceded his rise to prominence.
With help from The Doors’ Robby Krieger, Walter and his virtuosic band cover a diverse batch of songs originally recorded by blues legends BB King, Magic Sam, Luther “Snakeboy” Johnson, and Floyd Lee to name a few. While the tracklist is eclectic, there’s cohesion to Survivor Blues that harnesses the power and spirit of the originals, while keeping Walter’s inimitable music personality intact. “My idea was to arrange these songs for my band and style,” Walter explains, “not to just copy the originals note-for-note.”
Returning with a covers album represents an eye-opening curveball from an artist whose original song craft has never been more acclaimed. But Walter Trout is no ordinary artist, and this is no ordinary covers album. “In the beginning we started thinking about these enduring songs and the guys playing on the album,” Walter recalls. “Mike is in recovery. Johnny almost didn’t make it. Skip has had a triple bypass, and I almost didn’t make it after my liver disease in 2014. We’re a group of survivors. these songs are survivors.”