Blues-rock survivor Walter Trout’s 30th album conjures the ghosts from his troubled past. Ride is a rockin’ record with a hard-charging rhythm section saturated with emotion and a buffet of guitar fireworks. The title track morphs from a Bo Diddley beat to a ’70s arena-rock opus about escaping childhood trauma. At age 70, Trout is playing better than ever, unleashing the kind of blazing pentatonic salvos that would destroy younger and more famous guitarists. Ride runs the gamut from ballads to rockers to slow blues like “Waiting For The Dawn” and “Better Days Ahead.”
Trout’s touch, feel, and flawless execution are exceptional as he purges the depths of his soul with harmonic sophistication and polish. His passionate vocals are intense enough to cast out the devil himself. Trout displays diverse writing chops on the southern rocker “The Fertile Soil” and the Rolling Stones-style track “Leave It All Behind,” complete with its ballsy horn section.
Trout goes dark on “Hey Mama” as he confronts his mother’s inability to protect him from his abusive father; his mile-wide vibrato and Strat intensity tell the tale of a man rising triumphantly from a nightmarish past.
This article originally appeared in VG’s September 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.