Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Born in 1951 and raised in a music-loving home in Ocean City, New Jersey, WALTER TROUT felt the calling to music at a young age. His first instrument was trumpet, playing in the school band. A chance meeting with the mighty Duke Ellington catapulted Trout’s pursuit of a professional music career – what Walter terms “a turning point” in his life – when Walter’s mother orchestrated a meeting with jazz legends Ellington, Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves for Walter's tenth birthday. The seed was planted about a career playing music.
In the mid-'60s, Trout switched to electric guitar after hearing an album that changed his whole appreciation of music. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band featuring Mike Bloomfield cemented Walter’s musical ambitions towards the blues and the electric guitar. In those vinyl grooves, Walter heard the guitar speaking to his soul, expressing what words could not. In his late teens and early 20s, Trout played in numerous New Jersey bands, competing at the time for rank with “Steel Mill” featuring a young Bruce Springsteen. In 1973, he packed up his belongings and drove to Los Angeles.
In L.A., Trout developed into an ace sideman playing with Finis Tasby, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, and Percy Mayfield. Trout often teamed with Hammond B3 wizard Deacon Jones and his apprenticeship continued in the bands of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton and Joe Tex.
By 1981, Trout’s reputation led to the invitation to join venerable blues rock band Canned Heat, where he remained through 1984. When the call came to join the legendary John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Trout jumped and found himself sharing the spotlight with fellow guitarist Coco Montoya. Trout and Montoya lifted the band to a new level, as Mayall’s Bluesbreakers enjoyed unprecedented album sales and high profile tours in the US and abroad. Trout felt that playing with Mayall was as close to his childhood dream as he could get. Just as Trout was climbing the musical mountain, he was also drowning in a bottle of Jack. An intoxicated performance in East Berlin caused guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana to gently explain to Walter that he was wasting God’s gift. Sobriety followed soon after.
Embarking upon a solo career in 1989 resulted in extensive European touring for Trout, alongside eight albums (with over 500,000 copies sold to date) and several radio hits. But the Atlantic is a great divide and while Trout’s stock was soaring in Europe, very few were taking notice in America. The self-titled WALTER TROUT, released by Ruf Records in 1998 was his first "official" domestic U.S. release. Shortly thereafter, Walter Trout began an extensive US tour and has since released six CDs, each of which was supported with relentless touring - on both sides of the ocean.
Now in 2008, Trout is ready to unleash "The Outsider".
The Provogue Records label, an independent label based in The Netherlands specializing in guitar heavy blues rock is debuting in the United States with Walter Trout's "The Outsider" (June 24, 2008) and Pat Travers "Stick With What You Know - Live In Europe" (July 22, 2008). Other artists on the Provogue label include (Europe only) Joe Bonamassa , Rick Derringer, Leslie West, Scott McKeon, Julian Sas and Eric Gales.
Provogue Records will be distributed in the U.S. by Megaforce/Sony RED Distribution