Updated: Sep 18
Ordinary Madness, extraordinary album
Walter Trout has faced death firmly in the face and survived to tell the tale. His liver transplant in 2014 gave him a second chance at life, which Trout has grabbed firmly with both hands and brought his guitar along for the ride.
His 2015 album "Battle Scars" dealt with his liver failure and chronicled his recovery, since then he's reconnected with his blues influences on last years "Survival Blues". "Ordinary Madness" takes things a step further.
Trout has seen life from both angles and had the opportunity to live twice. The title track deals with his own mental health issues, "Wanna Dance" is about seizing life's chances. As the album develops, Trout opens up musically and emotionally on "Heartland" and "My Foolish Pride" and the tender "Heaven in Your Eyes".
When the album reaches its end, the future may be uncertain, but it's as if a weight has been lifted. "Ordinary Madness" may have melancholic overtones, but by being vulnerable and finally at ease with his own mortality, Trout has opened himself up to some of his most revealing lyrics and desperate guitar playing. It's one of the finest albums he's made.